Delaware mineralogical society

A Delaware 501(c)(3) non-profit earth-science educational organization


Sterling Hill Mine Field Trip



Sterling Hill Field Trip – Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 9:00 am – 11:00 pm

Sponsored by Friends of Mineralogy, PA Chapter and Delaware Mineralogical Society.

We are pleased to announce arrangements have been made for an exclusive day at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum for members of the Friends of Mineralogy, PA Chapter, the Delaware Mineralogical Society and the UVNomads. The management of Sterling Hill Mining Museum have gone all out to make all facilities and attractions available to us throughout the entire day. These plans are preliminary and may change, but for now they give a pretty good idea of the things we’ll be doing.

All Day Activities. The following areas and activities are available to us throughout the entire day:
➔ Mineral collecting in the Passaic Pit: fee is $1.50 per pound
➔ Mineral collecting in the Nobel Pit: fee is $1.50 per pound
➔ Mineral collecting at the Mine Run area: fee is $1.50 per pound
➔ Mineral collecting in the Special Fenced Pens: No breaking rocks, fee is $5.00 per pound.

Sorry, but there is no ‘high-grading’ allowed here; you must take the whole rock and pay

➔ The Fill Quarry: No collecting allowed. This is where the American Museum of Natural
History, NY has sawed a slab from the quarry wall and where we’ll view the Pillar of Light
after nightfall. The wall rock in this area is some of the brightest fluorescing in the complex
and specimens will be available for purchase in the Gift Shop Annex.
➔ Pavilion: We will have exclusive use of the Pavilion for the day (see lunch and dinner below).
➔ The museum both receives donations and purchases collections: about 25 to 30 flats of
specimens will be available for purchase in the Gift Shop Annex throughout the day (wise
collectors might stop here first!)
(Note: specimens are weighed and you pay at the counter in the Gift Shop at any time)

Group Activities (all optional; you may participate or not, as you wish)

10:00 – Visit the Zobel Hall mineral collection. Those of us who want to visit the hall will go as a
group. It takes from 30 to 60 minutes to view the collection and you may leave when you want.
12:00 – Lunch at the Pavilion. To be planned, bring a box lunch or we can fire up the BBQ.
1:00 – Mine Tour. We’ll do this as a group. The tour typically takes 1½ to 2 hours. Given the nature of this tour, those who go should plan to stay for the duration. Perhaps we can bring our field lamps with us, but there is no collecting in the mine (and if we lamp everyone must have UV safety glasses).
3:00 – Warren Museum of Fluorescent Minerals. Again, we’ll go as a group. It takes 1 to 1½ hours to view the collection and you may leave when you want.
4:00 – The Head Frame/Mill where the ore was conveyed, crushed, dried, and prepared for shipment to the furnaces. We’ll go as a group and likely stay together. This activity will be a bit strenuous as we have to walk uphill a bit and up and down lots of stairs. It’s also dusty.
5:00 – Dinner. Yet to be planned but we can fire up the BBQ at the Pavilion and have a great dinner.
Evening until 3 hours after dark – Collect at any of the collecting sites with ‘night-lamping’ as
appropriate. We have 3 hours of ‘dark’ for night lamping.
~8:30 – When it’s reasonably dark enjoy the Pillar of Light at the Fill Quarry (no collecting here but you can bring your lamps and enjoy).
11:00 – Check out, pay for rocks. Be careful to keep the $1.50 per pound rocks separate from the $5.00 per pound ‘Special Cage’ rocks.

Additional information:

Directions: Sterling Hill Mining Museum, 30 Plant Street, Ogdensburg, NJ

Fee: The entrance fee is $25 per person, kids 12 and under are half-price $12.50, payable when you arrive. We need a minimum of 20 people to make this event financially acceptable to the museum.

Safety: Everyone must have UV safety glasses. Gloves and long pants are recommended. We do not need hard hats or steel toed boots. Dress appropriately for the weather.

Equipment: All the usual hard-rock collecting equipment (hammers, sledges and wedges), packaging and carts. I don’t think screening or digging equipment is necessary, but you never know. And, of course, your field UV lights, flashlight / head lamp and a dark cover for daytime UV collecting.

Accommodations: Contact information for local lodging will be provided to those who want it.

Sign-up: Please contact Tom Pankratz at I’ll confirm your registration with a return email. If you don’t receive confirmation, please re-contact me.