Browsing through Instagram, as one does when procrastinating on one's responsibilities, I came across a story from a friend showing off a gorgeous piece of jewelry that glowed under a black light.

I instantly demanded to know what kind of stone this was. My friend responded saying, "It's a Yooper Stone!". Ironic that a friend from Florida is introducing me to stones found right here in Michigan, but I digress. I'm still new-ish to Michigan but, even so, I can't believe its taken me this long to hear about this. (Side bar: I'm obviously still learning everything there is to know about Michigan. If you think of something I have to know, send me a message on the app!)

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For those of you who don't know, the Yooper Stone, or YooperLite as it's commonly called, is a recent discovery in Michigan. These rocks are seemingly normal but contain sodalite, a florescent mineral that reacts to UV lights. According to Michigan.org, it was found in 2017 by a man named Erik Rintamaki. While Yooperlites can be found around the state of Michigan, they're mostly found in the U.P. along the shore of Lake Superior.

With their florescent glow, it's not surprising that Yooperlites are now being used to create jewelry. The stones themselves, without the UV light, are still pleasant to look at. Especially when they're polished. The ability to glow is a surprising, added bonus.

In fact, a quick search on Etsy yielded a number of results including pendants, bracelets, rings, or just the rocks themselves. You can browse the options here.

However, if you'd like to go foraging for your own Yooperlites here are some things you should bring with you according to Michigan.org:

  • Make sure you have a UV light!
  • Bring a bag! A mesh one works best since the rocks may be covered in sand and/or water
  • Make sure you're wearing shoes that can get wet since you'll be browsing the shoreline
  • Bring a headlamp/flashlight. It gets dark out there!
  • Bring/wear warm clothes
  • Glow sticks. Like breadcrumbs for Hansel and Gretel, the glow sticks work to make sure you don't get disoriented or lost. Just make sure you don't put them too close to the water or they may get washed into the lake.

As well, you can embark on a guided night tour to find Yooperlites hosted by the man who discovered the stones, Erik Rintamaki. If you'd like to find out more about the guided tours you can do so here.

Especially with this being something local to Michigan, I wouldn't be surprised if, before long, everywhere you look people were flaunting their own Yooperlite jewelry. I mean, it glows. How unique is that?

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