Schalenblende, Pomorzany Mine, Olkusz, Poland

Schalenblende is an interesting rock composed of concentric layers of fine grained sphalerite, typically included with intergrown crystals of other sulfide minerals such as wurtzite, galena, and pyrite. In some specimens, the sphalerite is fluorescent under UV, displaying reniform and concentric bands of orange fluorescence. The two specimens featured here are from the Pomorzany Mine, Olkusz, Poland, and provide good examples of fluorescent schalenblende at its best.

Figure 1: Elongate slab of schalenblende from the Pomorzany Mine, Olkusz, Poland. In the above photograph, taken under long wave UV (365 nm), reniform and concentric bands of fine-grained sphalerite show orange fluorescence. The size of this piece is 99 x 62 mm.

Figure 2: Close-up of same specimen as shown in Figure 1, showing intricate banded patterns of orange fluorescence under long wave UV. Horizontal FOV = 5 cm.

Figure 3: Same specimen as shown in Figures 1 and 2 above, seen here under visible light.

Figure 4: Roughly triangular, cut block of schalenblende with polished surfaces, from the Pomorzany Mine, Olkusz, Poland. The reverse side is natural. Shown here under long wave UV (left) and visible light (right). The sphalerite component shows concentric bands of orange fluorescence. The size of this specimen is 66 x 59 x 22 mm. Click on the individual images above for a larger view.

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