Welcome to Autumn at DMS! We’ll be taking a break
from our “Delaware Mineral Series”
until the Fall. Please do join us for a
So, shall we commence with this month's favorite:
another Fall Mineral-of-the-Month
Yes, it’s time to depart from the minerals of our beloved
Delaware. Don’t worry, we will return
with more of them, after our trip around the good old USA. We’ll
begin our ‘Minerals of the 50 States’
tour with our neighbor, New Jersey.
Our search has taken us to Sparta in northern New Jersey.
The famed Limecrest Quarry holds
a wealth of colorful minerals, albeit rare ones.
This month’s study is of Norbergite.
This bright yellow gem is found as crystals or as massive forms
in the host white Franklin marble.
I have visited the quarry several times and have some
stories to tell. I’ll have more in our online article,
Norbergite here is Magnesium Silicate Fluoride Hydroxide with
chemical formula Mg3(SiO4)(F,OH)2.
Its crystal form is Orthorhombic, and is member of the
Humite Group. The four members are: Norbergite,
Chondrodite, Humite, and Clinohumite. Colors ranges from a
bright yellow to a dull orange. Norbergite
crystals from northern New Jersey locales are typically small;
whereas, the Chondrodite crystals form
larger and subhedrally.
This bright yellow mineral also glows
bright yellow under special shortwave ultraviolet light.
it has no practical purpose, it is a cool curiosity to us
collectors. The Sussex County, New Jersey
material contains very little Fluorine.
Norbergite in Franklin Marble (Calcite)
Limecrest Quarry, Sparta, New Jersey
(Photo by Ken Casey)
||Norbergite in Franklin
as shown under UV light
Farber Quarry, Franklin, New Jersey
(Photo courtesy of CR Scientific)
It was first found and named after its initial locale,
Ostanmosoa iron mine, Norberg, Vastmanland,
Sweden. And, since the Swedes settled parts of New Jersey, how
fitting that we have a shared mineral
from a sister locale.
Norbergite has been found at Franklin,
Mine, and at Limecrest Quarry in recent years.
I have personally collected members from this mineral group at
the bottom of the the Limecrest as far
back as 2000-01, before the company let the bottom levels fill
with water. Those were fun fieldtrips,
Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society (FOMS) took us
there. There were so many
levels that we needed pickup trucks to transport us back up with
our finds. Many of us invented
wheeled conveyances to carry our pickings.
Another author, Karenne Snow, along with co-author Scott
Stepanski, have also written about this
revised second edition Gem Trails of Pennsylvania & New
Jersey touches upon this prime
New Jersey collecting spot. Known as ‘Site 35’, you will have to
peruse their book to learn more.
A Brief History
Norbergite has been known as
a mineral species before 1926 (pre-IMA).
It occurs in northern New
Jersey with its matix of the Franklin Marble, which is more like
slightly metamorphosed Calcite. Other minerals found with
the humite group here are: Graphite,
Pyrite, Chalcopyrite, red Corundum, Dravite, Titanite, and other
As large, econonomically
viable ore bodies and limestone-like deposits have been mined in
the area for decades, collecting opportunities abound. Though
some sites have been closed,
many mine tailings sites exist to visit, with the right
permissions, memberships, and such.
So, happy collecting.
And, please do enjoy our photos of New Jersey Norbergite below.
Norbergite is a cool curiousity to rockhounds and geologists.
Here is where DMS Members can add their
photos to share with us.
Until Next Time
We hope you have enjoyed our all too short visit to
Norbergite. Please join us next month,
for another article, and we shall journey together!
Until then, stay safe, and happy collecting.
I would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of our fellow
collectors, authors, curators, professionals, and club members who made this
© 2009 All contributions
to this article are covered under the copyright protection of this article
and by separate and several copyright protection(s), and are to be used for the sole
enjoying this scholarly article. They are used gratefully with express written
permission of the
authors, save for generally-accepted scholarly quotes, short in nature, deemed legal to
with the appropriate citation and credit. Reproduction of this article must be
obtained by express
written permission of the author, Kenneth B. Casey, for his contributions, authoring,
graphics. Use of all other credited materials requires permission of each
Links and general contact information are included in the credits above, and throughout
The advice offered herein are only suggestions; it is the reader's charge to use the
contained herein responsibly. DMS is not responsible for misuse or accidents caused
article. All opinions, theories, proofs, and views expressed within this article, and in
others on this
website, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Delaware Mineralogical Society.
Gem Trails of Pennsylvania & New
Jersey by Scott Stepanski and Karenne Snow
Ken is current webmaster of the Delaware
Mineralogical Society. He has a diploma in
Jewelry Repair, Fabrication & Stonesetting from the Bowman Technical School,
Lancaster, PA, and worked as jeweler.
also studied geology at the University of Delaware.
he is currently a member of the Delaware Mineralogical Society and the Franklin-Ogdensburg