A 3-Color Fluorescent Beauty from Miller Canyon, Arizona

The Nelly James was a small open pit lead, copper, zinc, gold and silver mine located in Miller Canyon, in the Huachuca Mountains, Cochise County, Arizona. Its history lasted from the 1880’s until 1915. The small amount of ore produced by the Nelly James was inconsistent with the size of the operation, leading to speculation that the property was more of a prospect, and may have been part of a stock scam. The good news to fluorescent mineral collectors is that to this day, the Nelly James mine has been a productive source of beautiful fluorescent minerals.

This specimen provides a good example of some of the bright and colorful fluorescent minerals found at the Nelly James mine in Miller Canyon. Brightly fluorescent under short wave UV, this specimen contains red fluorescent calcite, green fluorescent willemite and minor amounts of blue fluorescing hydrozincite. The willemite and calcite are also weakly phosphorescent. This specimen measures 68 x 60 x 34 mm, and was collected by Ken and Gail Hennig in 2013.

Photograph showing fluorescence under short wave UV (254nm). The predominant calcite is seen fluorescing red, while willemite shows a green response, and minor amounts of hydrozincite provide beautiful blue fluorescent accents.

Same side of specimen seen under short wave UV (left) and visible light (right). Click on above images for a larger view.

Reverse side of the same specimen showing fluorescence under short wave UV (left), phosphorescence after short wave (middle), and visible light image (right). Click on the above images for a larger view.

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