Fluorescent Minerals
Mark Thompson, Fluorescent Mineral Society member #995

Nature's hidden rainbow

There are more pictures added to this section and more on the way. This
will be the most comprehensive collection of fluorescent mineral pictures on this site ever!

Fluorescent Minerals are special kind of rocks that fluoresce (glow) with beautiful colors
under shortwave or longwave ultraviolet light. What causes these rocks to fluoresce is
based on the chemical composition and trace metallic elements in the minerals. It is the
trace metallic elements called activators, that is causing these minerals to fluoresce
under ultraviolet source. Some fluorescent minerals may have two activators in order to
make them fluoresce.

About 10 to 15% of the minerals in the World are fluorescent.

A short list of fluorescent minerals just to mention a few.

Calcite - fluoresces a range of colors, either longwave or shortwave ultraviolet.
- fluoresces bright green under shortwave ultraviolet.
- fluoresces bright lemon yellow under shortwave ultraviolet.
Fluorite - fluoresces bright, deep blue under longwave ultraviolet
Diamonds - fluoresces either blue, light green, or yellow under longwave ultraviolet

In August 1999, I went to Franklin-Odgensburg, New jersey. I was there to visit the Franklin Minerals museum, Buckwheat Mine Dump and Sterling Hill Mining Museum. Both museums were very interesting, especially the Sterling Hill Mining museum.

You can tour through a real zinc mine at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum. The day I was there, it was about 85 degrees outside, 54 degress and damp in the mine. There were ultraviolet lights in two locations inside the mine. The Rainbow tunnel and Lanesbury tunnel.

See the pictures of these minerals under ultraviolet light.
Click one of the four.

Mark's Own Fluorescent Mineral Collection

Other fluorescent minerals photo sites

Tozour Family's Fluorescent Rocks

I have recommended books on fluorescent minerals. They are:

FLUORESCENCE Gems and Minerals Under Ultraviolet Light by Manuel Robbins
ISBN 0-945005-13-X
This is an excellent book on the subject. This book lists every fluorescent minerals and their origin. This is an excellent reference book. Highly recommended.

by Thomas Warren, Sterling Gleason, Richard C. Bostwick & Earl R. Verbeek
ISBN No. 0-9635098-0-2
This book Explains about ultraviolet light and fluorescent minerals. Also covers collecting, labeling, catalog, display and care of fluorescent minerals. This book explains activators in fluorescent minerals. This is a must for fluorescent minerals collector.

If you are interested in buying some excellent fluorescent mineral specimens as well as ultraviolet lamps. Check out Polman Minerals.


A Note from Mark

I do want to say something about the late Charlie Ward. I started collecting fluorescent minerals in 1997. In order for me to have an excellent fluorescent mineral collection. I have to search for a dealer who sells quality fluorescent minerals. I searched on the internet and I came across Charlie Ward's site. I made a phone call and Charlie answered. I introduced myself, then I told him that I want to start a collection. He made recommendations on what to start with and I went along with him. I placed the order. When the order came, the first batch of specimens were unbeleivable and the quality were excellent.

I have been ordering fluorescent minerals every few weeks to build up my collection. To date, he never failed to satisfy my requirements. We have became friends ever since. We also made frequent contacts from time to time.

In November 1998, I stayed at his home in Norwalk, CT, for the weekend. I was there to help him with his fluorescent mineral display for the Fluorescent Mineral Society meeting. We had a good time. I met Richard Bostwick, Dr. Kerry Cooper, Jared Woodward and many other FMS members, but missed out meeting Earl Verbeek.

After the meeting, Charlie and I were in the dark. The only lighting we had were ultraviolet lamps and the glow from fluorescent minerals. I was picking out fluorescent minerals specimens for my collection. I went home happy with a lot of new acquisitions from Charlie.

Sadly, Charlie passed away on April 2, 2013. I will miss the good times we had at the mineral shows and Charlie, I will never forget you.


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