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Old 06-05-2021, 02:57 PM
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Talking UV Lights and Fluorescent Minerals - a fun side hobby to metal detecting !

Fluorescent minerals and UV lights can be a fun and interesting side hobby to metal detecting, so I thought I'd start a thread where any other fluorescent mineral "rock hounds" or people simply interested in considering the hobby can join in and post.

Now I am very much a rank amateur when it comes to fluorescent minerals and UV lights and my collection and UV lights are pretty modest but still fun nevertheless !

This hobby, like metal detecting, can be enjoyed by those with a modest budget for hobby stuff, but, just like pricier detectors, there are more powerful SW UV lights for those who can afford such, though not necessary to enjoy the hobby.

I will post pics of my UV lights and many of my fluorescent minerals both how they look in normal light and then in UV light, some fluorescent minerals only glow under LW (Longwave) UV light, some only under SW (Shortwave) UV light and some will glow under either. (I'm still learning more so others who are more educated in this field are welcome to fine-tune my info and add more detailed info if they wish)

My modest collection is made up of mostly smaller pieces from about 1/2" to 1 1/2" (some smaller, one larger) all of them came from elsewhere (some companies include samples with a purchase of their UV light) I am still researching places locally where I might be able to hunt for some fluorescent rocks as most (if not all) states should have at least some fluorescent minerals, and some more than others.

Note: I do not have professional level photography equipment so my pics are not as good as they could be, but please keep in mind that even professional level photos of florescent minerals under UV light can't offer the same "WOW" effect of how they look seeing them glow in person, kinda like how videos of a fireworks display simply can't compare with seeing it in person.

Two photos of each sample side by side, one in normal light, one under UV (either LW of SW)
LW = Longwave UV SW = Shortwave UV

(ones that glowed under both LW or SW I opted to use LW as my LW light was more powerful)

(some rocks might not be in the exact same position for "natural light" and "UV light" because some of the UV pics I needed to take with my smartphone camera instead of my USB camera to pick up the glow better)

Calcite (red) Willemite (green) (Franklin, New Jersey) - SW
Name:  1a Calcite-red Willemite-green Franklin New Jersey normal light.jpg
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Size:  60.5 KBName:  1b Calcite-red Willemite-green Franklin New Jersey UV.jpg
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Scapolite (Quebec, Canada) - LW
Name:  2a Scapolite yellow Quebec Canada - LW.jpg
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Size:  52.4 KBName:  2b Scapolite yellow Quebec Canada - LW.jpg
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Willemite (green) Calcite (red) (Franklin, New Jersey) - SW
Name:  3a Calcite-red Willemite-green Franklin New Jersey normal light.jpg
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Size:  49.6 KBName:  3b Calcite-red Willemite-green Franklin New Jersey UV.jpg
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Calcite (Nuevo Leon, Mexico) - LW
Name:  4a Calcite Nuevo Leon Mexico normal light.jpg
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Size:  64.3 KBName:  4b Calcite Nuevo Leon Mexico UV.jpg
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Willemite Franklinite (Sterling Hill mine, New Jersey) - SW
Name:  5a Willemite Franklinite Sterling Hill mine New Jersey normal light.jpg
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Size:  21.5 KBName:  5b Willemite Franklinite Sterling Hill mine New Jersey UV.jpg
Views: 643
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Willemite (Huachuca Mountains, Arizona) - SW
Name:  6a Willemite Huachuca Mountains Arizona normal light.jpg
Views: 653
Size:  29.1 KBName:  6b Willemite Huachuca Mountains Arizona UV.jpg
Views: 649
Size:  38.9 KB

Calcite (Pima County, Arizona) - SW
Name:  7a Calcite Pima County Arizona normal light.jpg
Views: 651
Size:  31.1 KBName:  7b Calcite Pima County Arizona UV.jpg
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Aragonite (Lucerne Valley, California) - LW
Name:  8a Aragonite Lucerne Valley California natural light.jpg
Views: 667
Size:  26.7 KBName:  8b Aragonite Lucerne Valley California UV.jpg
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A marble made from vaseline glass (not a "mineral" but still interesting !)
Name:  9a marble - vaseline glass normal light.jpg
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Size:  18.2 KBName:  9b marble vaseline glass UV.jpg
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(I had some other samples I didn't include as they were somewhat similiar and one sample with a really neat blue streak that did not photograph well, if I can find any fluorescent minerals locally I'll add them later)

Here are a couple pics showing my UV lights and rock hammer
Name:  UV-lights-and-rock-hammer.jpg
Views: 649
Size:  153.6 KBName:  UV light 365nm.jpg
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The larger shortwave tube lamp I have that uses 3 "D" batteries is a 6 watt version they no longer seem to sell, but it is very similar to this 11 watt version they sell at the link below:

https://www.ultraviolet-tools.com/ul...e-uv-lamp.html

I have their smaller 4 watt shortwave tube lamp that uses 4 "AA" batteries:

https://www.ultraviolet-tools.com/ul...e-uv-lamp.html

I have smaller UV flashlights that are longwave, 395nm and 365nm.
(Note: as far as LW UV 395nm is not very good for mineral use, 365nm is much better)

The most recent UV flashlight I bought is the powerful UVbeast which is 365nm longwave. (see link below for details)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CV1XW5K/

On my possible "wish list" for later consideration when my hobby budget replenishes is the one at the link below:

https://www.midnightminerals.com/pro...-the-triple-5w

Here's some fluorescent mineral related links:

https://franklinmineralmuseum.com/

https://www.sterlinghillminingmuseum...f-fluorescence

https://www.minerals.net/resource/pr...horesence.aspx

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  #2  
Old 06-05-2021, 05:32 PM
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Exclamation

I should had included in the original post above:
(on second thought probably good this is a separate post so the warning at the bottom of this post stands out more)

Longwave (LW) UVA: 315-400nm

Mid-wave (MW) UVB: 280-315nm

Shortwave (SW) UVC: 200-280nm

Here is a graphic I found online:
Name:  UV spectrum.jpg
Views: 926
Size:  34.4 KB

WARNING, PLEASE NOTE: Be VERY careful with all UV and never shine (or reflect) directly in anyone's eyes, also be extra careful with shortwave and midwave UV to avoid direct exposure even on your skin. (there are UV blocking safety glasses made for use with UV lights)

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Last edited by GKL; 06-05-2021 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:23 PM
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Nice write-up, Gary! Looks like you put a lot of time into it. I did try this before but was quickly dismayed (some rowdy kids were sprinkling that glow-in-the-dark juice in the sticks on rocks...) I'll try this soon.

I remember the first time I saw UV... the invisible ink stuff in those cheapo "detective" kits... Loved it.

Josh

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Old 06-05-2021, 09:16 PM
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Really interesting stuff for sure, I always have my eyes peeled for minerals. Found some good sized garnets and clear quartz over the years, but nothing like that! Really cool stuff, thanks for taking the time to put together these posts!

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Old 06-05-2021, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Metal detecto View post
Nice write-up, Gary! Looks like you put a lot of time into it. I did try this before but was quickly dismayed (some rowdy kids were sprinkling that glow-in-the-dark juice in the sticks on rocks...) I'll try this soon.

I remember the first time I saw UV... the invisible ink stuff in those cheapo "detective" kits... Loved it.

Josh
Thanks !!!!

so rowdy kids making fake fluorescent rocks ? ......that's about as bad as if they seeded your detecting areas with crusty Zincolns

Yep, glow in the dark and fluorescent stuff fascinated me as a kid, and now still does fascinate me as a big kid

Originally Posted by cellrdwellr View post
Really interesting stuff for sure, I always have my eyes peeled for minerals. Found some good sized garnets and clear quartz over the years, but nothing like that! Really cool stuff, thanks for taking the time to put together these posts!
Thanks !!!!

Hey, if you do have a UV light check the minerals you find just in case some of them might be fluorescent. You can do online research for your area, I think most (if not all) states might have at least some fluorescent minerals.

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Old 06-05-2021, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by GKL View post
Thanks !!!!

so rowdy kids making fake fluorescent rocks ? ......that's about as bad as if they seeded your detecting areas with crusty Zincolns

Yep, glow in the dark and fluorescent stuff fascinated me as a kid, and now still does fascinate me as a big kid


Yup. They splattered the thing so it actually looks like a mineral. Dang kids even spelled "TROLL" on one of them... I kept that one.

Josh

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Old 06-05-2021, 10:28 PM
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Cool post Gary , quite a light show !
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Old 06-05-2021, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Metal detecto View post
Yup. They splattered the thing so it actually looks like a mineral. Dang kids even spelled "TROLL" on one of them... I kept that one.

Josh


Originally Posted by Soil Surgeon View post
Cool post Gary , quite a light show !
Thanks !!!!!

I am definitely thankful for what I do have, but my collection is modest compared to the number and variety of fluorescent minerals some people have collected who have been in the hobby for a good while.

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Old 06-05-2021, 11:25 PM
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Here is a web site with a search feature that can help us find what fluorescent minerals might possibly be in our areas:

https://www.mindat.org/

There are a lot of different fluorescent minerals, some more common than others, here are a couple links to give you an idea:

https://www.uvminerals.org/minerals/...cent-minerals/

http://www.galleries.com/minerals/property/fluotabl.htm

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Old 06-06-2021, 12:41 PM
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KT congratulates you, GKL, on a great beginning in this thread and is privileged to add to it with a few pictures from His own Royal Camera!

First are three images of a micro mineral specimen of zircons from Russia. Zircons are almost always fluorescent. First picture is what they look like with natural light at 10X magnification. Second picture was taken using LW UV with NO filter. Third picture is same as the other 2, but with a yellow filter to be rid of the blue light reflections.

Then there is a pair of pictures, first is taken at 10X with normal light of a hackmanite grain in the rock, note the fracture extending across part of the field of view. One cannot readily recognize the edges of this grain. Second picture is of that same view with filtered LW UV, note that you can see the fracture in that grain and the well defined, by fluorescence, edges of the grain. The second set of photographs are of a sodalite (variety hackmanite) syenite that KT located only some 20 miles from the Royal Castle! Later when KT gets better images of the whole rock, He will post them in this thread!

These pictures were taken with a Chinese led USB microscope and processed with a free photo imaging software, similar to Photoshop, total cost of scope set up > than $40.00 US. Filter is a plastic lens from a Hunter's yellow pair of clip on glasses...that are "blue blockers" by nature of the yellow color.
Attached Images
     

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Old 06-06-2021, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by KingTotsalot View post
KT congratulates you, GKL, on a great beginning in this thread and is privileged to add to it with a few pictures from His own Royal Camera!

First are three images of a micro mineral specimen of zircons from Russia. Zircons are almost always fluorescent. First picture is what they look like with natural light at 10X magnification. Second picture was taken using LW UV with NO filter. Third picture is same as the other 2, but with a yellow filter to be rid of the blue light reflections.

Then there is a pair of pictures, first is taken at 10X with normal light of a hackmanite grain in the rock, note the fracture extending across part of the field of view. One cannot readily recognize the edges of this grain. Second picture is of that same view with filtered LW UV, note that you can see the fracture in that grain and the well defined, by fluorescence, edges of the grain. The second set of photographs are of a sodalite (variety hackmanite) syenite that KT located only some 20 miles from the Royal Castle! Later when KT gets better images of the whole rock, He will post them in this thread!

These pictures were taken with a Chinese led USB microscope and processed with a free photo imaging software, similar to Photoshop, total cost of scope set up > than $40.00 US. Filter is a plastic lens from a Hunter's yellow pair of clip on glasses...that are "blue blockers" by nature of the yellow color.
Thanks KT !!!!

Neat pics KT, I really like the comparison showing the difference between with and without the yellow filter to block out the blue reflection glare !

I should have at least one other set of yellow glasses around somewhere, I need to take and see if I can take a lens off and make a holder that will stay in place "hands-free" over my microscope lens.

When I first heard you mention "Zircon" I mistakenly was thinking of "Zirconia" as in "Cubic Zirconias"

Also the closeup of how the Sodalite glows is really neat, I myself know that how fluorescent minerals look "in person" under UV has more of a "WOW" factor than seeing it in a photo, but the photos we post are still neat nonetheless !

Sounds like you have the same type of USB microscope I do:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/262361512520

Name:  microscope.jpg
Views: 979
Size:  43.6 KB

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Old 06-06-2021, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by GKL View post
Thanks KT !!!!

Neat pics KT, I really like the comparison showing the difference between with and without the yellow filter to block out the blue reflection glare !

I should have at least one other set of yellow glasses around somewhere, I need to take and see if I can take a lens off and make a holder that will stay in place "hands-free" over my microscope lens.

When I first heard you mention "Zircon" I mistakenly was thinking of "Zirconia" as in "Cubic Zirconias"

Also the closeup of how the Sodalite glows is really neat, I myself know that how fluorescent minerals look "in person" under UV has more of a "WOW" factor than seeing it in a photo, but the photos we post are still neat nonetheless !

Sounds like you have the same type of USB microscope I do:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/262361512520

Attachment 485727
Mine is very similar, but likely made by a rival company, or in a different state-owned Chinese factory! Excuse the clutter of the corner of my desk but this is where the scope "lives".
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by KingTotsalot View post
Mine is very similar, but likely made by a rival company, or in a different state-owned Chinese factory! Excuse the clutter of the corner of my desk but this is where the scope "lives".
Neat microscope !!!!

......I can relate as I have an ongoing battle with clutter, but I have improved from how I used to be

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Old 06-06-2021, 10:35 PM
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How To Find Yooperlites (article) - We use UV lights to go hunt for "Yooperlites" in Michigan and if you've never seen these guys... they are SO FUN to find!

Who knew what was hiding under UV!?

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Old 06-06-2021, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Swing4TheRing View post
How To Find Yooperlites (article) - We use UV lights to go hunt for "Yooperlites" in Michigan and if you've never seen these guys... they are SO FUN to find!

Who knew what was hiding under UV!?
Neat addition to the thread, thanks for sharing that !!!!

I have heard of them, and saw some online, wish they had them down this way but so far haven't read about any Yooperlites in South Carolina

This 365nm UV flashlight would be good for Yooperlite hunts too -

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CV1XW5K/

(it's the most recent UV light I bought and it is fairly powerful !)

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Old 06-07-2021, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GKL View post
Neat addition to the thread, thanks for sharing that !!!!

I have heard of them, and saw some online, wish they had them down this way but so far haven't read about any Yooperlites in South Carolina

This 365nm UV flashlight would be good for Yooperlite hunts too -

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CV1XW5K/

(it's the most recent UV light I bought and it is fairly powerful !)
Yooperlites is a local trade name, named by the discoverer, for the local people of the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. They are Yoopers!

The specimen I sent you is the same thing scientifically, but from an outcrop...the source, rather than being transported in from Canada by glaciers during the Pliestocene and then also tumbled by wave action on the shore of Lake Superior! It is sodalite syenite. The fluorescent mineral is sodalite, the variety hackmanite. You will see this rock is found scattered around the world, but yooperlites only come from the UP. Now I could take my samples, tumble them, and make fake yooperlites! Ha ha.

Today KT had 4 packages delivered to the Castle, containing 6 fluorescent mineral specimens...to KT one of the coolest is a bright orange fluorescent halite...from the Salton Sea in California. But it will need to be kept in a small ziplock bag so that the local humidity does not cause it to deteriorate! Anyway, KT now has two drawers set aside in his cabinet, one for longwave specimens and the other for shortwave goodies! Kt wants to put each small specimen in its own non-fluorescent box with its own label. Presently waiting for some paper boxes KT painted to finish drying before storing those specimens away!

The Queen has expressed an interest in trying some fluorescent photography with her new fancy camera. When she shows me some of the pictures, and if they are any good in my estimation, KT will post them in this thread!

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Old 06-07-2021, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by KingTotsalot View post
Yooperlites is a local trade name, named by the discoverer, for the local people of the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. They are Yoopers!

The specimen I sent you is the same thing scientifically, but from an outcrop...the source, rather than being transported in from Canada by glaciers during the Pliestocene and then also tumbled by wave action on the shore of Lake Superior! It is sodalite syenite. The fluorescent mineral is sodalite, the variety hackmanite. You will see this rock is found scattered around the world, but yooperlites only come from the UP. Now I could take my samples, tumble them, and make fake yooperlites! Ha ha.

Today KT had 4 packages delivered to the Castle, containing 6 fluorescent mineral specimens...to KT one of the coolest is a bright orange fluorescent halite...from the Salton Sea in California. But it will need to be kept in a small ziplock bag so that the local humidity does not cause it to deteriorate! Anyway, KT now has two drawers set aside in his cabinet, one for longwave specimens and the other for shortwave goodies! Kt wants to put each small specimen in its own non-fluorescent box with its own label. Presently waiting for some paper boxes KT painted to finish drying before storing those specimens away!

The Queen has expressed an interest in trying some fluorescent photography with her new fancy camera. When she shows me some of the pictures, and if they are any good in my estimation, KT will post them in this thread!
Congrats on the new samples KT !!!!

While I'd prefer to be able find my own locally "in the wild" I know the types available are obviously limited according to what the local area has, so samples not available locally need to be bought online from elsewhere.

I likely will occasionally buy a new fluorescent sample not available locally, but I might hold off and buy ones that really have a big WOW factor to me.

That bright orange fluorescent halite does sound really neat, but I am somewhat puzzled, if it came from the Salton Sea in California, why would humidity cause it to deteriorate

That's great that your wife is interested trying some fluorescent photography, neat way to interest her in being part of your hobby !

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Old 06-08-2021, 04:33 PM
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Talking Sodalite Hackmanite

The largest sample I have so far (close up photo to try to show the glow better)
(different views of same rock as I needed to use my smartphone to get a better UV photo)

Sodalite Hackmanite under regular lighting and under 365nm LW UV light
Name:  Sodalite Hackmanite natural light.jpg
Views: 592
Size:  57.7 KBName:  Sodalite Hackmanite 365nm UV.jpg
Views: 597
Size:  28.0 KB

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Old 06-08-2021, 05:59 PM
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Some scorpions light up with UV also.(If I remember right).

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Old 06-08-2021, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by metaladdict View post
Some scorpions light up with UV also.(If I remember right).
Glad you brought that up, maybe members living in areas with scorpions who were not yet aware of being able to use a UV flashlight to watch out for them can now be better prepared.

Yep, I've read about UV flashlights being used to spot scorpions at night, fortunately around here it is something we only read about, avoiding fire ant mounds is more than enough, very glad we don't have to be concerned about watching out for scorpions too

I just did a quick search online to find a pic of a scorpion under UV at night
Name:  scorpion under UV light.jpg
Views: 685
Size:  38.8 KB

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