New types of luminescent rocks has been discovered in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
New discoveries of gems and minerals happen every year. For expert geologist Erik Rintamaki, June of last year was when he made his life changing discovery!
During a nighttime excursion along the shore of Lake Superior in Michigan, he found rocks that glowed like lava, with the aid of a UV light.
He sent the "Yooperlites" to Michigan Tech University, as well as the University of Saskatchewan, where the rocks were confirmed to be a type of Syenite that contained Sodalite.
Sodalite, usually found in Canada, is what is responsible for the glowing, iridescent nature of the rocks
Sodalite is usually blue but the rocks Rintamaki discovered have been mostly made up of granite or basalt. Geologists have confirmed that this is the first set of stones to be officially tested and confirmed.
Rintamaki is 43 year old Brimley resident that has turned his findings of these stones into a business.
Syenite is a coarse-grained intrusive igneous rock with a general composition similar to that of granite, but deficient in quartz, which, if present at all, occurs in relatively small concentrations (<5%). Some syenites contain larger proportions of mafic components and smaller amounts of felsic material than most granites; those are classed as being of intermediate composition. The volcanic equivalent of syenite is trachyte.
Sodalite is a rich royal blue tectosilicate mineral widely used as an ornamental gemstone. Although massive sodalite samples are opaque, crystals are usually transparent to translucent. Sodalite is a member of the sodalite group with hauyne, nosean, lazurite and tugtupite.
First discovered by Europeans in 1811 in the Ilimaussaq intrusive complex in Greenland, sodalite did not become important as an ornamental stone until 1891 when vast deposits of fine material were discovered in Ontario, Canada.