PbMoO4 is LOVE

Wouldn’t you agree, Valentine’s Day seems like the appropriate day to place a post simply entitled “PbMoO4 is Love” ?  Or so was the expression in Arizona in the 1980’s when my graduate student colleagues and I would tramp about the state looking for that elusive wulfenite specimen at some 30 odd locations known to offer the brilliantly colored spectacular mineral.  Heck my 1970-something Ford Falcon collecting wagon even hosted a bright bumper sticker that simply read “PbMoO4 is Love “.  That car saw them all.  There were, of course the famous locations:  the Red Cloud Mine in Yuma, the Silver Bill Mine in Gleeson, the Rawley Mine in Theba, the Glove Mine in the Patagonia Mountains.  But there were also the not so famous mines and where panes of wulfenite could be coaxed from adit walls or broken out from dump material.  My favorites were the Total Wreck Mine in the Empire Mountains (see cover photo), the Finch Mine in Gila County, and the Dogwater Mine in Araviapa but that list too is long.

wulfenite on cover

It is not hard to understand why  Neil Bearce decided to adorn the cover of his 2006 book “Minerals, Fossils, and Fluorescents of Arizona” with a gorgeous Rawley Mine wulfenite.

But those days have passed for me, and now I must be content with seeking new locality wulfenite pieces from mineral shows (or on stamps!).  There just aren’t many wulfenite locations in the northeast USA and in eastern Canada.

2 thoughts on “PbMoO4 is LOVE”

  1. To Fred Haynes, thank you for this blog. My name is Dan Fortunato and I have been an avid mineral collector in Arizona since I was a little boy. pretty much all the known wulfenite localities are off limits now and I was curious if you would be willing to provide a list, or partial list of some of the lesser known localities for wulfenite. I would like to visit them with my new wife and family. Thanks you so much


    1. I have not collected in Arizona in about 30 years when I was a graduate student in Tucson so I really don’t think I can comment on which sites remain open and I’d probably be remiss to send you running about to sites that are closed. For example I have heard that the Rawley Mine in Theba is closed, but just because I don’t know the current status of places like the Total Wreck Mine or the Silver Bill Mine does not mean that they are available. Best to check with active collectors today in AZ. Sorry I cannot help more.

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