colored gemstones

Gemstone and Mineral Mines of San Diego County


Pala Gem Mining District

The Pala district in northwestern San Diego County, California, has been a widely known source of gem and lithium minerals. Formal mining operations began in the 1870's, but the most active period was from 1900 to 1922 and into the present day.

Pala International

Pala International has been active in mining development since 1969, and is known for its work in the Pala mining district, in north San Diego County, California. The company is internationally famous for its many mining projects, specifically those involving tourmaline, an important precious stone. Pala’s tourmaline mines have become the cornerstone of other mining ventures.

Stewart Lithia

The first mine operated by Pala was the Stewart Lithia, located in Pala, California. Previously operated for its lithia content, a deposit of tourmaline was also discovered. In 1969, Pala Properties International (later renamed Pala International) opened the Stewart Lithia mine in search of the tourmaline-enriched zone. Underground workings continued with reasonable success, finding top-quality pink tourmaline. Other associated minerals such as quartz and spodumene were also discovered. Along with the Stewart mine, Pala International acquired the Tourmaline Queen and Pala Chief mines, both located in the Pala mining district.

Known minerals occuring in the Pala Mining District

There are 167 types of minerals listed for this district of which 93 are considered valid minerals.

Pala Chief miners

Minerals known to occur in the Pala Mining District:

watermelon tourmalinevar: Cleavelandite, var: Oligoclase, 'Albite-Anorthite Series', 'Allanite', Almandine, 'Almandine-Spessartine Series', Amblygonite, 'Amblygonite-Montebrasite Series', Andalusite, Andradite, 'Apatite', Arsenopyrite, Bavenite, Bermanite, Bertrandite, Beryl, var: Aquamarine, var: Goshenite, var: Heliodor, var: Morganite, Beyerite, Biotite, Bismite, Bismuth, Bismuthinite, Bismutite, Bismutotantalite, Bornite, Cassiterite, Chalcocite, Chrysocolla, 'Clay', Clinobisvanite, Clinozoisite, Columbite, Columbite-(Fe,) Columbite-(Mn), 'Columbite-Tantalite', Cookeite, Digenite, Elbaite, 'Elbaite-Schorl Series', Epidote, Eulytine, Fairfieldite, 'Feldspar Group', Fluorapatite, Foitite, Gahnite, 'Garnet', Goethite, Grossular, var: Hessonite, var: Magnesian Grossular, Halloysite, Halloysite-10Å, Helvite, Hematite, Hercynite, Heterosite, 'Heulandite', Hopeite, 'Hornblende', Hureaulite, Hypersthene, Iron, 'Jahnsite', Jahnsite-(MnMnMn) (TL), Kaolinite, Laumontite, Lepidolite, Leucophosphite, Lithiophilite, Löllingite,

Ludlamite, Magnetite, Malachite, 'Manganese Oxides', 'var: Manganese Dendrites', Manganite, Marcasite, 'Mica Group', Microcline, Microlite Group, Molybdenite, 'Monazite', Montebrasite, Montmorillonit, Muscovite, var: Sericite, Namibite, 'Olivine', Opal, Orthoclase, 'Perthite', Petalite, Phenakite, Phosphosiderit,e Pollucite, Pseudomalachite, 'Psilomelane', Pucherite, Purpurit, Pyrite, 'Pyroxene Group', Quartz, var: Chalcedony, var: Citrine, var: Rock Crystal, var: Rose Quartz, Quartz, var: Smoky Quartz, 'Salmonsite, Schor,l Sicklerite (TL,) Siderite, Spessartine, Spinel, var: Pleonaste, Spodumene, var: Hiddenite, var: Kunzite, Stewartite (TL,) Stibiotantalite, 'Stilbite', Strengite, Strunzite, Swinefordite, Tantalite, Tantalite-(Mn,) Todorokite, Topaz, Tosudite, var: Lithium Tosudite, 'Tourmalinated Quartz', 'Tourmaline, 'var: Achroite', 'var: Indicolite', 'var: Rubellite', 'var: Verdelite', 'var: Watermelon Tourmaline', Triphylite, Triplite, Vermiculite, Vivianite, Wardite, Zinnwaldite, Zircon,

Mines of the Pala District

There are at least 80 known mines located in the Pala Mining District

Mines of the Pala Gem Mining District - complete list:

Pala District Pala Chief Mountain Blanket prospects Butterfly prospect Crystal King prospects Elizabeth R. Mine (Hazel W. claim) Hazel W. prospect Oceanview Mine (Oceanview adits) Poison Oak prospects Francis prospect Goddess Mine (Goddess prospect; MS 6452) East Knickerbocker prospect Jackpot Tunnel prospect (Butterfly prospect) Lower Salmons View prospect Margarita Mine Meadow prospects North End prospects Oceanview Mine (MS 6452; MS 6848; Ocean View mine) Elizabeth R. mine (Upper Elizabeth R. mine) Snipe prospect (Spar King deposit) Olla prospect Pala Chief Mine (Chief mine; MS 6452; Salmons mine) Chief Extension prospects Chief Ridge prospects Upper Salmons View prospect Redlands King prospect Redwing prospects (Redlands prospects; Redwings prospects) Verdant View prospect (Anita prospect) West Knickerbocker prospect Hiriart Mountain (Hariat Mtn; Harriot Mtn; Heriart Mtn; Heriot Mtn; Hiriat Hill) Anita Mine (MS 6859) Chaparral prospects (Chapparal prospects) Pluto prospect Spar Cut prospect Colton claim Dawson prospect El Molino Mine (El Molino pegmatite; MS 5391) Tizmo prospect Fargo Mine (MS 5391) Hiriart Mine (MS 5391) Center Drive prospect Hiriart prospects K. C. Naylor Mine (MS 5391; Naylor mine) Canyon prospect Katerina Mine (Ashley mine; Caterina mine; Catherin mine; Catherina mine; Katrina mine) Upper Katerina prospect Vanderberg-Katerina pegmatites (Vanderburg-Katerina dikes; Vanderburg-Katerina pegmatites) USA California San Diego Co. Pala District Pala Hiriart Mountain (Hariat Mtn; Harriot Mtn; Heriart Mtn; Heriot Mtn; Hiriat Hill) San Pedro Mine (Pedro mine) Sempe Mine (Sempa mine; Senpa mine; Senpe mine) Buttercup prospects El Lobo prospects Snake Den prospects Spar Pocket Mine White King prospect Vanderberg Mine (MS 5391; Naylor Rock; Naylor-Vanderburg mine; Sickler group; Vandenburg mine; Vanderburg mine) Pala orbicular gabbro deposit Vanderberg-Katerina pegmatites (Vanderburg-Katerina dikes; Vanderburg-Katerina pegmatites) White Queen Mine (Queen mine; White Queen prospect) Little Chief Mountain Big Slope prospect Cliff prospects Little Chief prospects N. S. Weaver Ranch Unnamed REE prospect Pala Mountain Slice Mountain Magee Quarry (Allied Granite Co. quarry; McGee quarry; National Quarries quarry; Riverside Monumental Works quarry)

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

Tourmaline Queen Mountain (Pala Mtn; Queen Mtn) Douglass Extension prospect Douglass Mine Ed Fletcher Jr. Mine (Ed Fletcher mine; MS 4886) Gem Star Mine (Gem Lepidolite mine; Labaugh mine; Loughbaugh mine) Green Cabin Mine (F. A. Salmons claim; Frank A. Salmons mine; Tourmaline Queen group) North Star mine Happy Hooligan prospect Homestake prospect (Home Stake prospect; Tourmaline Queen group) Maud prospects Mission Mine North Douglass prospect Pala Douglass Mine Pala King prospect (Spring Bank prospect; Tourmaline Queen group; Wedge prospect) Pala View Mine (Sholder-Trotter mine) Pasture prospect Stewart Extension prospect Stewart Mine (MS 6162; Stewart Lithia mine) Alvarado mine (Alvarado prospect) Little Joe adit Little Joe No. 2 adit (Joe 2 adit; Little Joe II adit) Tourmaline King Mine (Gem claim; King mine; MS 4500; MS 4926; Schuyler mine; Wilke mine) Emerald prospects (Upper Queen prospects) Tourmaline Queen Mine (MS 6458; Queen mine; Toumaline Queen group; Tourmaline Queen No. 1 claim; Tourmaline Queen No. 2 claim; Tourmaline Queen No. 3 claim) Queen Extension prospects West Canyon prospect (Freak prospect) White Cloud Mine (Buster Brown mine)