DescriptionFLUORESCENT WILLEMITE AND CALCITE
Sterling Hill Mine, Ogdensburg, New Jersey
Willemite with calcite is undoubtedly the most famous and most collected bi-colored fluorescent mineral combination in the world and this stunningly veined and spotted specimen is perfectly illustrative of that reputation. It hails from the famed Franklin mining district of New Jersey, the only place in the world where willemite, as well as the associated non-fluorescents black franklinite and red zincite, constitutes a major portion of the ore. Attractive enough under normal lighting conditions, the willemite bursts into brilliant life under short-wave ultraviolet light: fluorescing a brilliant green color, with the major "gangue" (non-ore) mineral calcite burning with a brilliant red-orange. This superb 6 ½ x 5 x 2-inch specimen was purchased for the Hugh Ronemus collection from the Al Jehle collection, a notable Franklin fluorescent collector and doctor from the Philadelphia area, and retains the Jehle label on the cut and matt polished back; the label indicates that the specimen was likely purchased by Jehle during the 1980's or 1990's, his major collecting years, from Mike Massey, a renowned Franklin mineral dealer. The smoothed back also indicates that this specimen was used for photographic phosphorescence tests at some point in its history, and indeed the veins of secondary willemite, as opposed to the speckled primary willemite, does phosphoresce with a very bright and long-lasting green under shortwave ultraviolet rays.
Provenance: Ex Mike Massey, Al Jehle, Hugh Ronemus collections
Condition report available upon request.
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