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Pala Chief Mine (Chief mine; MS 6452; Salmons mine), Chief Mountain, Pala, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA
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Photo: 1914 CSMB
Latitude: 33°23'15"N
Longitude: 117°3'5"W
A gemstone and specimen mine in pegmatite located near the village of Pala, San Diego County, California. The Pala Chief mine has been the source of some of the finest kunzite crystals ever found in southern California. The deposit was first was discovered in May of 1903, and developed by several open cuts and minor underground works until mining ceased sometime around 1914. Occasional finds of spodumene and elbaite were made again in the mid 1960's, and notable finds still occur as a result of ongoing surface and underground mining operations.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
var: Cleavelandite
var: Aquamarine

var: Morganite
'Feldspar Group'
var: Smoky Quartz

var: Kunzite

28 entries listed. 15 valid minerals.

Localities in this Region


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Kunz, G. F. (1905), Gems, jeweler's materials, and ornamental stones of California. California State Mining Bureau bulletin 37: p. 81-93; 126-127.

Jahns, Richard Henry & Wright, Lauren A. (1951), Gem and lithium-bearing pegmatites of the Pala district, San Diego County, California. California Division of Mines Special Report 7-A: p. 42.

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 1051.

Murdoch, Joseph & Webb, Robert W. (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 74.

Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 452.

Sinkankas, J. (1988), Beryl: A Summary. Rocks & Minerals 63(01): p. 21.

Fisher, J. (2002), Gem and rare-element pegmatites of southern California. Mineralogical Record 33(5): 363-407.

Fisher, Jesse (2011), Mines and Minerals of the Southern California Pegmatite Province. Rocks & Minerals: 86: 14-34.

Mauthner, M. H. F. (2011), The History of Kunzite and the California Connection. Rocks & Minerals 86(2): 112-131.

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Copyright © Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau 1993-2014. Site Map. Locality, mineral & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. Site hosted & developed by Jolyon Ralph. Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all. Mindat relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters. Mindat does not offer minerals for sale. If you would like to add information to improve the quality of our database, then click here to register.
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