A rare large 15 pound chunk of calcite and willemite from the Franklin Mill Site
This rare specimen was self collected around 1990
and hasn't seen the light of day in 30+ years!
This historical specimen is from the Luzzi Collection
$500.00 No Reserve


A rare large 15 pound chunk of fluorescent calcite and willemite was self collected at the Franklin Mill Site around 1990. This large specimen from the Mill Site has a rare and unusually large drill core cut through it and hasn't seen the light of day in 30+ years! This historical specimen is from the Luzzi Collection.

Franklin Mill Site
from minddat.org ..."This is not a mineral occurrence locality. It is now the site of an apartment complex for senior citizens built in 2007. All material formerly on this dump has been mechanically sieved and removed and put in a special area at the Franklin Mineral Museum. This is an excellent example of conservatory co-operation between a construction company and the Franklin Mineral Museum.

This locality was a mineral dump near the end of Mill Street and abutting the ore railroad tracks entering the former Palmer #2 Mill. The "Mill Site dump" was known for many years previous to the apartment building construction and supervised field trips were permitted in the mid-1980s. During the construction of the apartment building, the dump was sieved using a 5 x 5 cm grid shaker and all of the mineral specimens of "usable" size were trucked to the Franklin Mineral Museum property, where these minerals are now being added to the collecting site where museum members and visitors are receiving controlled access to the minerals, thus ensuring that fresh minerals are available to mineral collectors and by extension adding to the long-term vitality of the Franklin Mineral Museum's facilities.

The historical lore of the Mill Site Dump is that the final approach to the Palmer #2 Mill (built in 1898) was over a trestle about 8-12 meters from the rails to ground level. Allegedly, the trestle shifted and was perceived as unstable and management ordered a rapid dumping of rock to bring the fill level up to the railroad tracks and thus avert a long term mill shutdown. Lore further suggests that the ore picking table in the Mill was reversed so that any rock in the Mill was diverted back to the trestle supports. Further shipments of blasted rock of all kinds, both dump-grade and ore-grade, were taken from the Parker Shaft and elsewhere to fill the entire depression up to track level. The presence of margarosanite, hardystonite, and other desirable species that have been recovered from Mill Site rock supports the folklore.

The ore bodies at the Sterling Hill mine lie within a formation called the Reading Prong massif; the ores are contained within the Franklin Marble. This was deposited as limestone in a Precambrian oceanic rift trough. It subsequently underwent extensive metamorphosis during the Grenville orogeny, approximately 1.15 billion years ago. Uplift and erosion during the late Mesozoic and the Tertiary exposed the ore bodies at the surface; the glaciers of the Pleistocene strewed trains of ore-bearing boulders for miles to the south, in places creating deposits large enough to be worked profitably.

In the area of the Franklin and Sterling Hill mines, 357 types of minerals are known to occur; these make up approximately 10% of the minerals known to science. Thirty-five of these minerals have not been found anywhere else.[9] Ninety-one of the minerals fluoresce. There are 35 miles (56 km) of tunnels in the mine, going down to 2,065 feet (629 m) below the surface on the main shaft and 2,675 feet (815 m) on the lower shaft. As of 2017, other than the very top level of the mine (<100 ft), the entire lower section has been flooded due to underground water table and hence no longer accessible. The mine remains at 56 °F (13 °C) constantly.

Sterling Hill Tour & Museum of Fluorescence
The tour spends about 30 minutes inside the Exhibit hall which contains a wide variety of mining memorabilia, mineralogical samples, fossils, and meteorites. It then leads into the mine for a 1,300 feet (400 m) walk on level ground through the underground mine. The walk goes through a new 240 feet (73 m) section called the Rainbow tunnel which they blasted in 1990 using 49 blasts and at a cost of $2 a foot. In the Rainbow room, short wave UV lights are turned on to demonstrate the entire tunnel and various samples glowing with fluorescence. The mine is also home to the Ellis Astronomical Observatory, the Thomas S. Warren Museum of Fluorescence, and a collection of mining equipment.
The museum periodically arranges public mineral collecting sessions as well as more private and behind the scene events for local geology clubs."

Franklin Mineral Museum
Franklin, New Jersey, and its close neighbor, Ogdensburg, are the homes of the world’s most famous zinc mines. The zinc ore here was fabulously rich, averaging nearly 25% zinc by weight, and there was a lot of it; over the years these two mines produced 33 million tons of ore. By any measure these two orebodies and the metamorphosed limestone that encloses them comprise one of the top ten mineral localities in the world, a fact known to mineral collectors and professional mineralogists alike.

The Franklin orebody in particular is famous for its spectacular fluorescent minerals and abundance of rare mineral species. Indeed, nothing closely resembling it has been found anywhere else on our planet, save its sister orebody at Sterling Hill, 2.5 miles away in Ogdensburg.

By the early 1950s the Franklin mine was nearing the end of its life, and in 1954 the last of the ore was raised to the surface. Many in the community at that time wished to preserve the heritage of this great locality.  Miners sold specimens to collectors out of their basements, scientific papers on the deposits continued to be published, and, in 1959, a group of collectors banded together to form the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society (FOMS), still in existence today. One of the stated goals of FOMS from the start was to assist in the founding and support of a museum in Franklin dedicated to the local minerals.

Enter the Franklin Kiwanis club, which took on the challenge of creating just such a museum as a community project. Five years later, thanks to the efforts of the Kiwanians, some of whom were also FOMS members, the Franklin Mineral Museum opened its doors to the public.

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