Collection: Fluorescent Minerals


Fluorescent minerals are probably one of the most interesting and colourful categories of minerals in the world. Some mineral species when exposed to differing wavelengths of ultraviolet light will glow quite brightly neon colours. The mechanism behind this is quite simple: When exposed to ultraviolet light, electrons in the atom of the mineral will become excited and jump to a higher orbital. After these electrons lose that energy they drop back down into their original orbital emitting a photon at a longer wavelength aka: Visible light.

Some species can even continue to glow after the light source has been turned off in what is known as phosphorescence.

To make these minerals glow, you’re going to need Ultraviolet light. There are three wavelengths you will find for lights which are as follows:

Longwave: 315-400nm UVA

Midwave: 280nm-315nm UVB

Shortwave: 100-280nm UVC

You can easily find longwave flashlights on Amazon now. These will typically be either 395nm or 365nm with an added filter. The filter blocks out visible light being emitted by the LED and cuts back on that purple glow that is common with unfiltered flashlights. A good number of minerals will fluoresce under longwave light.

Midwave lights have been around for a while, but are becoming more common now that there are LEDs available. Several sellers are offering mid-wave flashlights at approx. the 310nm wavelength. Some minerals I never thought would glow too well light up under mid-wave wavelengths

Shortwave lights are the undisputed king of the mineral world. Some of the most beautiful specimens react quite brightly to shortwave wavelengths. Shortwave LED’s have become more available over the last few years, allowing you to get a shortwave flashlight instead of lugging around a big, fluorescent tube monster that was really your only choice up to a few years ago.

When using any Ultraviolet light, you should wear eye & skin protection. While all wavelengths of UV light can and will cause burns to your eyes and skin over prolonged exposure, UVB & UVC are the most damaging wavelengths. Just use common sense, and don’t look directly into or shine the lights on yourself or any other living creature.

If you’re in the market for UV lights to get into the world of fluorescent mineral collecting, then I can’t recommend Engenious Designs enough.

(I have no relation or partnership with them. I just really, really like their lights!)