colored gemstones

Gemstone and Mineral Mines of San Diego County


What kinds of minerals occur in our region?

San Diego County is about 900 square miles of very complex geology, from the high desert and mountains to the coast with lots of faulting all along the way. So a lot depends on where you are looking.

Himalaya Mine Miners
Himalaya Mine, circa 1905

Minerals known to occur in the county:

Acmite, Albite, Allanite, Amblygonite, Andalusite, Apatite, Arsenopyrite, Azurite, Bavenite, Bertrandite, Beryl, Biotite, Bismite, Bismuth, Bismuthinite, Bornite, Calcite (optical), Cassiterite, Celestite, Cerussite, Chalcocite, Chalcopyrite, Chrysotile, Clintonite, Cookeite, Corundum, Epidote, Erythite, Ferrimolybdite, Ferrisicklerite, Ferroaxinite, Fersmite, Fluorapatite,Francolite, Gahnite, Galena, Garnet, Glauconite, Gold, Graphite

Gypsum, Helvite, Heterosite, Heulandite,Hydromagnesite, Laumontite, Lawsonite, Leadhillite, Lepidolite, Limonite, Lithiophylite, Magnetite, Malachite, Manganite, Marcasite, Microcline, Molybdenite, Morenosite, Morinite, Muscovite, Nickel, Orthoclase, Pentlandite, Petalite, Plagioclase feldspar, Pollucite, Purpurite, Pyrite, Pyrophyllite, Pyrrhotite, Quartz, Rhodonite, Rutile, Rynersonite, Samarskite, Scheelite, Sicklerite, Silver, Sphalerite, Spinel, Spodumene, Stellerite, Stokesite, Tellurium, Tenorite, Thorogummite, Todorokite, Topaz, Tourmaline, Tremolite, Tridymite, Triphylite, Uranmicrolite, Uranophane, Violarite, Wollastonite, Zircon

How many mines are in San Diego County?

According to the USGS records, there are 105 mines listed
for San Diego County.

Mines of San Diego County:

little three mine pala-chief_elbaite
Pala Chief Mine and an elbaite chrystal

tourmaline_queen_mine pala-chief_elbaite
Tourmaline Queen Mine with tourmaline speciman, "Candelbra", now on permanant display at the Smithsonian

little three mine pala-chief_elbaite
Little Three Mine, in Ramona, San Diego County, with a Garnet and Tourmaline speciman