Many local rock and gem stores will have UV lights and perhaps a few mineral specimens of interest to fluorescent mineral collectors, but the serious collector may wish to contact the following dealers for a more complete inventory. Dealers are listed in alphabetic order with our active sustaining members first, then other dealer listings. No recommendation is being made here - these are simply offered as leads for the benefit of our members and visitors.
The Fluorescent Mineral Society thanks these Sustaining Members for their generous donations:
|Gerard Barmarin||Lasne, Belgium|
|David Burgess||Newington, CT|
|Chance Fuhlendorf||Fallon, NV|
|Harold Hintz||Randolph, NJ|
|Jim Horste||Woodland Hills, CA|
|John Kashuba||Bend, OR|
|Conrad North||Centennial, CO|
|Bob Trimingham||Livermore, CA|
Please join the FMS if you would like to be an FMS Sustaining Member or contact the webmaster with info about any dealers that specialize in fluorescent minerals and gear of specific interest to our members.
We are grateful for the support of our Sustaining Member Dealers:
514 N Wittenberg Ave
Springfield, OH 45504 USA
|Fluorescent minerals, particularly from Arizona|
|Capistrano Mining Company
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 USA
|Specializing in benitoite mineral specimens and gemstones, Montana Sapphire, and tourmaline mine run gravel/ore bags|
1829 Reisterstown Road #430
Baltimore, MD 21208-7107 USA
|Fluorescent minerals from worldwide locations and KidsRocks for the young collector|
|Endless Circle Lapidary
22950 Roadrunner Lane
PO Box 817
Congress, AZ 85332 USA
|A small "Ma and Pa" operation doing custom sphere cutting of customers' rough material and offering finished spheres from their personal stock|
651 Hydes Creek Rd
Bellingen, NSW 2454 Australia
|Specializing in multicolor fluorescent minerals from the Puttapa zinc mine in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia|
|Higher Orbit Products
PO Box 481
Ardmore, PA 19003 USA
|Supplier of the HOPLITE365 extreme intensity 365nm LED flashlight|
|Jeanne's Rock & Jewelry
5420 Bissonnet, Bellaire Triangle
Houston, TX 77401-3913 USA
|Fluorescent minerals and UV lights|
PO Box 494988
Redding, CA 96049 USA
|Fluorescent and world wide minerals, beginner rock collections, custom jewelry, rare maps and collectibles|
|Mineralogical Research Company
15840 East Alta Vista Way
San Jose, CA 95127-1737 USA
|Fluorescent minerals, books, display materials, UV viewing cabinets, UVP lights & replacement tubes|
PO Box 93276
Phoenix, AZ 85070-3276 USA
|Extensive stock of worldwide fluorescent minerals, UV lights by Way-Too-Cool, UVP and Ultra-Lum. UV goggles, books, and educational kits|
475 Smith Street
Middletown, CT 06457 USA
|UV lighting systems and lapidary equipment (wholesale only)|
Boerne Rock Shop
Boerne, TX 78006 USA
|Fluorescent mineral specimens, spheres, and jewelry. Selling UV lamps and UV LED flashlights. Co-owners of the Purple Passion Mine and Hogan Claim.|
8445 Grange Blvd
Cottage Grove, MN 55016 USA
|Fluorescent minerals, fluorite, and uv lights|
|Rocks In A Hardplace
Modesto, CA 95356 USA
|Fluorescent Mineral Kits, Way Too Cool UV lamps and flashlights, Books, Educational materials and Kids' favorites, active in the Mother Lode Mineral Society|
|Stone Art Traders
Oklahoma City, OK 73107 USA
|Crystals, Rocks, Minerals, Jewelry, Original Artwork, Unique Gifts, and Collectibles|
PO Box 64
Teaneck, NJ 07666 USA
|Author of two photo guidebooks for collectors, with an online gallery of NJ and worldwide specimens for sale.|
|Terlingua Calcite & Cinnabar Co.
PO Box 97
Terlingua, TX 79852-0097 USA
|Fluorescent Terlingua Calcite from the Little 38 mine|
587 Park Ridge Drive
Wayne, PA 19087 USA
|Fluorescent minerals, large display specimens, custom illuminated display stands, eBay auctions|
|UV SYSTEMS, Inc.
16605 127th Ave SE
Renton, WA 98058-5549 USA
|Manufacturer of the SuperBright II series of portable UV lights and TripleBright II high power display light. Supplier of replacement UV bulbs and filters|
PO Box 7523
Round Rock, TX 78683 USA
|Ultraviolet Lighting Lamps, Shortwave - Midwave - Longwave (manufacture), Fluorescent Minerals|
|Viewpoint Laboratories, LLC
PO Box 67
Durham, CT 06422 USA
|Mineral photography equipment|
Additional Sources of Specimens and UV Lights
|3rd Planet Samples
1000 Bourbon St Suite 377
New Orleans, LA 70116 USA
|Fluorescent minerals, UV lights, and supplies|
|Alpha Supply, Inc.
PO Box 2133
Bremerton, WA 98310 USA
|UV lights and various supplies for both jewelers and rockhounds|
|Anderson Fluorescent Minerals
1430 Vue Du Bay Court
San Diego, CA 92109 USA
|Specializing in fluorescent minerals from Franklin and Sterling Hill, NJ. UV lights from UVP Inc. (by appointment only)|
|Arizona Mineral Company
1201 N Main Ave
Tucson, AZ 85705 USA
|UV Lights, minerals, books, and fluorescent collection starter kit|
PO Box 17263
San Diego, CA 92177 USA
|Fluorescent minerals, UV lights and fluorescent screens|
|Bosse Mineralien + Zubehör
D-34131 Kassel, Germany
|Fluorescent minerals, UV lights, plus tools and other collecting equipment|
|Burnie's Rock Shop
901 East Johnson
Madison, WI 53703 USA
|C K Minerals Pty Ltd
PO Box 6026
Vermont South, Vic 3133 Australia
|Calaverite Fine Minerals
20 Richmond Ave
Kitchener, Ontario N2G 1Y9 Canada
|Emphasis on Canadian minerals - online sales, or by appointment|
|California Crystal Connection
2499 Yaffe Dr
San Leandro, CA 94578 USA
|Detailed online gallery of available California minerals|
|Celtic Minerals Pitnacree
Alyth, Perthshire PH118DY Scotland
|Specializes in fluorite from Weardale, County Durham, England. Stocks mineral specimens, cut gemstones and facet rough.|
Houston, TX 77007 USA
|Fluorescent minerals and UV lights|
232 Cokesbury Road
Lebanon, NJ 08833 USA
|Fluorescent mineral educational kits and UV lights. New and used lab equipment, earth science supplies, and mineral samples|
2700 Jones St
Sioux City, IA 51104 USA
|UV Lights and accessories|
|Desert Gems of Namibia
PO Box 3706
Swakopmund, Erongo 9000 Namibia Africa
|Earth Exploration Company
PO Box 711
Squire Boone Village
New Albany, IN 47151 USA
|Fluorescence science experiment kit|
|Earthprints in La Fonda Hotel
100 East San Francisco St
Santa Fe, NM 87501 USA
|Fluorescent mineral exhibit, UV lights, fluorescent minerals, kits and books|
|Ebersole Lapidary Supply, Inc
11417 West Highway 54
Wichita, KS 67209 USA
|El Paso Rock Shop
14573 Bradley Rd
El Paso, TX 79938 USA
|Electron Microscopy Sciences
PO Box 251
Fort Washington, PA 19034 USA
|The Enchanted Rock Garden
6445 Lyndale Avenue South
Richfield, MN 55423 USA
|UV lights and fluorescent minerals|
|Excalibur Mineral Company
1000 North Division Street
Peekskill, NY 10566 USA
|Fluorescent minerals, UV lights, identification and analytical services|
128 Lake Pochung Road
Sussex, NJ 07461 USA
|Franklin fluorescent minerals|
|Fenn's Gems & Minerals
PO Box 16285
Las Cruces, NM 88004 USA
|Fluorescent minerals, Mexican specimens, agates and cutting material|
|Fersman Mineralogical Museum
Leninski Prospect 18-2
117071 Moscow, Russia
2501 Star Grass Circle
Austin, TX 78745 USA
|Crystals and Minerals of Mexico - Bulk calcite, onyx, and fluorite - Fluorescent calcite translucent lamps with internal UV bulb - 25% discount to FMS members|
|Fog Mountain Gems & Jewelry
PO Box 900
Helotes, TX 78023 USA
|Offering fluorescent minerals and lapidary from Texas, New Mexico and Utah, plus gemstones, jewelry, flint-knapping items, artwork, and lapidary rough|
|Franklin Mineral Museum
32 Evans Street
Franklin, NJ 07416 USA
|As the original locality source for Franklin minerals, the museum purchases and sells specimens, carries UV lamps and books, and has a large display of fluorescent minerals from the Franklin mines|
PO Box 237
Woodstock, VT 05091 USA
225 Smokey Street
Fort Collins, CO 80525 USA
|Fluorescent mineral collectionsand kits - wholesale partner gsi-co.com|
|Got Hot Rocks
17110 W Bowie Rd
Spokane, WA 99224 USA
|Ron Dicus mines fluorescent radioactive autunite from the Rat Hole Mine|
|de Gouden Ram
Suikerrui 22 PO Box 345
B-2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
|Mineral specimens, fluorescent minerals, fossils, jewelry, semi-precious stones|
|Granite Gap Mine
PO Box 372
Rodeo, NM 88056 USA
|Fluorescent mineral collecting or underground mine tours by appointment with Jackass Jill|
1800 N Andrews Avenue
Pompano Beach, FL 33069 USA
|Catalog distributor of UV lights, display, and lapidary supplies|
Rutgers Geology Museum
Piscataway , NJ 08852 USA
|Hershhorn Collection now donated to a special exhibit at Rutgers Geology Museum in New Brunswick, NJ|
|Highland Rock and Fossil
PO Box 867
New Brunswick, NJ 08903 USA
4808 Santa Aurelia
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 USA
|House of Gems
670 Kresge Lane
Sparks, NV 89431 USA
B-3050 Oud-Heverlee, Belgium
PO Box 11551
Phoenix, AZ 85061 USA
|Lacy West Supplies
#102 - 480 Smithe St
Vancouver, BC V6B 5E4 Canada
|Canadian suppplier of Raytech products - UV Lamps & Tumblers|
|Living Stone Shop bvba
B-8370 Blankenberge, Belgium
|Minerals, fluorescent minerals, fossils, books and equipment|
Massillon, OH 44647 USA
|Minerals from the Ohio area and around the world, with an emphasis on fluorescence.|
|Lone Prospector Minerals
148 Rowley Street
Gouveneur, NY 13642 USA
|Lou-Bon Gems & Rocks
6341-D Columbia Pike
Bailey's Crossroads, VA 22041 USA
|MacDonald's Mineral Museum
34 Moody Street
Saco, ME 04072 USA
|Fluorescent minerals- open by appointment|
1100 San Mateo NE, Suite 15
Albuquerque, NM 87110 USA
|LW & SW UV lights, fluorescent minerals, kits and books|
|Many Facets Rock Shop
438 New Karner Road
Albany, NY 12205-3810 USA
|Fluorescent minerals, Raytech UV lights, lapidary and jewelry supplies|
|Middle Earth Minerals
PO Box 51521
Sparks, NV 89435-1521 USA
|Quality Minerals From Terra Infractus to You. Fluorescent and fine minerals.|
|Midnight Owl Mining
425 E Greenway Dr
Tempe, AZ 85282-6938 USA
|Eucryptite and other fluorescent minerals from Dick and Mardy's Midnight Owl Mine, wholesale only|
|Mine View Minerals, Inc.
Franklin, NJ USA
|Fluorescent mineral specimens and finished cabachons|
|Minerals & More
24 Brewery Ave
PO Box 83
Bisbee, AZ 85603 USA
PO Box 877
Ridgecrest, CA 93556 USA
|Supplier of rare and common minerals to many schools|
Dowelltown, TN 37059 USA
|Online sales of fluorescent minerals from Greenland and around the world|
|Mountain Mark Trading Ltd
268 SW 31st Street
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33315 USA
|Blue fluorescent calcite from the Dominican Republic|
|I & W Muster GDBR
D-91325 Adelsdorf, Germany
|Nature's Art and Gifts
RP Trade Company
527 Nevada Highway
Boulder City, NV 89005 USA
|Rocks, Minerals, Fossils|
|New Hampshire Crystal Company
PO Box 547
Wilton, NH 03086 USA
|NJMineral & Sons
Andover, NJ 07821 USA
|Fluorescent Minerals from NJ, Canada, and Long Lake Zinc Mine. Ebay seller njminerals|
2409 Graystone Lane
Frederick, MD 21702 USA
|Specializes in Franklin-Ogdensburg (NJ) fluorescent minerals, and specimens of mineralogical interest|
97 Golden Hill Rd
PO Box 1094
Danbury, CT 06813 USA
|Fluorescent minerals and UV lights|
4266 East Trekker Rim Drive
Boise, ID 83716 USA
|Fluorescent minerals, fossils and cutting rough, Seller pebblepeddler on eBay|
943 Sanderson Ave
Scranton, PA 18509 USA
|Pequa Rare Minerals
342 Forest Avenue
Massapequa, NY 11758 USA
|Specializing in uranium minerals.|
|Petrov Rare Minerals
|Purple Passion Company LLC
PO Box 2351
Boerne, TX 78006 USA
|Distributor of filtered UV LED flashlights and family partners in the Purple Passion Mine|
|Rheinisches Mineralien-Kontor GmbH
Fraunhofer Str 7
53121 Bonn, Germany
|Fluorescent minerals and UV lights|
|Risk Reactor Luminous Supplies
877 Main Street
Dallas, OR 97338 USA
|Specializing in phosphorescent powders and fluorescent dyes|
PO Box 40
Riviera, TX 78379-0040 USA
PO Box 37
South Acworth, NH 03607 USA
PO Box 5964
Marlborough , MA 01752 USA
|UV lights and lapidary supplies|
|RockHounds RockShop Taipei
|Fluorescent minerals and UV lights|
|Rockman Tom Boyer
120 Washington Ave
Mantua, NJ 08051 USA
|Rockman Joe Vasichko
1111 Allen Dr
Wooster, OH 44691 USA
|Fluorescent and Ohio minerals|
|Rocko Minerals & Jewelry
Box 3A, Route 3
Margaretville, NY 12455 USA
|Fluorescent minerals and jewelry|
|Ruven and Son
|kits, longwave flashlights, and fluorescent minerals and books|
|Shannon Luminous Materials
304-A North Townsend St.
Santa Ana, CA 92703 USA
|Longwave UV lights, filters, and fluorescent & phosphorescent paints|
PO Box 483
Westbury, NY 11590 USA
|UV Lamps (fixed & portable), display fixtures, viewing cabinets and UV photographic systems|
Mainzer Strasse 24
D-55743 Idar-Oberstein, Germany
|Sterling Hill Mining Museum
30 Plant Street
Ogdensburg, NJ 07439-1126 USA
|Zinc mine famous for fluorescent minerals. Museum sells minerals and UV lights. Open daily from April through November and weekends during December >and March - Now hosts the Thomas S. Warren Museum of Fluorescence|
Fluorescent Minerals from China
Shop 008, HongQiao Antique Tea Town
3088 Yan An Xi Road
Shanghai, 201103 China
|Chinese fluorescent minerals collector, dealer and seller SusanStones on eBay. Operated by Zhang, Li (Susan) and Chen, Xiao Jun (John)|
4779 Sunvalley Drive
Loveland, CO 80538 USA
|Trading Post Rock Shop
13646 S. Hwy 16
Rapid City, SD 57701 USA
|Fluorescent minerals and fossils from the South Dakota Badlands|
|Trinity Mineral Company
PO Box 2182
Weaverville, CA 96093 USA
|Twin Crystal Rock Shop
PO Box 1153
Saranac Lake, NY 12983 USA
|Tysons' Fine Minerals
Edmonton, Alberta T5N 2A4 Canada
|Fluorescent specimens, eggs & spheres. Specializing in Canadian minerals, with specimens from many other countries.|
1480 N. Claremont Blvd
Claremont, CA 91711 USA
|UV lights and UV cabinets|
|UltraViolet Lighting Products
105-150 Crowfoot Crescent NW
Calgary, Alberta T3G 3T2 Canada
|Wholesale and custom UV lamp manufacturer UVLP|
PO box 851
Sandia Park, NM 87047 USA
|Fluorescent uranium minerals, UV LED flashlights (Nova-UV has 108 LEDs), various kits and plans|
97 Church Street
PO Box 224
Lopez, PA 18628 USA
|Presentations, Fluorescent minerals and UV lights, Rebuild and repair of most brands of lights|
2066 W 11th Street
Upland, CA 91786 USA
|Major manufacturer of ultraviolet lamps and UV equipment for many applications|
|Veronica Matthews Minerals
PO Box 588
Westbrook, CT 06498 USA
|Way Too Cool
4608 W Bluefield Avenue
Glendale, AZ 85308 USA
|Maker of Way-Too-Cool high power UV display lamps. Original owner of the Purple Passion Mine sourcing multicolor fluorescent calcite, willemite, fluorite.|
|Willis' Earth Treasures
309 Prospect Street
Stewartsville, NJ 08886 USA
|Fluorescent minerals and UV lights|
|Wright's Rock Shop
3612 Albert Pike
Hot Springs, AR 71913 USA
The Fluorescent Mineral Society publishes a UV Waves newsletter. We normally send out six issues per year to our members (dependent on volunteerism.) The UV Waves has historically been printed in black and white and delivered by postal mail, but color images have been incorporated in online versions. Many members prefer to receive these eWaves newsletters by email, and also take advantage of lower annual dues by going paperless.
The FMS maintains an archive of UV Waves newsletters (member login required). Our online archive has recently expanded to include scanned versions of all pre-computing era issues, going back to our founding days when they were typewritten and mimeographed. Members are invited to download this large trove of information for searching and browsing on their home computers.
It's easy to join the FMS - just fill in the data below to start the process. We will mail out a full application with details on payment by mail. For quicker signup, fill out this form and also send us an online dues payment. We can then send your personalized new member kit.
To many of us, Dr. Rod Burroughs was the face and voice of the Fluorescent Mineral Society. Rod chaired the meetings, answered correspondence, replied to inquiries, and took care of new members. Rod joined the FMS in March of 1983 and by February of 1984 he was Society Treasurer. Rod became President of the FMS in 1986 when Jessie Chittenden stepped down. He remained president until 2006, when he decided “Twenty years is enough. It’s someone else’s turn.” Rod was president of the FMS for more than half of its existence He continued to serve the FMS even after resigning as president. He created the title of Executive Secretary, and in that capacity continued to handle all of the Society mail, take care of membership issues, and the many little details it takes to keep the FMS functioning.
During Rod’s long tenure as president, the FMS grew to a peak of over 500 members. Under his leadership, in 1996, for its twenty-fifth anniversary, the Society presented the largest exhibit of fluorescent minerals ever assembled at the Tucson Gem and Mineral show. Keeping up with the times, the FMS developed a website, and in 2004 the Society began publishing its Journal in color.
Welcome! (No FMS login is needed to make a payment.)
The FMS website is unexpectedly being migrated to a new server.
Member logins are temporarily disabled to preserve the integrity of our content during the transition.
This will hopefully not impact the visiblility of the existing pages, but the site may go offline completely at any moment as work progresses.
Please be patient and check back later to see when member logins are enabled again.
This is a collaborative FMS help page.
Please read the Drupal end-user guide as a starting point for new members.
The FMS website is now running Drupal, an open source web content management system (CMS). This provides us the flexibility to have a full featured website that can be managed by our volunteer staff. In the spirit of Drupal's documentation, we invite our members to participate in improving this site by editing this page, much like a Wiki. There may be a learning curve for working with this dynamic content, as traditional webmaster tools for editing static web pages don't apply here.
Members are welcome to post their own "blog" pages, forum messages, and comments on other posts. All of these activities use a common editor that allows formatting much like a word processor, and the inclusion of images. The editor can also be switched into a "plain text" mode if none of these features are desired, or if the author wants to fine-tune the underlying HTML coding.
Where to post? Blog postings are (currently) only seen by logged-in members. Our blogs are more useful for personal publishing and prototyping public articles than for interactive discussions.
Postings to the Public forums are highly visible, and can be subscribed to by RSS feed if your browser can handle that. The member forums are also a better place to invite comments, as it is easier to see the chronology of the messages.
Ultraviolet lights are used for collecting and for illuminating displays of fluorescent specimens. They generally consist of a power supply, UV bulb, mechanical enclosure, and a UV filter. Bulbs and filters are selected for best operation in a specific portion of the UV spectrum. Power supplies are designed to operate from house current and/or from a battery pack. Specifications vary widely among different manufacturers.
The most common UV bulbs are similar in operation to fluorescent bulbs used in office lighting systems. They contain a low pressure mercury vapor. Striking an electric arc through the bulb produces light which is mostly shortwave (SW UVC) ultraviolet, but includes some middlewave (MW UVB) UV, longwave (LW UVA) UV and visible light.
Visible light is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Other forms of electromagnetic radiation are like light in many ways; they are just at different wavelengths that the human eye cannot see. Since wavelength is what makes the difference between colors in visible light, you might say other wavelengths of electromagnetic radiations are "invisible colors of light". Radio, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays are all forms of electromagnetic radiation.
Fluorescence is luminescence caused by electromagnetic radiation. Visible light can cause luminescence; shine a pure violet light at a ruby, and it will glow red, as it has absorbed the violet light energy and used it to create red light. But light-induced luminescence is uncommon and hard to see. Radio and infrared supply too little energy concentration to cause visible luminescence. X-rays cause many dramatic luminescences, but X-ray sources are too expensive, not portable enough, and require too much shielding and attention to safety for ordinary use.
The form of electromagnetic radiation that is most easily used to observe fluorescence is ultraviolet radiation, as generated by a "black light" or UV lights.
by Axel Emmermann
2640 Mortsel BELGIUM
Welcome, FMS members, to our website. Additional content will be revealed once you have successfully logged in.
If you are a member and have never logged in, please register to create a website account. Each member needs to do this only once. It is necessary to ensure that member access passwords are private, encrypted, and managed via your current email address.
If you are a member and registered user, but you cannot access the archives or member forums, your membership is non-current. Please renew your membership using the Payments link.
Note that since 2009 our site uses a different password scheme that is not associated with your membership card. The older login page had a password unique to your FMS member number (but no email address). The new site security allows you to create a "user name" of your choice, confirmed by your email address, so you can manage your own account details online. Administrators no longer know member passwords, and members reset a lost password themselves by email.
An older password issued with your membership card will not work!
To access the members-only content on the new site, there is a one-time registration to create a new account.
The option to request a temporary password only works if you have already registered your email address and username with this new site.
If you have already created your own user name and received a password in this new setup, please proceed to log in.
To enjoy full privileges and a receive an FMS member number, registrants are invited to join our society.
There's more to the FMS website than meets the public eye!
We invite you to join the FMS and learn more about the fascinating world of fluorescence.
FMS members receive numerous publications, participate in forum discussions, and have access to a repository of special interest to the serious fluorescent mineral collector.
Your FMS membership includes:
|Fees for Membership:||Members in USA||Outside USA|
|Total for First Year||$25||US$30|
With UV Waves newsletters delivered online only, all regular dues are reduced to $18/year.
The Henkel Glossary of Fluorescent Minerals by Dr. Gerhard Henkel, Journal of the Fluorescent Mineral Society, volume 15 (1988-9), is the most exhaustive listing of fluorescent minerals known. In 91 pages, it lists 566 mineral species and 59 related substances, plus entries for numerous variety, group, and alternate names. For each substance, it gives the name, chemical formula (or composition), longwave UV fluorescence colors, shortwave UV fluorescence colors, and the number of localities reported from.
The Henkel Glossary is printed in small-book format for portability and is generally patterned after Michael Fleischer's 'Glossary of Mineral Species'.
FMS - Henkel Glossary
PO Box 572694
Tarzana CA 91357, USA
An EXCEL Spreadsheet version of the Henkel Glossary is available to members in the Henkel section of the FMS Archive. With this spreadsheet you can search, sort and filter the data any way you like.
NOTE: This spreadsheet is only available to members who are logged in to the web site.
Numerous books exist on mineral collecting, but only a relative few are authoritative on the subject of fluorescence. Included here are selected references that are highly regarded by members of the FMS.
References are divided into the following categories:
Index of FMS Journal Articles
1972 - Volume 1
1973 - Volume 2
1974 - Volume 3
For effective display of fluorescent minerals, you will need darkness and a nonfluorescent setting.
For showing them at home, darkness is easily obtained. But gem & mineral shows and such generally do not allow you to shut off the lights. Short of setting up a tent in the exhibit hall, or getting space in an adjoining room where lights can be turned off, you need a mostly opaque box with some sort of viewing port. It helps the exhibit if the viewer can see the minerals under shortwave UV, longwave UV, and visible light in turn. This can be done with a timer that turns on first one then another lamp, or by providing switches or buttons for the viewer to select lamps with.
For public or prolonged displays, the person viewing the display should be protected from shortwave UV. Ordinary types of glass will stop shortwave UV almost completely, so placing glass between specimen and viewer (not between specimen and lamp!) should be sufficient. Take notice of which side of the glass is fluorescent and face it away from the UV light when shortwave UV is used.
A nonfluorescent background (including labels) is also needed to avoid 'competition' for the mineral fluorescence. Bleached or brightly colored fabrics and papers, many plastics, and even some woods will fluoresce. Black things (including minerals) rarely fluoresce; dull black fabric or paper, or wood painted dull black will generally be best. Black is also good at minimizing the effects of any stray visible light that leaks in.
Light is a form of energy. To create light, another form of energy must be supplied. There are two common ways for this to occur, incandescence and luminescence.
Incandescence is light from heat energy. If you heat something to a high enough temperature, it will begin to glow. When an electric stove's heater or metal in a flame begin to glow "red hot", that is incandescence. When the tungsten filament of an ordinary incandescent light bulb is heated still hotter, it glows brightly "white hot" by the same means. The sun and stars glow by incandescence.
Luminescence is "cold light" that can be emitted at normal and lower temperatures. In luminescence, some energy source kicks an electron of an atom out of its lowest energy "ground" state into a higher energy "excited" state; then the electron returns the energy in the form of light so it can fall back to its "ground" state. With few exceptions, the excitation energy is always greater than the energy (wavelength, color) of the emitted light.
Well over 3600 mineral species have been identified at this time. Something over 500 of them are known to fluoresce visibly in some specimens. FMS members have assembled a list of web sites showing examples of fluorescent minerals and a database of locales of fluorescent minerals.
The FMS annually (or biennially) publishes the Journal of the Fluorescent Mineral Society, a technical publication.
In 1993 we also published our initial FMS Advertising Supplement with ads from UV light manufacturers and dealers in fluorescent specimens.
The FMS promotes displays of fluorescent minerals, and sponsors projects related to ultraviolet lights and fluorescent minerals. A past accomplishment of the FMS was organizing the 76-case fluorescent mineral displays at the 1996 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show.
The results of one of our research activities was published in the 1988 proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. It is titled "Solarization of Short-Wave Ultraviolet-Transmitting, Visible-Absorbing Filters", by Don Newsome.
The Henkel Glossary of Fluorescent Minerals, edited by Dr. Earl Verbeek and Dr. Peter Modreski, was another project. It was published as a 1988-89 special issue of the Journal of the Fluorescent Mineral Society. All of the original 1000 copies have been distributed, so it has recently been reprinted.
Continuing research projects are underway to develop a standard for long wave and medium wave UV tubes, and a Fluorescent Color Standard for comparing fluorescent specimens.
The Fluorescent Mineral Society is an international organization of professional mineralogists, gemologists, amateur collectors, and others who study and collect fluorescent minerals. The society was founded in 1971 and incorporated in 1993. The FMS is managed and staffed entirely by volunteers from our worldwide membership of around 500.
The mission of the Fluorescent Mineral Society is to bring together people who are interested in fluorescent minerals, and to introduce the public to the hobby of fluorescent mineral collecting. This mission is pursued by promoting fellowship and educational activities, and supporting research that increases basic knowledge of fluorescence and fluorescent minerals.
We share knowledge and experience in collecting, identifying, and displaying minerals which exhibit various forms of luminescence including fluorescence, phosphorescence, triboluminescence, and thermoluminescence.
We organize seminars, research projects, displays at events, listings of dealers and permanent exhibits, exchanges of luminescent minerals, and we disseminate information about luminescent minerals. A printable FMS Fact Sheet is available for distribution at mineral shows and events.