12 rocks and minerals that glow under UV light and blacklight (2023)

As an Amazon member, I earn on qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

Minerals and rocks that glow under ultraviolet light are generally considered miraculous. Minerals and rocks can completely change color when exposed to ultraviolet light or black light. This phenomenon is amplified by the observed colors. The new colors are so bright and vibrant that it's hard to tell they're natural. But this is.

The most common minerals and rocks that glow under ultraviolet light are fluorite, calcite, aragonite, opal, apatite, chalcedony, corundum (ruby and sapphire), scheelite, selenite, smithsonite, sphalerite, sodalite. Some of them can glow with a specific color, but others with a rainbow of possible shades.

You can even observe this phenomenon at home! Unlike other physical and optical phenomena that are almost impossible to observe without special microscopes or chemical solutions, fluorescence can be easily observed even at home with the help of a UV flashlight. Let yourself be guided by this wonder of nature!

By reading this article, you will learn how to observe the glow or fluorescence of minerals at home. What minerals are needed? they are rare. What kind of light source should I use? You will no doubt be surprised at the ease with which this phenomenon can be achieved.

12 rocks and minerals that glow under UV light and blacklight (1)

If you're looking for the best UV light just for rockhounding, myself and other members of the respected rockhounding facebook group highly recommend buying one.Train 8+ UV light (Amazon-Link).

What types of stones shine?

The glow of minerals and rocks is scientifically explained by the phenomenon of fluorescence. The answer to why some minerals and rocks glow is hidden in their chemical composition.

A list of specific elements (activators) can be an integral part of a crystal structure or simply an impurity. Fluorescent minerals combine with other rock-forming minerals to create glowing rocks.

Rocks that contain fluorescent minerals can glow under ultraviolet light. They are rocks with a high concentration of calcite, that is, limestone, marble and travertine. Granites, syenites, and granite pegmatites with a high concentration of fluorescent feldspar and a low iron content can also glow.

Many of the light-colored, low-iron silicate mineralsmagmaticRocks (especially granites, syenites, and granitic pegmatites) can fluoresce.

Albite and potassium feldspars typically fluoresce in shades of red that can range from faint to moderately bright.

The red fluorescence in the feldspar was predominantly attributed to Fe3+, although REE, Pb2+, and many othersYearsmay also play a role.

It should be noted that fluorescence may or may not be present in a mineral species. For example, it is easy to find fluorite and calcite, which are inert to ultraviolet light.

This means that they are not shiny. The explanation is that thetestThey do not analyze the contaminants necessary to activate fluorescence. For this reason, scientists do not place much trust in fluorescence as a diagnostic tool.

(Video) Fluorescent Rocks | Understanding UV Light and Minerals

Are the sparkling stones natural?

The fluorescent color is so dramatic that it naturally evokes thoughts that the material is unnatural. For example, a very common yellow calcite may turn bright red, or common whitish chalcedony will appear acid green.

The stones that glow under ultraviolet light are natural. Its unique ability to glow even helped geologists discover new deposits of critical elements like tungsten and uranium in the last century. Fluorescent or luminous minerals contain certain elements (activators) that make them glow.

Fluorescence has practical applications in mining, gemology, petrology, and mineralogy. The mineral scheelite, a tungsten mineral, generally has a light blue fluorescence.

Geologists sometimes search for scheelite and other fluorescent minerals at night with ultraviolet lamps.

Before World War II, the United States had no tungsten deposits. The tungsten was imported from China. When the war began, the country began to experience severe shortages of this critical metal used in weapons production.

The government created a major advertising company and told people to "look for tungsten."

Thousands of people rushed in search of Scheelite in mined tunnels and non-ferrous metal quarries. And very soon a large deposit of yellow pine scheelite appeared.discovered.

Another application of the fluorescence effect is one commonly used by gemologists. The presence or absence of fluorescence or its different colors help gemstone specialists distinguish between synthetic and natural gemstones.

TALK ABOUT:Would you like to learn more about stone and mineral identification? The books listed below are the best you can find on the web (Amazon links):

Can crystals shine?

Crystals are perfectly crystallized minerals with smooth facets and edges. They have the same chemical composition, so fluorescence can also be seen in the crystals. It is even more attractive to have mathematically perfect crystals that also show the phenomenon of fluorescence. Bingo!

Crystals, which are perfectly crystallized minerals, can also glow in different colors under ultraviolet light. The most common brilliant crystals are well-formed cubic crystals of fluorite, scalenohedral calcite, prismatic apatite, corundum (ruby and sapphire), aragonite, scheelite, and selenite gypsum.

  • A predominantly blue, blue-violet, white-green and rarely red fluorescence can be observed in perfectly formed cubic crystals or octahedrons of fluorite.
  • Well formed prismatic, rhombohedral and scalenohedral calcite crystals can display a rainbow of color possibilities. In most cases, calcite crystals glow orange, yellow, white, and green. Occasionally, calcite crystals glow blue, red, and pink.
  • Well-formed hexagonal apatite crystals, which can be prismatic, dipyramidal, and squat, produce yellow, violet, blue, white, or pink colors under ultraviolet light.
  • Barrel-shaped corundum crystals and its two varieties: ruby ​​and sapphire can shine bright red.
  • Prismatic, needle-shaped crystals of aragonite glow yellow, blue, green, or white.
  • Pseudo-octahedral crystals of scheelite (calcium tungstate) exhibit bright blue, bluish-white, and sometimes yellow colors under ultraviolet light.
  • Selenite, satin spar, desert rose, and gypsum flower are crystal-growing varieties of mineral gypsum. Tabular rose-shaped crystals can be made.surprisedlight green and blue colors under ultraviolet light.

ABOVE:Rubies and sapphires are considered precious stones. Do you know the difference between precious and semi-precious stones? Check the main differences (and explanations) in the following article:

What causes fluorescence in minerals?

Fluorescence is an exciting physical phenomenon that can be observed in minerals and rocks. A mineral can change color significantly when exposed to UV radiation.

What makes minerals glow? Do they glow the same color? What causes the different luminous colors? We will be happy to tell you!

The fluorescence phenomenon is caused by certain elements (generally tungsten, lead, boron, titanium, uranium, chromium and rare earths) present in the mineral. Ultraviolet light causes energy fluctuations within atoms. The energy differences lead to fluorescence, which we can observe in minerals.

(Video) Yooperlite Glow Rocks

It is necessary to understand the principles of the phenomenon of fluorescence.

Fluorescence occurs when a chemical (atoms in minerals) absorbs light at one wavelength (UV wavelength ranges from 10 nm to 400 nm) and re-emits light at a different wavelength (visible light). ).the rangefrom 400-700 nanometers (nm).

Once an electron in the trigger element receives energy from ultraviolet light, it changes orbital. Simply put, jump to a higher energy level. But it's not his typical position, so he retires.

The energy difference between these two energy levels has to be perceived somehow. In the case of fluorescence, this excess energy is re-emitted in the form of visible light, which we can observe.

Fluorescent materials, unlike phosphorescent materials, stop glowing almost immediately when the radiation source (UV lamp) stops.materialsthey tend to emit light for some time.

Minerals that are sometimes phosphorescent (glow even after the UV lamp is turned off)containCalcit, Coelestin, Colemanit, Fluorit, Hesphalerit y Willemit.

More than 500 minerals have been discovered that show some type of fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Fluorescence usually occurs when certain impurities known as "activators" are present in the mineral. These activators are typically metal cations such as tungsten, molybdenum, lead, boron, titanium, manganese, uranium, and chromium.

Rare earth elements such as europium, terbium, dysprosium, and yttrium are also known to contribute to the fluorescence phenomenon. Fluorescence can also becauseddue to structural defects in the crystal or organic impurities.

Different chemical elements (activators) produce different bright colors:

  • Low concentration of trivalent chromium (Cr3+) and theThosered fluorescence in ruby ​​and spinel.
  • Europio divalente (I2+), when seen in the mineral fluorite, is the source of the blue fluorescence.
  • Trivalent lanthanides (terbium (Tb3+) y disprosio (Dy3+)) activate the creamy yellow fluorescence of the mineral fluorite and contribute to the orange fluorescence of zirconium.
  • Oh Wolframio (WO42-) The molecular ion is the source of white and yellowish-white to yellow fluorescence for scheelite (calcium tungstate).
  • Uranilion (UO22+) produces an acid-green fluorescent color for chalcedony, calcite, and sometimes gypsum.
  • This red fluorescence is due to divalent manganese (Mn2+), the activator for which (Pb2+) generally acts as a coactivator in calcite.
  • The fluorescence of apatite can be attributed to divalent manganese (Mn2+) (yellow fluorescence) or to various combinations of REEs, including europium (Eu2+), Cerium (What3+), samarium (Sm3+) y disprosio (Dy3+) that produces blue, white, or pink fluorescence.
  • Yellow to orange to red fluorescencefraternityand related feldspathoids occur due to sulfide (p2) purely molecular.

ABOVE:Did you know that shiny minerals can also be radioactive? It's always good to know which minerals are radioactive to protect you and your family members when looking for rocks:
What are radioactive minerals? 6 common radioactive rocks

What stones and minerals glow in ultraviolet light?

Minerals that glow under ultraviolet light have a very specific element (activator) in their atomic structure. This activator creates the glow we admire. The list of activators and consequently the list of glowing minerals is quite limited.

The most common minerals that glow under ultraviolet light are calcite, fluorite, selenite, scheelite, chalcedony, and corundum. Rocks that contain these minerals also glow. Limestone, marble, and travertine can shine due to the presence of calcite. Granite, syenite, and granite-pegmatite rocks can also glow.

Minerals combine in rocks. The rock, which contains fluorescent minerals in its composition, will also glow.

For example, they are mainly sedimentary rocks like limestone, marble, and travertine.compoundmade of calcite, so sometimes the whole rock can glow under ultraviolet light.

(Video) 12 Surprising things that glow under UV light | A blacklight experiment #Blacklight #UVlight #Glow

Potassium feldspar can also glowSometimes. If that mineral becomes part of the rock, we might also include granite, syenite, or granite pegmatite in a list of occasionally fluorescent rocks.

TALK ABOUT:If you're looking for the best UV light for rockhounding, check out my picks below (Amazon links):

Why do some diamonds glow in ultraviolet light?

Even a gem as popular as a diamond can sometimes fluoresce. Clean, clear, absolutely colorless water and perfectly cut diamonds can flash several blue flashes under ultraviolet light.

Diamonds can also glow under ultraviolet light. Diamonds typically emit a bluish light or, more rarely, a yellow or orange light. This phenomenon is usually caused by nitrogen, boron or aluminum impurities present in the automatic structure of the diamond. The intensity of brilliance is taken into account when grading a diamond.

The fluorescence of diamonds is a very important property. You can significantly reduce the price of the stone. Even if you compare two stones that are similar (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight are the same), the one that sparkles loses in price.(Those).

Some gemologists believe that the fluorescence of diamonds degrades their clarity and negatively affects their color.(Those).

What stones and minerals glow under black light?

12 rocks and minerals that glow under UV light and blacklight (2)

First, black light is just a synonym for long-wavelength (low-energy) ultraviolet light. There is no "black" light in nature.

Only 10-15% of all known mineral species can glow under ultraviolet light. It's a slightly small percentage, but luckily some of these minerals are widely available and may already be in your collection. Hurry to check your fluorites and calcites under a black light (long wave ultraviolet light).

And here is the list of the most common minerals and colors that can be observed.

MineralCor sob a luz UV
FluoriteMainly blue, violet-blue, greenish-white, rarely red.
calciteany color. Mainly orange, yellow, white and green.
Occasionally blue, red and pink.
seleniteBlue, occasionally lime green.
ApatitoAmarillo, violet, blue, white or pink.
AragonAmarillo, blue, green or white.
CalzedónGreen, yellow, white.
corundum (ruby and sapphire)Putrefaction.
ScheelitaBlue, bluish-white, white, and yellowish-white to yellow.
Spodumene (to kill me)Bluish white.
potassium feldsparRosa.

ABOVE:Fluorite is one of the most common rocks that glows under ultraviolet light. You can also buy it online quickly and easily. Because of this, you should be able to identify real and fake fluorspar. Learn more in the following article:
Real vs Fake Fluorite – Focus On These 5 Differences

Why do rocks glow under black light?

Black light stands for long-wavelength (low-energy) ultraviolet light. Sometimes the term black light can lead to great misunderstandings, and legends such as the mineral that glows in the dark can arise.

Rocks glow under black light (long-wavelength ultraviolet light) due to the minerals that make them up. Rocks with a high calcite content (limestone, marble, and travertine) glow under ultraviolet light. Some granites contain potassium feldspar, which can also sometimes glow under ultraviolet light.

Black light is the same light source as longwave UV light, so the same minerals and rocks underneath will glow.

The slight difference is that UV light is generally divided into two groups, e.g. B. long wave ultraviolet light, which is synonymous with black light, and short wave ultraviolet light with higher energies.

(Video) The Surprising Items that Glow Under UV Light!

Frequently asked questions about rocks that glow under ultraviolet light

Still haven't found the answer to your glowing stone answers? Please refer to the following section for frequently asked questions:

Does fluorite glow under ultraviolet light?

Fluorite glows under ultraviolet light. The fluorescence phenomenon is named after fluorite, which was first observed by George Gabriel Stokes in 1852.

does selenite shine?

Selenite or gypsum glows under ultraviolet light and shows colors of light blue or sometimes green. uranyl ion (UO2)2+it is believed to be a fluorescence activator in the selenite structure. Sometimes selenite can also be phosphorescent, glowing for a few seconds or minutes even after the ultraviolet light has been turned off.

Does ruby ​​glow in the dark?

No, ruby ​​does not glow in the dark, but it can glow bright red under ultraviolet light, sometimes called a black light. But it is a big mistake to say that rubies glow in the dark. Due to chromium impurities, corundum (ruby and sapphire) can glow bright red under ultraviolet light.

Do sapphires glow under ultraviolet light?

A very small number of naturally occurring sapphires (sapphires can be any color except red) can glow under ultraviolet light. Colorless, pink, or occasionally blue natural sapphires that are low in iron (iron is a fluorescent quencher) can glow red, pink, or orange in far-ultraviolet light.

Agates glow under ultraviolet light.

Some agates, along with the closely related chalcedony, can glow extremely bright colors ranging from lime green to yellow. The fluorescence activator for agate is believed to be the uranyl ion.(UO2)2+like pollution.Attractive examples of fluorescence can also be seen in agate and chalcedony geodes.

ABOVE:Do you know how to cut and polish the agates you found? It's not that complicated, you just have to follow a few simple steps. Learn more in the following article:
How are agates cut and polished? Follow these simple steps


The phenomenon of fluorescence shows how chemistry and physics are perfectly combined in minerals. Only about 15% of minerals glow under ultraviolet light.

However, fluorescent mineral species are quite common and easily obtainable. The most common minerals that exhibit a fluorescent effect are:

  • fluoride,
  • calcite,
  • Aragon,
  • Opal,
  • apatite,
  • calzedon,
  • corundum (ruby and sapphire),
  • Scheelita,
  • selenium,
  • blacksmith,
  • sphalerite
  • fraternity.

Along with other rock-forming minerals, the above minerals form different types of rocks. Rocks that can glow belong to three rock groups: sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic.

The stones that can shine are:

  • Limestone,
  • Marble,
  • tuff,
  • granite,
  • fungus,
  • Granito-Pegmatite.

With the help of a UV lamp or black light, you can also observe fluorescence phenomena at home. Lamps can be easily found on Amazon or purchased at mineral fairs. It's even easier to find fluorescent minerals than UV lamps.

Compare your collection with the list of minerals and rocks above. Maybe you already have good samples. Just take calcite or fluorite crystal to reveal a true wonder of nature.

ABOVE:So you know about the most common rocks and minerals that glow under ultraviolet light. Finding shiny rocks is a lot of fun. Check out the ultimate guide to rock tracing with UV light in the following article:


1. 7B13.49 - Fluorescent Rocks under UV Light
2. Best UV Lights for Yooperlights
3. Blacklight Comparison: LED vs. Longwave vs. Shortwave
4. Minerals that Fluoresce Under UV Light
(Kimberly Harvey)
5. Lighting up Fluorescent Rocks with UV
6. Difference between 365nm and 395nm UV Black Light Flashlights Explained
(UV Black Lights)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Frankie Dare

Last Updated: 02/01/2023

Views: 6014

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Frankie Dare

Birthday: 2000-01-27

Address: Suite 313 45115 Caridad Freeway, Port Barabaraville, MS 66713

Phone: +3769542039359

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Baton twirling, Stand-up comedy, Leather crafting, Rugby, tabletop games, Jigsaw puzzles, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Frankie Dare, I am a funny, beautiful, proud, fair, pleasant, cheerful, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.