Horn Silver Mine

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

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.

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HS-216 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Shortwave & Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 2.5 x 2 x 1.5-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent. Also contains rare fluorescent red shortwave calcite.
Price: $150.00 SOLD

HS-215

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Smithsonite, Calcite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4 x 2 x 1.5-inches
Notes: Rare find from this mine, an interesting blend of smithsonite and calcite.
Price: $175.00

HS-214 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 2.5 x 2 x 1-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $150.00 SOLD

HS-213 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3 x 2 x 1-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $150.00 SOLD

HS-212 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4.5 x 3 x 2-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $450.00 SOLD

HS-211 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 2.5 x 1.5 x 1-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $85.00 SOLD

HS-210

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4.5 x 3.5 x 3-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $550.00

HS-209

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Smithsonite, Calcite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3 x 2 x 1-inches
Notes: Rare find from this mine, an interesting blend of smithsonite and calcite.
Price: $150.00

HS-208

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 2 x 2 x 1.5-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $125.00

HS-207 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 2.5 x 1.75 x .5-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $65.00 SOLD

HS-206 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3.5 x 2.25 x 1.25-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $200.00 SOLD

HS-205

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 6 x 5 x 3-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $800.00

HS-204 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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: $250.00 SOLD

HS-203 SOLD

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Smithsonite, Calcite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 4.5 x 3 x 1.25-inches
Notes: Rare find from this mine, an interesting blend of smithsonite and calcite.
Price: $250.00 SOLD

HS-202 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3 x 2.5 x 2-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $250.00 SOLD

HS-201 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3.5 x 2.5 x 1.25-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $200.00 SOLD

HS-200

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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: $400.00

HS-199 SOLD

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Smithsonite, Calcite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3.5 x 3 x 2.5-inches
Notes: Rare find from this mine, an interesting blend of smithsonite and calcite.
Price: $250.00 SOLD

HS-198 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3 x 2 x 1.25-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $300.00 SOLD

HS-197 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 2 x 2.5 x 1.5-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $150.00 SOLD

HS-196 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Shortwave & Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3 x 2 x 1.5-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent. Also contains rare fluorescent red shortwave calcite.
Price: $300.00 SOLD

HS-195

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 5 x 2 x 2-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $450.00

HS-194 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 6.5 x 3.5 x 3-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $800.00 SOLD

HS-193 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 5 x 3 x 2.5-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $600.00 SOLD

HS-192 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 3 x 2.5 x 2-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $200.00 SOLD

HS-191 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Name & Location: Sphalerite, Horn Silver Mine, San Francisco Mountains, Beaver County, Utah.
Size: 2 x 2 x 1.5-inches
Notes: Highly phosphorescent and triboluminescent.
Price: $100.00 SOLD

HS-190 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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: $250.00 SOLD

HS-189 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Shortwave & Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-188 SOLD

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-187

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-186 SOLD

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-185

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-184 SOLD

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-183

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-182 SOLD

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-181 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-180

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-179 SOLD

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-178 SOLD

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-177

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-176 SOLD

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-175

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

Shortwave & Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-174 SOLD

White Light

Shortwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-173 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-172 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-170 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-163 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-157 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-154

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-153

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-151

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-141 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-140 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-139 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-135

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-130

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-129

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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

HS-119 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-118 SOLD

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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 SOLD

HS-114

White Light

Longwave Ultraviolet

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