What are the most common fluorescent minerals to be found with a 365nm UV flashlight?
One of the more cost-efficient ways to start collecting fluorescent minerals is to buy a 365nm UV flashlight and go hunting. Longwave UV flashlights are available in all price ranges, ranging from lower end lights to high quality lights. A common question we are asked is, "what are the best UV rocks to buy with my new light?” Our typical answer is – head on over to your nearest rock and mineral show and take a look around! Scan your nifty, new UV flashlight over mineral dealer’s tables (watch their faces in response) and be amazed at the glowing rocks that the dealer didn’t even know they had.
There aren’t as many rocks that glow under longwave UV light as there are with shortwave UV light, but you can absolutely build an entire collection based off of longwave UV light alone.
We’ve compiled a list of common fluorescent minerals as a starting point. All the mineral photos below are shown under 365nm longwave UV light.
Calcite is a pretty common mineral and can be found all over. Some of the most beautiful fluorescent minerals are calcite crystals. Here is a clam fossil from famous Rucks’ Pit Mine in Florida. Inside the fossilized clam are beautiful honey calcite crystals that fluoresce brightly under longwave UV light.
Fluorite is another common mineral that oftentimes displays a very bright blue or purple fluorescence. Some species of fluorite will even “fluoresce” just under daylight, you don’t even need to buy any UV lights! This popular type of green fluorite is known as “Rogerley Fluorite”.
Some types of Aragonite will glow a bright pink-red under longwave UV light. Specimens of aragonite from many areas around Sicily exhibit this bright fluorescent color with an amazing longwave phosphorescence. This is a classic Italy aragonite specimen. Note the small druzy crystals and the multiple colors of the aragonite - very interesting piece.
There are two varieties of scapolite we’ll mention here, var. wernerite from Canada and marialite from Afghanistan. Both fluoresce a nice, bright yellow under longwave UV light.
Do rubies fluoresce? Yes! Many folks are not aware that rubies fluoresce a beautiful red under UV light. Ruby naturally fluoresces stronger under longwave UV light than under shortwave.
One of our favorite minerals to display under longwave UV light is fluorescent sodalite. Sodalite can be found in many areas of the world. Greenland has the brightest fluorescent sodalite we have seen. The bright yellow/orange sodalite glow makes a perfect addition to round out any fluorescent mineral collection.
A captivating glow rock we often see is green opal. Many times, opal will fluoresce a very bright green under longwave and shortwave UV light. This bright green opal fluorescence you see is due to trace amounts of uranium included in the opal silica (don’t worry, it’s safe to handle).
A rare mineral, tugtupite is primarily found in Greenland. It is also found in Canada and Russia. Under longwave, tugtupite will fluoresce a bright salmon, sometimes orange. Tugtupite is also known as Tuktu, which is a name derived from the Greenlandic Inuit word for reindeer, Tuttu, and this means "reindeer blood."