Fluorescent Mineral Specimens Under Shortwave and Longwave Ultraviolet Light

Polman Minerals
Fine Fluorescent Mineral Specimens
and Ultraviolet Lamps

Horn Silver Mine Showcase

 

This Showcase contains specimens from the Horn Silver Mine in Utah.  The Horn Silver Mine is located in the San Francisco Mountains, in Beaver County, Utah, and was claimed in 1875.  By 1879 the Horn Silver Mine was the richest silver mine in the world (currently working at the time).  In the late 1800’s the overzealous mine owners were working the mine faster than it was being adequately shored.  As a result, a very large section of the mine collapsed.  The cave-in closed the main shaft, and collapsed tunnels down to the seventh level.  Unfortunately, this shut off the richest part of the mine.  Luckily, the cave-in happened between shifts, when most of the miners were out of the mine.  The concussion of the collapse knocked several miners off their feet.  The dust created during the cave-in was so bad, that the miners could not light their carbide lamps, and had to crawl out of the mine.  Miraculously, there were no deaths from this massive cave in.

After the mine collapse, a new shaft had to be driven in order to access the mine.  The new shaft was called the King David, and was driven approximately 200 feet higher in elevation than the first shaft.  The King David shaft was sunk to a depth of 850 feet below ground surface, which matched the depth of the Horn Silver Mine at 650 feet below ground surface.  The new shaft allowed mining to continue until the 1950s.  The total depth of the Horn Silver Mine was 1,600 feet below ground surface. 

In 1997/98 Mr. Ethan Bunker and two of his friends began a 3-4 year adventure exploring and collecting mineral specimens in the Horn Silver Mine.  Ethan was crucial to getting this adventure started, as he had experience in high angle rescue and rappelling.  Although there was a complex ladder system in place in the mine, some of the landings were gone or in unsafe condition (a total of 67 landings were present in the mine).  Ethan rappelled down the shaft with several 2 x 12’s attached to him, and began the task of repairing the damaged or missing landings.  After completing the landing repair work, the three men were ready to explore the mine.   Over the next 3-4 years, and as many as 50 trips in the mine, the three men collected some of the most amazing fluorescent specimens of sphalerite ever seen.  All of the specimens collected were hauled by back pack to the 650 foot level, and then taken to the King David shaft and carried up the 850 foot shaft. 

The sphalerite from the Horn Silver Mine is extremely unique in that it will fluoresce in a multitude of colors.  My guess is that the complex solid state chemistry of this deposit allowed for several activators, including manganese and copper, as well as any required co-activators.  The sphalerite from the Horn Silver Mine can fluoresce orange, yellow/orange, peach, salmon, teal, sky blue, pink, green, tan and lavender.  In some cases, all the colors mentioned can be seen in one specimen!! 

Over the years exploring and collecting in the Horn Silver Mine, Ethan Bunker put together the largest collection of fluorescent sphalerite from this locality.  In 2000 he donated many specimens to the Thomas S. Warren Museum at Sterling Hill for people to enjoy.  The donation was very much appreciated.  In June of 2014 Ethan contacted Polman Minerals to discuss selling his amazing collection.  I was honored that Ethan chose Polman Minerals as the dealer to purchase and distribute this great collection.  I promised Ethan that a variety of specimens would remain in the George V. Polman Collection, so that many people would be able to see just how beautiful the specimens from the Horn Silver Mine can be.  I also promised that the story of how these specimens were acquired would also be told.  I recently found out from Ethan that the State of Utah has sealed the King David shaft, and access to the mine is no longer possible.

Based on my observation, I have put the sphalerite from the Horn Silver Mine into three categories or types.  The first type consists of a limestone breccia, with sphalerite shot through a non-fluorescent limestone matrix.  These specimens seem to contain the most fluorescent color, with the sphalerite almost in a polka dot or spotty pattern.  The second type is where the sphalerite is much finer grained.  These specimens also may contain several fluorescent colors (often intermixed), but contain more solid coverage and are not spotty like the brecciated specimens.  The third type is where the sphalerite fluoresces in the typical bright orange color, with coverage as much as 100%.  These specimens were not quite as numerous in the collection as the others.  In a very small percentage of the specimens, calcite is present which fluoresces red.  This calcite is most likely secondary, and deposited later within the limestone breccia fractures.  The red fluorescence is best under shortwave ultraviolet, and adds yet another fluorescent color to the mix.  A very small amount of fluorescent pink and red smithsonite was also found in the mine, on one of the upper levels.  The smithsonite is intermixed with calcite in some specimens.

All the sphalerite, no matter what the fluorescent color, is highly phosphorescent after exposure to longwave ultraviolet light.  The sphalerite is also highly triboluminescent as well.  In some cases, light can be generated by just scratching the specimens with a finger nail!

King David Shaft at the Horn Silver Mine
Ethan Bunker and George V. Polman

King David Shaft at the Horn Silver Mine

Ethan Bunker and George V. Polman

 

 

 

 

To order a specimen from this Showcase, just email or call with the number you wish to purchase.    When a specimen is sold it will be marked SOLD in red.  When new specimens are posted, sold specimens will be deleted, and new specimens added in their place.

 

 

For quick email access to purchase a specimen, you may click here.

White Light     

Longwave Ultraviolet   

HS-173w

HS-173L

 

 

Number: HS-173 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 6 x 3 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $450.00 

 

 

White Light  SOLD 

Longwave Ultraviolet  SOLD

HS-157w

HS-157L

 

 

Number: HS-157 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 3 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $450.00  SOLD 

 

 

White Light  SOLD 

Shortwave Ultraviolet  SOLD    

HS-174w

HS-174s

 

 

Number: HS-174 
Name & Location: Smithsonite, Calcite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 5.5 x 3.5 x 2.5-inches    Notes:
Rare find from this mine, an interesting blend of smithsonite and calcite.
Price:  $250.00  SOLD 

 

 

White Light 

Longwave Ultraviolet 

HS-135w

HS-135L

 

 

Number: HS-135 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 3 x 2-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $450.00 

 

 

White Light 

Longwave Ultraviolet

HS-175w

HS-175L

 

 

Longwave & Shortwave Ultraviolet

 

HS-175Ls

 

 

 

Number: HS-175 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 2.5 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.  Also contains rare fluorescent red shortwave calcite.
Price:  $250.00 

 

 

White Light  

Shortwave Ultraviolet    

HS-176w

HS-176s

 

 

Number: HS-176 
Name & Location: Smithsonite, Calcite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 2 x 1.25-inches    Notes:
Rare find from this mine, an interesting blend of smithsonite and calcite.
Price:  $175.00  

 

 

White Light   

Longwave Ultraviolet  

HS-177w

HS-177L

 

 

Number: HS-177 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 3 x 2-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $450.00 

 

 

White Light  

Longwave Ultraviolet  

HS-139w

HS-139L

 

 

Number: HS-139 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3 x 3 x 2-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $450.00  

 

 

White Light 

Longwave Ultraviolet 

HS-140w

HS-140L

 

 

Number: HS-140 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 5.5 x 3 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $500.00 

 

 

White Light  

Longwave Ultraviolet  

HS-141w

HS-141L

 

 

Number: HS-141 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 5.5 x 3 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $700.00   

 

 

White Light    

Shortwave Ultraviolet    

HS-178w

HS-178s

 

 

Number: HS-178 
Name & Location: Smithsonite, Calcite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4.5 x 4 x 2.5-inches    Notes:
Rare find from this mine, an interesting blend of smithsonite and calcite.  Specimen three-sided pyramid shaped.
Price:  $250.00  

 

 

White Light  SOLD  

Longwave Ultraviolet  SOLD  

HS-179w

HS-179L

 

 

Shortwave Ultraviolet  SOLD   

 

HS-179s

 

 

 

Number: HS-179 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 3 x 2.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.  Also contains rare fluorescent red shortwave calcite.
Price:  $400.00  SOLD 

 

 

White Light  

Longwave Ultraviolet  

HS-163w

HS-163L

 

 

Number: HS-163 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 2.5 x 2-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $500.00

 

 

White Light  

Longwave Ultraviolet 

HS-180w

HS-180L

 

 

Number: HS-180 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3 x 2.5 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $300.00  

 

 

White Light    

Longwave Ultraviolet   

HS-181w

HS-181L

 

 

Number: HS-181 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3.5 x 1.75 x 1-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $250.00   

 

 

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

HS-114w

HS-114L

 

 

Number: HS-114 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 8 x 6.5 x 2-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $800.00

 

 

White Light  

Shortwave Ultraviolet  

HS-182w

HS-182s

 

 

Number: HS-182 
Name & Location: Smithsonite, Calcite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 3.5 x 2-inches    Notes:
Rare find from this mine, an interesting blend of smithsonite and calcite. 
Price:  $200.00  

 

 

White Light   

Longwave Ultraviolet   

HS-183w

HS-183L

 

 

Number: HS-183 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3.5 x 4 x 2.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $550.00  

 

 

White Light     

Shortwave Ultraviolet      

HS-184w

HS-184s

 

 

Number: HS-184 
Name & Location: Smithsonite, Calcite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 5.5 x 4 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Rare find from this mine, an interesting blend of smithsonite and calcite. 
Price:  $250.00  

 

 

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

HS-118w

HS-118L

 

 

Number: HS-118 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 6 x 4 x 3-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $800.00

 

 

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

HS-119w

HS-119L

 

 

Number: HS-119 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4.5 x 4.5 x 2-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $600.00

 

 

White Light  

Longwave Ultraviolet 

HS-185w

HS-185L

 

 

Number: HS-185 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3.5 x 3 x 2-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $400.00  

 

 

White Light  

Shortwave Ultraviolet   

HS-186w

HS-186s

 

 

Number: HS-186 
Name & Location: Smithsonite, Calcite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3.5 x 2.5 x 2-inches    Notes:
Rare find from this mine, an interesting blend of smithsonite and calcite. 
Price:  $200.00  

 

 

White Light   

Longwave Ultraviolet    

HS-170w

HS-170L

 

 

Number: HS-170 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 2.5 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $350.00   

 

 

White Light 

Longwave Ultraviolet

HS-151w

HS-151L

 

 

Number: HS-151 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3 x 3.5 x 2-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent. 
Price:  $450.00 

 

 

White Light  

Longwave Ultraviolet    

HS-187w

HS-187L

 

 

Number: HS-187 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 5 x 5.5 x 2-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $750.00 

 

 

White Light 

Longwave Ultraviolet 

HS-153w

HS-153L

 

 

Number: HS-153 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 2 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $350.00 

 

 

White Light 

Longwave Ultraviolet 

HS-154w

HS-154L

 

 

Number: HS-154 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 5.5 x 2 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $400.00 

 

 

White Light  

Longwave Ultraviolet 

HS-172w

HS-172L

 

 

Number: HS-172 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3 x 3 x 2-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent. 
Price:  $400.00 

 

 

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

HS-129w

HS-129L

 

 

Number: HS-129 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 6 x 4 x 2.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $500.00

 

 

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

HS-130w

HS-130L

 

 

Number: HS-130 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3.5 x 3.5 x 2-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price:  $350.00

 

 

White Light  SOLD

Shortwave Ultraviolet  SOLD

HS-188w

HS-188s

 

 

Number: HS-188 
Name & Location: Smithsonite, Calcite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 3 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Rare find from this mine, an interesting blend of smithsonite and calcite. 
Price:  $250.00  SOLD  

 

 

White Light  SOLD

Longwave Ultraviolet  SOLD

HS-189w

HS-189L

 

 

Longwave & Shortwave Ultraviolet  SOLD

 

HS-189Ls

 

 

 

Number: HS-189 
Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4.5 x 2.5 x 1.5-inches    Notes:
Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.  Also contains rare fluorescent red shortwave calcite.
Price:  $450.00  SOLD 

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