Edited by Vandall T. King, Nathaniel E. King, Philip P. Betancourt, Richard C. Bostwick, Peter Chin, Tema J. Hecht, Steven M. Kuitems, Harold Moritz, Janet D. Nemetz, Anthony J. Nikischer, Stephen Sanford, James A. Van Fleet, Earl R. Verbeek
The Mineralogy of Franklin and Ogdensburg, New Jersey: a Photographic Celebration, is an overwhelming accomplishment. Franklin is a world-famous mineral locality among serious collectors and professional mineralogists alike, and it currently ranks as the third most prolific locality (by species diversity) in the world after Mont St. Hilaire and the Clara mine. At 1400 pages in three volumes, this juggernaut of a book gives a tour-de-force treatment of Franklin’s mineralogy, with over 4000 color images (both white light and fluorescent) representing 403 of the 406 currently known species from the district. All 125 fluorescent species are represented, as are over 30 unknowns, many of which may turn out to be new species.
The meat of the book is a series of chapters discussing the mineralogy, amply illustrated with thousands of photos. This starts with a complete (to date) mineral list for the district and a discussion of the fluorescent minerals (after all, this is what Franklin is most famous for). Following these descriptive chapters, some of the more important public and private collections of Franklin minerals are discussed, each collection with its own chapter. In all, 21 collections are discussed individually, extending well into the second volume.
Volume 2 ends with a gallery showing photos of Franklin specimens from other collections, covering most of Franklin’s species; this gallery extends well into volume 3. The photos of fine specimens belie the idea that Franklin is “simply” a fluorescent locality—many of the most beautiful specimens illustrated are not fluorescent. Later in volume 3, a chapter covering thin-section photomicrographs of Franklin ores contains beautiful photography pertaining to a subject often ignored by mineral collectors that shouldn’t be.
The work closes with an index, certainly necessary in such a vast publication.
The production is of a very high quality, with excellent color rendition throughout (a particular challenge with fluorescent photography), and the layouts are easy on the eye. This massive work is a must-have for any serious mineral collector.
Christopher J. Stefano