These are the glowing stones of the Sterling Hill Mountain Museum, and the museum has hundreds of them, making it home to the largest publicly displayed collection of fluorescent stones in the world.
The museum was founded by brothers Richard and Robert Hawke in 1990 at the closed Sterling Hill zinc mine, which had been closed three years earlier. The mine was one of the oldest in the United States and began operations around 1739, and has produced more than 11 million tons of zinc ore during its existence. At the time of its closure, it was the last mine in operation in New Jersey.
Today, the mine welcomes thousands of visitors every year, who, among other things, can witness its amazing collection of more than 700 fluorescent objects. These objects — they can all glow in ultraviolet light, X-rays, or electron rays — illustrate a phenomenon that should be familiar to anyone with a black light poster. The displays feature minerals, fossils, crystals, glass, fabric and concrete, among others, all illuminated with ultraviolet light to show their glowing qualities.
Know before you go
Public tour schedules vary depending on the season. You can't go to museums or mines without taking part in a tour.
From July to August, tours take place daily at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. In September, they take place Monday to Friday at 1:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. From October to November, they take place daily at 1:00 p.m. from December to March. On weekends at 1:00 p.m. From April to June, they are open every day at 1.00 p.m.