Spectacular 3-Color Rock from Miller Canyon, Arizona

Miller Canyon is located in the rugged terrain of the Huachuca Mountains, in Cochise County, Arizona. Near the top of Miller Canyon lies the Nelly James mine. The hike to the Nelly James is 3 miles long, and requires a vertical elevation gain of 1500 feet over rough and challenging tread. Being located close to the Mexican border, Miller Canyon provides a route to illegal immigration and drug smuggling into the US, so presents a real possibility of risky encounters on the trail. Despite the dangers, the Nelly James mine has been a productive source of beautiful, multi-colored fluorescent minerals.

This specimen provides an excellent 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 green fluorescent willemite, blue fluorescing hydrozincite and red fluorescent calcite. The willemite and calcite are also weakly phosphorescent. This specimen measures 95 x 45 x 43 mm, and was collected by Ken and Gail Hennig in 2016.

The above photograph shows fluorescence under short wave UV (254nm). This beautiful 3-color specimen features green fluorescing willemite, blue fluorescent hydrozincite, and calcite provides red fluorescent accents.

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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