Zunyite, an Uncommon Fluorescent Beauty


Zunyite is an uncommon aluminum sorosilicate mineral that shows a soft, cherry red fluorescent response under short wave UV.  Zunyite gets its name from the type location that it was first discovered at- The Zuni mine in San Juan County, Colorado.  The specimen shown here features hundreds of small fluorescent zunyite crystals in a matrix of mostly non-fluorescent quartz.  This example is from a classic location for this material- the Big Bertha mine in La Paz County, Arizona.

Above:  Small octahedral zunyite crystals show deep red fluorescence under short wave UV (254nm).  There are also grains of a second, unidentified fluorescent mineral present, that shows a bright orange response.


Same specimen shown under visible light.  Brown zunyite crystals in a matrix on light-colored quartz.  The size of this specimen is 55 x 36 x 35 mm, and it weighs 73 grams.

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