AT THE FRANKLIN MINERAL MUSEUM
In 1810, Dr. Archibald Bruce, a prominent New York physician and mineralogist, published a description of a Franklin, New Jersey mineral then new to science: zincite. This paper, one of the first mineralogical articles to be published in our nation, which was then barely 34 years old, marked the formal beginning of mineralogical research at Franklin and Sterling Hill. Now, more than two centuries and 1,100 publications later, research on the local minerals is still continuing.
Much remains to be discovered, and many mysteries beckon the inquisitive. The Franklin Mineral Museum works closely with the scientific community to inspire and foster research on the local minerals and the geologic environments in which they occur. We especially encourage university students to pursue research here, from the senior undergraduate thesis level to Ph.D. dissertations. Anyone interested in such research is encouraged to contact Dr. Earl R. Verbeek, FMM curator, at 973-827-6671 to discuss possible avenues of approach.
The Franklin Mineral Museum is one of the top five repositories of Franklin-Sterling Hill minerals worldwide, and maintains both a large display collection for the enjoyment and education of the public, as well as an increasingly comprehensive reference collection for archival and scientific purposes. Our holdings currently number more than 7,000 specimens from the local area, nearly all of which have been labeled and cataloged in a relational database.
Local species list
The mineralogy of the local area is complex and currently numbers more than 350 mineral species. The Franklin Mineral Museum, in consultation with outside experts, periodically publishes a list of confirmed mineral species from the area. The list is deliberately conservative, requiring a high degree of proof for approval of any proposed additions.
Fluorescent species list
More than 90 of the local mineral species fluoresce under ultraviolet light, quite a few of them brightly. The list of local fluorescent species has for many years been maintained by Richard C. Bostwick, and, like the confirmed species list, is updated and published annually.