FrOg On-Line #2001-07

Welcome to FrOg On-Line #2001-07, Wednesday, July 11, 2001


1. Introduction
2. Warren Museum Web Site
3. Collecting Report
4. Editorial
5. Loose Ends
6. FrOg On-Line Wrap-Up
7. "Subscriber" List

1. Introduction

Greetings, one last time.  The "Contents" says it all.


2. Warren Museum Web Site

[ both messages below are very slightly edited.  - moderator. ]


From: "Sterling Hill Mine" <>
To: [...]
        "Bill Mattison" <>,
Subject: Web site launch
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 16:39:49 -0400
Organization: Sterling Hill Mining Museum

Hello all,

    Please take some time and visit the Thomas S. Warren Museum of Fluorescence
portion of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum's web site at
It is a new addition to the site and just one phase of a total revamping of the

Steve Misiur
Sterling Hill Mining Museum
"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be
to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time"


From: "earl verbeek" <>
Subject: Warren Museum web site
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 08:30:56 -0400

Hello to all . . .

Yesterday we launched the web site for the Thomas S. Warren Museum of
Fluorescence.  The address is

The Warren Museum is on the same grounds as the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in
Ogdensburg, New Jersey.  It is administered by the same foundation but has its
own staff.  The new museum features three large rooms of displays and is
intended as an educational facility as well as a tourist attraction.  Please
visit our site to learn more about us and what we have to offer (and also to
see photographs of some wonderful fluorescent minerals).

                              Cheers- Earl Verbeek

3. Collecting Report

From: "mark boyer" <>
To: "William Mattison" <>
Subject: Re: question.
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001 18:46:06 -0400


I hope I make it in time for a reply to your inquiry.

Unfortunately, I was unable to go back to the pits at Sterling Hill recently,
but about 7 people did and some very rich and brightly fluorescing
wollastonites were collected.  Apparently the quality is getting quite good now
as the diggings go deeper.  I also heard that some nice crazy calcites were
collected, but as I wasn't there, I can't give you a report.

As a follow-up to my last collecting report (FrOg 2001-06), the
purple-fluorescing calcite I found in the pits back in May does fizz in acid
and John C. also confirmed it optically as calcite.

Not much else to report, sorry to say.  I'm much more sorry that we're down to
the last FrOg.  Maybe it's only a hibernation period?  At any rate, thanks for
your work in keeping the old FrOg alive alive and kicking, or at least kicking

Mark Boyer

4. Editorial

This editorial represents the opinion of its writer (Bill Mattison) only.

a. research funding

There is a fair amount of overlap in the membership and interests of the FrOg
community and the mineral fluorescence community.  So much of what I say here
applies to the mineral fluorescence community as well as the FrOg community.

There is a lot of research crying out to be done regarding the FrOg mineral
district.  What sequence of geological events formed the FrOg mineral deposits?
What impurities and/or inclusions give Willemite its various natural-light
colors?  Where is the "missing ore"?  How much ore was removed by ice-age
glaciers, and where was that ore deposited?  What activates Bustamite
fluorescence under short wave ultraviolet?  What activates Bustamite
fluorescence under long wave ultraviolet?  Is Bustamite fluorescence
permanently diminished or destroyed by repeated exposure to extreme cold?  Why
has no Hardystonite been found in Sterling Hill?  Are the blue fluorescence of
Sphalerite from Sterling Hill and the blue fluorescence of Sphalerite from the
Franklin Mine both caused by the same activator(s)?  I could go on and on, and
surely each of you could add many questions to the list.

Some answers can be had without too much time, effort, or expense.  Often, a
mystery mineral can be identified by the time and effort it takes to remove a
sample from a specimen, package and address the sample, and ship it, plus about
$30 to ship the sample and get it X-rayed.  But X-ray analysis is not enough
to establish what makes "Cyprine" blue or pink Grossular pink; or to
distinguish Johnbaumite from Fluorapatite; or to discern what the activator is
in pink fluorescing Sphalerite; or to determine which member of the garnet
group is fluorescing deep red under middle wave ultraviolet, or whether the
fluorescence is due to some other mineral mixed in with the garnet, and what
the activator is.  These require analysis techniques that are considerably more
expensive and much less accessible.  And it seems we have fewer people with
access these days.  Then there's the immense time, effort, and money it takes
to do worthwhile research on questions relating to geological history.

It seems (to me, anyway) that those who write editorials for big-time
newspapers have all the answers.  But this writer has only a few very
preliminary ideas.  I'd like to suggest the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical
Society and/or, or (preferably) together with the museums establish a research
fund and a list of recommended labs/analysts to do the lab work.  Procedural
recommendations and guidelines are also needed.

Recommended labs and analysts should be those that do consistently very high
quality work in a timely manner and at a fair cost.  We need people/labs for:
* X-ray analysis;
* microprobe analysis;
* "wet analysis" down to at least 0.01(?) percent for fluorescence activator
  and natural light color studies;
* fluorescence emission spectra with at least one nanometer resolution,
  covering the entire visible portion of the spectrum;
* fluorescence excitation spectra;
* absorption and reflection spectra?
and surely some of you can think of other things.

There should be a small committee to oversee the fund, to evaluate research
proposals, to hold users of the fund accountable, and to monitor the quality of
work done by recommended labs/analysts.

One aspect of this I unfortunately do not have any good ideas on is where the
money for the fund could come from.  Very dark t-shirts with pictures of
fluorescent specimens?  Light t-shirts with pictures of specimens in natural
light?  What are your ideas?

b. communications within the FrOg community

The FrOg community is unique in a few respects compared to most mineral
collecting locale communities.  (1) The mineral deposits which are our focus
are unique in their content, in their mineralogical diversity, in their
fluorescence, and in other aspects.  (2) It is served by at least three
organizations (the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society (FOMS), the
Franklin Mineral Museum (FMM), and the Sterling Hill Mining Museum (SHMM)),
while most other mineral collecting locale communities are served by only one
rock-hound club.  (3) More of its membership is more broadly spread over a
greater part of the world than is the case with most other mineral collecting
locale communities.  (1) may be an important reason for (2), and is almost
certainly the main reason for (3).  All three of these, but especially (3) make
for some communication needs not faced by most other mineral collecting locale
communities.  Because of (1), we need communications of a more technical nature
than do most other mineral collecting locale communities.  But (3) makes
typical mineral collecting locale communities communications more important.
In other words, many of us live too far away to attend meetings, and therefore
depend on routine communications to keep up with what has happened, what is
happening, and what is coming up.  As is true with all mineral collecting
locale communities, not all members have Internet or e-mail access.  Thus
printed media continue to be essential.

The SHMM and FMM newsletters seem to be what it seems they should be, and they
both seem excellent.  The Picking Table seems to have done well for technical
communications.  But as a twice-per-year publication, it cannot adequately
serve the routine communications needs of the FrOg community.  We need
something more.  I suggest the FOMS continue the Picking Table once or twice
per year, but also publish a monthly newsletter.  The newsletter should contain
* an at most half of one side of one page article on the last meeting's
  program.  The speaker should be asked to provide this.  It should be a
  "cross" between an abstract and a conclusion, with the emphasis on the
  conclusion.  As a *hypothetical* example, suppose someone gave a talk on FrOg
  Sphalerite fluorescence activators.  The article should not only say the talk
  was about research on fluorescence activators in FrOg Sphalerite, it must
  also briefly describe his techniques, and must especially give his results
  (pink fluorescence of Sphalerite under long wave is due to a blend of Mn-
  activated orange fluorescence with a 647 nm peak and 20 nm halfwidth, and an
  Ag-activated blue fluorescence with a 412 nm peak and a 14 nm halfwidth).
  The conclusion is most important; remember some of us live too far away to
  attend the FOMS meetings.
* an announcement of the speaker for the next meeting, along with the title of
  his program.
* minutes of the last FOMS meeting.
* minutes of the last FOMS board meeting.
* news from the museums.
* schedule of coming events (shows, field trips, elections, etc.).
* a list of current officers, and the address, phone number, and e-mail address
  of each officer.
* once a year, a list of all members.
* field trip (collecting) reports.
* show reports (attendance, income, etc.).
* treasurer's report.
* other news, announcements, and contributions as appropriate.
The Picking Table should primarily focus on articles too long for the
newsletter, photographs, and (especially) scientific/technical material.

c. conclusion

I live too far away to present these ideas myself.  I hope someone will present
these ideas to the FOMS and its board, and to the SHMM and FMM boards.  I also
hope these ideas will not be quickly killed, but that some working groups
(committees) will be established to refine these ideas into something that can
be implemented, and that will benefit the FrOg community.


5. Loose Ends

In FrOg On-Line #1999-04 (Tuesday, December 14, 1999), I reported that some
optical analysis had concluded a mineral fluorescing weak reddish violet under
short wave ultraviolet was Quartz.  This was almost certainly not correct.
There is little doubt that what was analyzed was indeed Quartz.  But it is very
unlikely that the analyzed chip fluoresced weak reddish violet under short wave
ultraviolet.  It did not occur to me or to John when the specimen was sampled
that we should verify that the sample exhibited the fluorescent response of
interest, so we didn't.  This failure led to the probable mid-identification.

I am hoping to get the mineral of interest analyzed by X-ray analysis later
this summer.  This time, Fred Parker did the sampling, and both he and myself
verified that the sample fluoresced weak reddish violet under short wave
ultraviolet!  This time, the result should be valid.  I will post results in
the on-line discussion forum within Herb Yeates' Franklin web site shortly
after I get the report, assuming the discussion forum is still operational.

6. FrOg On-Line Wrap-Up

Well, as of about 8am, Wednesday, July 11, no-one volunteered to take over FrOg
On-Line.  So it croaks.

For schedule information, see the following:

  Franklin Mineral Museum web site:

  Herb Yeates' Franklin web site:

  Sterling Hill Mining Museum web site:

Also, The Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society snail-mails schedules to
all society members at least once a year, usually twice.

Herb Yeates' Franklin web site has an on-line discussion forum.  This is a
great place to post collecting reports, pre-publication research results,
questions, announcements, etc.  This is a great place to discuss FrOg geology,
mineralogy, history, culture, etc.  Check it out!  Post something!  I posted
two things there yesterday; they showed up essentially immediately; so the
forum appears to be working great.  If you have any questions about the forum,
contact Herb.

Chris Thorsten told me during a phone conversation he will keep the FrOg
On-Line Archive active for a while (a year?).

If anyone starts up anything like FrOg On-Line, eFrOg maybe?, please let me
know; I will probably want to subscribe.

My thanks to all who have contributed to FrOg On-Line.

I look forward to seeing many of you at future shows and other events and

It is finished.

7. "Subscriber" List

NJ   Larry Berger
NC   Alan Borg 
NY   Dick Bostwick
NJ   Mark Boyer
CA   Kevin Brady
PA   Bob Carnein
VA   Peter Chin          Peter.Chin@USPTO.GOV
NJ   John Cianciulli
NJ   John Corsello
CT   Denis De Angelis
CA   Fred Devito
FL   Sandra Downs
VA   Steve Gordon
NY   Howie Green
MD   Gary Grenier
MN   Tim Hanson
NY   Tema Hecht
CA   Andy Honig
CA   Mark Isaacs
MI   John Jaszczak
NY   Carl Kanoff
NJ   Steve Kuitems
FL   Roy Lambert
NY   Donald Lapham
NY   Greg Lesinski
PA   Jay Lininger
PA   Mike Logan
     Gavin Malcolm             England
CO   Peter Marikle
MD   Bill Mattison
CA   Dan McHugh
NJ   Dan McHugh Sr.
VA   Curt Michanczyk
CA   Doug Mitchell
CO   Pete Modreski
WA   Don Newsome
NJ   Jeff Osowski
AZ   George Polman
NJ   Nathan Schachtman
NY   Paul Shizume
MD   Steve Shramko
NJ   Dave Slaymaker
CT   Charles Sloan
CA   Jane Grover-Smith
CA   Kent Smith
NJ   Chris Thorsten
NJ   Jim Tozour
NJ   Earl Verbeek
PA   John Vidumsky
PA   Eric Weis 
NM   Dru Wilbur
VA   David Woolley
FL   Herb Yeates
CA   Wayne Young

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