Sphalerite {ZnS}:  Fl. orange SW, MW, LW, PH
Calcite {CaCO3}:  Fl. red-orange SW
Calcite {CaCO3}:  Fl. violet SW
Willemite {Zn2SiO4}:  Fl. green SW

First of all, when you see what looks like violet "fluorescence", always make sure it's not actually reflected visible light you're seeing from the UV lamp.  The specimen above is showing actual violet fluorescence in the calcite near the sphalerite vein.  Franklin calcite can fluoresce anywhere from an intense red-orange all the way through dull cherry red and into violet-purple before it quenches out, all within the same specimen.

This is a gorgeous "ribbon" or vein specimen collected on the Buckwheat in 1999 or 2000.   The dump has yielded brighter sphalerite than this, but the purple-fluorescing calcite vein is what really makes the piece.

Since the sphalerite bonanza a few years ago, good finds of sphalerite have been few and far between.  Well, I don't know if it was really a "bonanza" anyway, because the stuff wasn't exactly common even back then.  It's just that there was one region of the dump where we hit into many pieces (which probably came out of the same ore cart or carts full of tailings from the Buckwheat mine).  Once in a while we still find very narrow veins of sphalerite in calcite, but they're usually not that great, and they're nowhere near as nice as the specimen pictured above.

Specimen was sold on CR Scientific web site.  This is another that I regret selling, but there's a collector out there who's very happy now, so it was worth it.  Fortunately, I do still have a hi-res version of the photo shown above.  I really think this would make a nice textbook illustration;  I already have two or three fluorescent mineral photos appearing in school textbooks (though I never did get to see the results), but I don't think this photo is one of them.

Incidentally, this page used to say "Barite in Calcite".  I guess I'd forgotten to change it.  If you're looking for a photo of a nice barite in calcite specimen, here's one.







Index of Photos

Main Page


Site contents copyright of njminerals.org


Back