Scapolite from Sterling Hill - unusual color

Scapolite (Meionite):  Fl. lilac, bluish, and violet, SW
Calcite:  Fl. red-orange, SW

This page once had an overexposed, low-res photo of a [presumably]  Pb2+-activated fluorescent scapolite from Sterling Hill.  Finally, here's a better photo;  although it's a different specimen, it's from the same galena-bearing scapolite occurrence at this locality.

Specimen size is roughly 2 1/2 inches.  This specimen came from the recent Super Digg at Sterling Hill.

Aside from the galena and cerussite in this specimen, it is visually indistinguishable from the other chalky-white, weathered scapolites that came from the Noble Pit. 

I used to take mineral photos with a 35 mm camera.  The color response was really good for some minerals, unpredictable for others.  It was still better than the digital cameras of the day, though.  In some ways, it is still better than today's digital cameras, but there are definitely trade-offs.  Digital cameras have an intolerably bad dynamic highlight range and can't cope with more than 1 or 2 stops of overexposure without blowing out the highlights.  However, for fluorescent mineral photography they're not bad.  Most of my fluorescent mineral photography is digital today, although I have a box of slides I did recently of some fluorescent specimens.  I think it was Elite Chrome Extra Color, but offhand I can't remember. 

The newer digital cameras still don't capture fluorescent colors perfectly, but this photo shows the subtle hues much better than did the old one.  Digital camera technology has certainly improved in the past few years. 

(I still prefer film for most everything else.)


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