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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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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

28 entries listed. 15 valid minerals.

Localities in this Region


The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


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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