The Fluorescent Mineral Society

The Fluorescent Mineral Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member driven organization of folks who love fluorescent minerals. We have members from around the world and include all types of enthusiasts from professional mineralogists to those who love pretty rocks that glow. As a scientific and education based non-profit, our volunteer run organization is tasked with fostering and growing our hobby, while facilitating research to better understand and teach the science behind fluorescent rocks.

About Our Society

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, incorporated in 1993, and was registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2018.

The FMS Community

Local Chapters

As the saying goes: “All fluorescents are local.” Region chapters are the hearts of our organization. Chapters organize local collecting trips, display collections at gem and mineral shows, and get together to discuss the latest technology and share their recent finds. Follow this link to find a chapter in your area; you don’t even need to be an FMS member to participate.


We host a lively group of Fluoresophiles on Facebook.  Our group includes collectors, dealers, scientists, and folks that simply enjoy fluorescent minerals, from all over the world – no need to be a member of the FMS to join.

2022 – Tucson Gem and Mineral Show 

Tucson Gem and Mineral Society (TGMS) will feature fluorescent minerals as its 2021 Show theme.
In line with that announcement, and the 50th anniversary of the FMS, the TGMS Show Committee invited the FMS to take the lead in planning one of the largest displays of fluorescent minerals ever presented.

Fluorescent Minerals

Common Fluorescent Minerals

The term “fluorescence” was derived from the mineral fluorite, where the phenomenon was first observed. Since then, over 500 minerals have been identified to exhibit some form of fluorescence. While only between 10 and 15 percent of all minerals fluoresce, some are much more common than others. Calcite is probably the most common and can fluoresce in a variety of colors. Aragonite, sodalite, scheelite, willemite, opal, scheelite and barite are examples of other fairly common fluorescent minerals. Click the link for a gallery common fluorescent minerals.


Finding your own fluorescent minerals is a wonderful and addictive hobby. There are famous places to find fluorescents such as the Franklin and Sterling Hill Mines in New Jersey. Safely searching abandoned mines and exploring road cuts is another great way to find fluorescents. The FMS is developing an interactive map that highlights great collecting locations and what can be found at each locale. We’re counting on you to help us fill the map with the great places you’ve discovered and what you’ve found.


Enjoying the beauty of fluorescent rocks is one of the reasons we love this hobby. The gallery linked below showcases some of the better and more unique fluorescent specimens we’ve seen. Of course, the photography is outstanding as well. Check back often as the gallery will keep expanding. Enjoy!

The Science of Fluorescents

Fluorescent Minerals

Well over 3600 mineral species have been identified at this time. Over 500 of them are known to fluoresce visibly. Most minerals do not fluoresce when pure. It takes certain impurities in certain quantities to make the mineral fluoresce. Such impurities are called “activators”. Different activators can make the same mineral fluoresce in different colors. Different minerals require different activators, and in different quantities.

The UV Spectrum

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.

FMS Membership & Donations

As a member driven 501(c)3 scientific and education based charitable organization, we rely on public support for our efforts. Currently, we have nearly 400 members from all over the globe and greatly appreciate their support. Come and join the fun!


The UV Waves

The Waves is the bi-monthly newsletter of the FMS. Each issue covers the latest happenings of the FMS and its chapters. Typically, there’ll be an article or two highlighting a collecting trip, a chapter meeting, or an interesting subject regarding a unique mineral or the science of fluorescents.

The Journal of the Fluorescent Mineral Society

The Journal is published on a somewhat annual basis and is typically more technical than The Waves. Articles often go in depth on the specifics of a fluorescent mineral or family of minerals or can cover the latest research into the science of fluorescence, afterglow, tenebrescence and the like.

The Henkel Glossary

The Henkel Glossary of Fluorescent Minerals by Dr. Gerhard Henkel, is the most exhaustive listing of fluorescent minerals known. Edited by Dr. Earl Verbeek and Dr. Peter Modreski, the Henkel Glossary was published as a special issue of Journal of the Fluorescent Mineral Society in 1988 and is currently being updated for a new release shortly.