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Multi-Colored Sphalerite, Balmat No. 4 Mine, Balmat, New York

Featured here are two specimens consisting of sphalerite/zinc ore from the ZCA Mine No. 4 (now called the Empire State No. 4 Mine), Balmat, St. Lawrence Co., New York. When viewed under visible light, this material is not particularly attractive being a metallic grey colored rock, and gives no indication of its beautiful multi-colored fluorescent response under UV. No two specimens of this material are the same, as each shows a unique, multi-colored, pattern of fluorescence. These specimens typically show their brightest fluorescent response under long wave UV. This material typically shows phosphorescence (afterglow) following exposure to UV.

The photograph above shows specimen #1 under long wave UV (365 nm). This material is sometimes referred to as "birdseye sphalerite" or "birdseye ore" due to the pattern of its multi-colored fluorescence. The size of this specimen is 116 x 68 x 43 mm and it weighs 457 grams.


The gallery images above show specimen #1 under long wave UV (far left), phosphorescence following exposure to long wave UV (second from left), short wave UV (third from left), phosphorescence after short wave UV (fourth from left), and visible light (far right). Click on the individual images for a larger view.

The photograph above shows specimen #2 under long wave UV (365 nm). The size of this specimen is 86 x 78 x 47 mm and it weighs 376 grams.


The gallery images above show specimen #2 under long wave UV (far left), phosphorescence following exposure to long wave UV (second from left), short wave UV (third from left), phosphorescence after short wave UV (fourth from left), and visible light (far right). Click on the individual images for a larger view.

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