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Phosphorescent Limestone, Mount Shaul, Israel (yes, Israel).

21.10.2018

 

Israel is not known for it's fluorescent rocks. Or really any rocks at all, as laws apparently prevent collecting samples to sell (with one, notable, non fluorescent exception).

 

On a recent business trip to Israel, I was determined to find something that fluoresced while I was there; unfortunately, I had very little time to collect.  After a long day of meetings and before dinner, our group headed up Mt Shaul to take in the the spectacular views of the Jezreel Valley, Nazareth, and even the distant Jordan River Valley. Spectacular place.

 

Armed with a Convoy (a longwave LED flashlight),  I couldn't resist checking out the limestone rocks strewn about the mountain. Sure enough, some fluoresced a bright pale bluish white. What surprised me though, was the strong, almost lemon yellow afterglow (phosphorescence). So bright, the afterglow could be easily seen in the twilight and the phenomena amazed my friends (they still think I was nuts for hunting rocks, though).

 

Shown here, is a freshly cracked face of the material, around 7 x 6 inches. Images are LW Phos, LW, MW, SW and Natural.

 

Importantly, I think there is a lot of potential for fluorescents in the country. The Henkel Journal lists fluorescent calcite in the Judean Hills outside of Jerusalem, as well as fluorescent calcites in the Ramon "crater" area. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to check out those areas. I did found some beautiful, three color, head sized, limestone rocks during my visit. Unfortunately, they were part of a retaining wall at my hotel--the quarry however, certainly would provide some stunning specimens.

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