A mineral found in the northwest portion of New Jersey but regarded as rare around the globe will become the official mineral of the state under legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths (all R-24) and signed into law today by Governor Murphy.
A mineral found in the northwest portion of New Jersey but regarded as rare around the globe will become the official mineral of the state under legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths and signed into law today by Governor Murphy. (Wikimedia Commons)
The legislation, S-1727/A-3393, would elevate franklinite in a nod to Sussex County’s rich mineral mining heritage.
“Franklinite represents an important part of New Jersey’s history for the role it played in helping to industrialize our state,” said Senator Steven Oroho. “Found exclusively in the United States in the communities of Franklin and Ogdensburg, franklinite is a critical link to our state’s mineral mining heritage and its designation as New Jersey’s official state mineral is most appropriate.”
An important zinc ore, franklinite was often mined with other zinc minerals at the now-closed for active excavation Franklin and Sterling Hill mines that bore more than 350 distinct mineral species.
“Franklinite is as unique to New Jersey as the Pine Barrens are, and was the driving force behind the state’s thriving mining industry,” Assemblyman Space added. “The discovery and mining of this rare ore built Franklin. Its importance can’t be overstated.”
Though no longer pulled from the local ground, franklinite remain favorites of world’s mineral hobbyists and collectors.
“There are many people to thank who helped get this bill to the Governor’s desk,” said Assemblyman Wirths. “Jeff Osowski of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum built the momentum for this years ago; Bill Truran took a keen interest in organizing support when he became the Sussex County Historian in 2019; and all the students in Northern New Jersey who kept writing letters to get this bill through the legislative process and now signed into law. This is a great day for everyone involved.”
Franklin Mineral Museum and Sterling Hill Mining Museum remain popular tourist attractions in the state, especially for student class trips.
Related Facebook Post: