DescriptionLONGWAVE FLUORESCENT CRYSTALS - FLUORITE AND HACKMANITE
Zarembo Island, Alaska
Sar-e-Sang Mine, Koksha River Valley, Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan
There are three main types of ultraviolet rays currently and frequently used by modern collectors of fluorescent minerals. These types are based on wave length: shortwave, longwave, and mid-range UV. The shortwaves are the most frequently used, as they produce by far the largest amount of fluorescent responses, as well as, in general, the most vibrant reactions. Longwaves produce the second largest volume of responses, and mid-range the smallest, although whilst the first two have been utilized for decades, mid-range has only been in use since the 1990s and its potentialities are perhaps yet to be fully realized. This Lot comprises two specimens, which fluoresce brightly under longwave UV. The first is a 3½ x 3¼ x 2-inch (8.9 x 8.3 x 5.1 cm) specimen with good coverage of cubo-octahedral Fluorite crystals, a lovely soft and translucent pale green under daylight. Under the longwave UV, however, they exude a brilliant violet-tinged blue glow (with a similar, but less intense response under shortwave). This reaction is a little-seen exception to the general output of specimens from the obscure locality of Zarembo Island in Alaska, most of which display little to no fluorescence at all. The second specimen comes from what is regarded as possibly the oldest continuously-worked mine in the world, the Sar-e-Sang mine in the rugged, mountainous Koksha River Valley of Afghanistan, which has been worked for its precious Lapis Lazuli for over 6,000 years. This specimen is not of the fabled and precious blue Lapis, however, but a rare and far more interesting crystal specimen of the closely related mineral Sodalite, in its fluorescent and tenebrescent variety: Hackmanite. This variety not only fluoresces a bright pastel orange to yellow-orange, best under longwave UV, but it also shows reverse photosensitivity, or tenebrescence, under shortwave, wherein the off-white daylight color is changed to a light violet color when exposed to daylight; it slowly returns to normal when left in the dark, but reverts more rapidly under white light and, remarkably, the process is endlessly reversible. 4¼ x 2½ x 2 inches (10.8 x 6.4 x 5.1 cm) overall, with a sawn-off side and back faces, the largest of the several dodecahedral Hackmanite crystals is almost 1½ inches across, a very large example of this type of crystal known from only a few localities worldwide. Offered at no reserve.
Provenance: ex. Hugh Ronemus Collection.
Condition report available upon request.
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