32 Evans St., Franklin, New Jersey
Franklin is known as the fluorescent mineral capital of the world. From 1850 to 1954, the area was famous for its zinc mines. Within these rich zinc deposits an astounding number of minerals were discovered, including many not found anywhere else in the world.
Franklin’s Mine Hill produced a half billion dollars’ worth of zinc, iron, and manganese over a period of 106 years.
The Franklin Mineral Museum is dedicated to preserving this fascinating history with exhibits on mineral science, geology, and local mining history. With a total of 6,317 specimens on display, including over 5,000 minerals, the museum is home to the largest, most comprehensive public display of minerals in the world. In addition, visitors can also view fossils, petrified wood, dinosaur footprints, and Native American artifacts.
The museum’s most popular attraction is its fluorescent room, a dazzling 33-foot-long display of brilliantly colored fluorescent minerals. In addition, a life-size mine replica, constructed with timber, rails, and equipment from area mines, depicts the methods used to mine zinc ore.
Visitors inspired by the glowing nuggets inside can try their luck at one of three collecting areas on the property. In fact, amateur rockhounds scouring these mineral dumps are still discovering rare specimens!
Open weekends in Mar.; daily Apr.–Nov. Admission charged.
Did you know?
There are more mineral species found in Franklin than any other place on Earth. In fact, the 357 mineral species found here represent nearly a tenth of all presently known species. Some species discovered in Franklin are found nowhere else.