Hardystonite, Calcite and Willemite - Franklin, NJ
Hardystonite: fluorescent blue-violet, SW
Willemite: fluorescent green, SW
Calcite: fluorescent red, SW
Franklinite: non-fluorescent (black areas)

This heart-shaped cabochon of hardystonite, calcite, willemite, and franklinite was cut by Ralph Kovach of Sussex County, New Jersey. 

The colors of the some fluorescent minerals are so vivid that newcomers often think they're fake when they first see them! 

"Are those colors real??".

Another one I hear sometimes is, "Come on, that must be some kind of paint."

Nope, it's not paint.  The above cab is a good example of how brilliant the colors of Franklin fluorescent minerals can be.

Some natural, as-found fluorescent mineral specimens don't lend themselves to display, whether it's because they're weathered, oddly shaped, or what-have-you.  In such cases it's worthwhile to cut them into cabochons or polished slabs and reveal the hidden beauty.  What good is a spot of hardystonite when it's covered with dirty, weathered calcite and you can't even see it?

One can get some stunning cabs from pieces that would otherwise sit forever at the bottom of a milk crate or end up as driveway stone.  Sawing up perfectly good display specimens, on the other hand, is never a good idea.  In fact you could lose friends over it...


Photograph by Christian Thorsten.  This fine cabochon was originally for sale on the CR Scientific website but is now in a private collection.

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