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Novelty black lights are actually long wave emitters, 315-400 nm, and, therefore, are ineffective for revealing mineral fluorescence.The crystals discovered by Rhein have a long history associated with Amity's history.
In the coming months, the museum plans to receive some specimens from the "Rhein vein" thanks to the generosity of Glenn and Karen, including some crystals that fluoresce, and both Glenn and George Gordianos have discussed with us the possibility of realizing a dark room within the Natural History Building at the museum that will provide an unforgettable experience for visitors of these natural wonders.The term "fluorescence" originates from a discovery by George Gabriel Stokes in 1852.He observed that fluorite emitted a blue glow when illuminated with visible light "beyond the violet end of the spectrum." Fluorite can fluoresce if held in sunlight then moved into the shade where noticeable color change can be seen .At Glenn's home, constructed of the hand-hewn beams from the original barn for the property that used to sit out next to Little York Road when I was a kid, every nook and cranny is seemingly filled with mineral treasures on display.Here he took Gabe, George and I into the back room and brought out the black light.The fact that such a high value was placed on some of these specimens made it necessary to keep much of the discoveries a secret, and there really is no documentation of what all was found and how much was carted away.
Certainly, this new discovery is evidence of the breadth of discoveries that may have proceeded it.
In fact, if you come on over to Museum Village, there is a rather large display of many of these crystals, albeit more modest specimens, that were collected right in the vicinity of Glenn's recent finds by the late amateur mineralogist and archeologist Jack Webster, who actually spurred many on in the area, including a group of Boy Scouts from Troop 45 back in 1976 that he wowed with some of his collection, including myself, and spurred on to spend a whole lot of time hunched over looking for projectile points after the desirable combination of a spring plowing and a light rain to more easily recognize them. Webster had a comprehensive collection of rocks and minerals from Orange County too, and a sampling of his collection has recently been unwrapped and been put out on display at Museum Village.
The estimate on the age of this crystals is somewhere in the 800 million years ago range, according to Glenn, who has been a quick study of a collection that most mineralogist would take a lifetime to acquire.
Crystals temporarily absorb a small amount of light and an instant later release a small amount of it in a different wavelength.
The ultraviolet light cast by short wave emitters, 100-280 nm, accentuates light released by these crystals.
This past summer  I had the good fortune to meet Glenn Rhein of Amity, New York and to hear about his amazing mineral finds, particularly crystals that fluoresce under a short wave ultraviolet light emitter, on his property a stone's throw, excuse the pun, from where my own great grandparents, the Kiels, once owned a dairy, long known as the Feagles Farm, and where my grandmother and great aunts once traipsed fields that no doubt contained many samples of those same crystals some seventy to eighty years ago.