Scheelite, Ophir Hill Mine, Tooele County, Utah

Brightly fluorescent, submillimeter, octahedral crystals of scheelite on matrix; from the Ophir Hill Mine, Tooele, Utah. This specimen is roughly palm-sized (10.5 x 10.5 x 6.5 cm), and weighs 302 grams. The scheelite from this location is often overgrown by calcite, requiring etching/dissolution of the calcite using HCl to expose the underlying scheelite octahedrons.


Located in the Oquirrh (pronounced like “ochre”) Mountains, southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, the Ophir Hill Mine operated between 1870 and 1972, and produced lead, zinc, silver, copper, manganese, and tungsten.

As shown in the above photograph, the scheelite octahedrons show a bright blue-white fluorescent response under short wave UV (254 nm).

Under mid wave UV (302 nm), the scheelite shows an unusual orange fluorescent response.

Visible light photograph of same specimen. Druse of small, submillimeter, tan-colored, scheelite octahedrons on a grey matrix.



Close-up view of same specimen showing detail of the sub-millimeter scheelite octahedrons under short wave UV (left), mid wave UV (center), and visible light (right). Click on the above images for a larger view.

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