Scheelite in Quartz


Fluorescent Scheelite in Quartz from the Hollinger Mine in Ontario, Canada

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Scheelite has a hardness of 4.5-5 and a specific gravity of 5.9-6.1. It was named in 1751 after Carl Wilhelm Scheel, a Swedish chemist. Scheelite can be found on every Continent in thousands of recorded locations, usually in metamorphic skarns, high-temperature hydrothermal veins, and granite pegmatites. There’s over 100 locations within Colorado alone!

According to Wikipedia, “Owing to its unusual heaviness, it had been given the name tungsten by the Swedes, meaning ‘heavy stone.’ The name was later used to describe the metal, while the ore itself was given the name scheelerz or scheelite”

If you’re looking for a cheaper way to collect a representative sample of Tungsten, or a cool, fluorescent mineral to add to your collection, then this non-descript rock is a pretty cool way to do it!

If you’re out on a hike and find something like this, you may have just found some Tungsten! One way to get an easy indication would be to check its fluorescence – “under short-wave UV is bright blue, bluish white to yellow. Specimens with more molybdenum tend to fluoresce white to yellow, similar to powellite. Occasionally fluoresces red under mid-wave UV” according to Wikipedia.

While Tungsten isn’t as valuable as Silver or Gold, you can still possibly make a profit opening a Tungsten Mine if you find a rock like this, as a pure, five pound, 50mm cube from Luciteria is currently selling for $385! But, even better, it won’t be found alone, as it’s typically also found with Topaz, Tourmaline, Cassiterite, Fluorite, and other minerals often found in granitic pegmatites, and especially as can be seen in the San Juans, or even more specifically, at the Adams Mine, sometimes even Gold, Lead, and Zinc, as well!


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