Hardystonite found in California

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The mineral species Hardystonite, one of the fluorescent minerals that made Franklin famous worldwide as a mineral locality, has been found in California.

The Desert View Mine, in California’s San Bernardino mountain region, has produced a mineral specimen recently confirmed as Hardystonite. The discovery was reported in the Spring 2014 issue of The Picking Table, the journal of the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society.

The specimen from California underwent multiple X-ray and chemical analyses, and its identification as Hardystonite was conclusive. That means Hardystonite, after 115 years, has lost its status as a mineral unique to Franklin

“That’s sad news for fans of Franklin minerals,” said Lee Lowell, Collections Manager at the Franklin Mineral Museum. “But it’s exciting for mineral science.”

First found at the Franklin Mine in 1898, Hardystonite was named in honor of Hardyston Township, which at the time included the unincorporated village of Franklin Furnace, where the New Jersey Zinc Company operated its world-renowned zinc mine. Hardystonite was later found to glow a deep violet-blue under ultraviolet light, and it became quite popular among collectors of fluorescent minerals. Since the 1960s, Franklin has been known as “The Fluorescent Mineral Capital of the World” due to the more than 80 different fluorescent mineral species found there.

Although Hardystonite has been taken off Franklin’s unique mineral list, it remains a Franklin classic. Its attractive blue fluorescence can be seen at the Franklin Mineral Museum, which houses the world’s largest fluorescent mineral exhibit. The museum is open to the public every day from April to November.

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