Skip to main content

Fluorite Crystals Anyone?

    If you like rocks and remotely interested in some pretty rocks then a visit to the Ben E. Clements Mineral Museum in Marion, Kentucky should be on your bucket list. For this museum houses one of the finest collection of fluorite crystals in the world. Located in the city of Marion, the Ben E. Clements Mineral Museum is situated in the famous western Kentucky fluorspar mining district. Fluorspar is a mineral that was used as flux in the making of steel. Fluorite is a crystalline form of the mineral and is used today to provide that "fluoride" in our toothpaste. At one time much of the country's fluoride came from this very region around Marion, Kentucky. Overseas discoveries of the mineral and cheaper prices shifted the supplies from other countries now days. The museum  has on display literally hundreds of the beautiful crystals that form naturally like two pyramids standing back to back.
    The fluorite crystals come in all sizes and colors but they all remain true to the natural crystalline shape.The museum also contains a wide collection of mining equipment and other minerals and fossils. Even the western Kentucky coal mining industry and geology is included in the many interesting exhibits.
    The rock hound should know that the museum conducts several digs each year open to the public for a fee. More information can be found about this seasons schedule and upcoming events on the museum's web page.
    Only a few counties in this particular region of Kentucky can this amazing deposit of minerals be found. All the working mines have long been closed and according to the web site the last commercial mining was in the late 50's. The only mining done these days are by collectors and through the museum scheduled and supervised digs.
    Some of the minerals have a florescent nature and reflect an amazing array of colors under a black light. One room in the museum has a huge display of really drab looking rocks covering one whole wall. But once the lights are turned off in the room and a black light is turned on the rocks come alive with beautiful phosphorescent colors. It actually is almost unbelievable that nature includes this mysterious attribute to these stones which have been buried in the earth for millions of years absent from any light. Yet here,visibly offer a stunning visual experience.

    There are many other minerals, gems and geological wonders on display. Some exhibits back light sections of the stones showing various patterns and colors. Other exhibits deal with some of the many fossils found in our state. All the stones are part of the amazing collection that was amassed by Ben E. Clements in the 1930's. Clements opened up mining operations and during the course of routine mining would keep and preserve some of the strange specimens miners would unearth in the fluorspar pits. The collection continued to grow and passed down through the families has remained intact and as mentioned, considered to be one the finest and largest collections of fluorite crystals in the world.

    The Ben E. Clements Mineral Museum is a great place to visit for anyone interested in rock collecting and geology studies. Please check museum website for directions and hours of operation before you make the trip.
    Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog page. Why not click the link on the right side of this page and follow this blog. You will be notified each time a new post goes up. If you have suggestions or would like to post something on this site please let me know. You can contact me at anytime. You also can post your own thoughts and comments in the box below. Readers would love to hear your thoughts.  Also, if you have not purchased your copy of my historical novel Swift you can go here  and check it out. Thanks again for stopping by.


Popular posts from this blog

Flint Types of Eastern Kentucky

For those folks interested in archaeology and/or geology you no doubt have considered the flint (called chert by geologists) that all those arrowheads you've seen or in your collection are made from.  The colors, textures and behavior of the amazing substance various greatly and for many years, in fact up until the early 70's only the major identified primitive quarries type of flint were recognized in archaeological research. Little effort or attention was paid toward the raw material of those beautiful and finely crafted tools. Geologist performed little better simply noting in their field work that some beds of lime stones contained chert though sometimes the chert was described in detail.
    That all changed in the early 70's as the result of pioneering work on flint classification for sources found in the eastern part of Kentucky. This undertaking was done by Larry Meadows, Garland Dever and Ed Henson. Yes, yours truly was fortunate enough to know these two very …

The High Rock Petroglyph

What do you think the strange symbols carved on this sandstone boulder represent? The High Rock Carving is certainly one of the most mysterious antiquity found in the Red River Gorge country.  We did a previous post  about this strange rock in August, 2012. Discovered underneath a small rock shelter near the High Rock fire tower, the carvings were discovered on one loose boulder in the shelter. In the late 70's the boulder was removed from the rock shelter by the Red River Museum and Historical Society placed at the museum in Clay City, Kentucky. It was felt that vandals and artifact collectors would soon end up destroying the unusual carved stone. In fact some of the surface appears to have been chipped away, perhaps portions already removed by vandals.    The carvings have many varied, curved shapes including concentric circles and shapes that may represent animals. Additionally, there are numerous holes and other features. Some of the rock has been lost likely by the weathering …

Broke Leg Falls

For sure one old landmark in eastern Menifee County Kentucky is Broke Leg Falls. The Falls has been a tourist stop along US Hwy 460 since the 1940's and before. It was a place for picnics and adventures into the rough rocky terrain the likes of the Red River Gorge. It's location on once a major highway along with the pristine beauty of the box canyon that the stream formed no doubt contributed to the popularity of the Falls.
    The Falls is about 80 feet in height but much of the year has a small water flow. But over eons of time the Falls and stream have carved out a magnificent canyon retreating nearly to the crest of the ridge.
    Located in Menifee County Kentucky, Broke Leg Falls has been a popular tourist spot for travelers of the US Highway which is located only a few yards from the falls. A popular landmark since the 1940's, the Falls was privately owned. Visitors could pay a dime and get to hike the short distance down into the box canyon to view the Falls…