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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
Views: 331
Size:  59.2 KB

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
Views: 320
Size:  21.5 KBName:  5b Willemite Franklinite Sterling Hill mine New Jersey UV.jpg
Views: 312
Size:  40.5 KB

Willemite (Huachuca Mountains, Arizona) - SW
Name:  6a Willemite Huachuca Mountains Arizona normal light.jpg
Views: 308
Size:  29.1 KBName:  6b Willemite Huachuca Mountains Arizona UV.jpg
Views: 319
Size:  38.9 KB

Calcite (Pima County, Arizona) - SW
Name:  7a Calcite Pima County Arizona normal light.jpg
Views: 318
Size:  31.1 KBName:  7b Calcite Pima County Arizona UV.jpg
Views: 320
Size:  51.6 KB

Aragonite (Lucerne Valley, California) - LW
Name:  8a Aragonite Lucerne Valley California natural light.jpg
Views: 325
Size:  26.7 KBName:  8b Aragonite Lucerne Valley California UV.jpg
Views: 334
Size:  38.0 KB

A marble made from vaseline glass (not a "mineral" but still interesting !)
Name:  9a marble - vaseline glass normal light.jpg
Views: 310
Size:  18.2 KBName:  9b marble vaseline glass UV.jpg
Views: 309
Size:  19.1 KB

(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: 317
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: 309
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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  #3  
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.
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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: 341
Size:  43.6 KB

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Old 06-13-2021, 10:06 PM
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A minor sideline to this thread, especially for you bottle or glassware collectors.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_glass

and a video or two;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJE-cL7wgEc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS--4FmvZt0

You might also find an occasional marble, too.

Roger
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Old 06-13-2021, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by GTS225 View post
A minor sideline to this thread, especially for you bottle or glassware collectors.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_glass

and a video or two;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJE-cL7wgEc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS--4FmvZt0

You might also find an occasional marble, too.

Roger
Neat, thanks for sharing that !!!!

While the focus of the thread might lean more towards fluorescent minerals, it is fun to also see some other things that glow under UV !

(The marble made from vaseline glass in the 1st post is also known as uranium glass)

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  #14  
Old 06-14-2021, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by GTS225 View post
A minor sideline to this thread, especially for you bottle or glassware collectors.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_glass

and a video or two;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJE-cL7wgEc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS--4FmvZt0

You might also find an occasional marble, too.

Roger
Thanks for that info and links, Roger! KT has picked up a few pieces of fluorescent glass at his local fleamarkets! They certainly add to a collection of fluorescent materials!

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Old 06-15-2021, 02:41 PM
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Default Continuing with some images of fluorescent minerals

Here we go!

The first images were taken with the Royal Digital Camera, not the microscope, and are of some fluorescent diamonds in long wave. Three images, first natural light, second unfiltered LW UV, third filtered LW UV. In this instance, KT used the Royal LW lamp to sort out all the non-fluorescent stones, leaving the fluorescent ones behind. About 50% of all the stones fluoresced nicely. That is pictures 1, 2, and 3. In picture 3, note the one diamond lower right that fluoresces pink in filtered LW UV!

The next set of 3 images were of a pair of spinel crystals from Tasmania, same sequence, but taken at 10X magnification with the USB led microscope. In actuality KT could not get an image that showed the deep strong red fluorescent color, every picture came out kinda orange tinted. No matter how KT manipulated the color of the images, they did not come out deep red.

The final 3 images are of 3 spinel crystals from Burma, also taken at 10X with the USB led microscope. Same color problem. The yellow blue-blocker filter also tinted the crystal over to orange from deep red.

Enjoy!
Attached Images
         

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Last edited by KingTotsalot; 06-15-2021 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 06-15-2021, 04:56 PM
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Wow, neat pics KT !!!!

I like the comparisons, and I can understand how difficult it can be to get on a photograph how good it looks in person, that's why occasionally I will remind readers the minerals tend to have more of a wow effect when seen in person, not to mention the difficulty with getting the color to look the same in some instances.

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