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Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA

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Tourmaline Queen & Pala Chief Mountains

Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA
Chief & Hiriart Mountains circa 1914

Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA
 
Location is approximate, estimate based on other nearby localities.
 
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 33° 23' 15'' North , 117° 3' 5'' West (est.)
Margin of Error:~0km


Summary:
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. Several underground gemstone mining operations on Tourmaline Queen Mountain and Chief Mountain persist to this day.

The Pala district has been the subject of many science-and industry-based reports, focusing on gemology, mineralogy, petrology, physics and other facets relating to the 400 or so Rare Earth Element (REE) pegmatite dikes (outcrops, veins, ledges, bodies, deposits, lodes etc.).

The area is also often referred to as the Pala Gem Mining District, or the Pala Pegmatite District. It is a common misnomer that the term "district" is an official designation. The Pala area was never established as an organized mining district, and as such all mining claim documents pertaining to the statutes of the United States and California were filed with the Office of the County Clerk.

The Pala Band of Mission Indians, whose reservation was established for the benefit of the Cupeño and Luiseño Indians in 1891, had encompassed most of the mineral lands often referred to as the Pala District or Pala Mining District by 1903. By the year 2000, several subsequent Acts of Congress had appropriated all of the remaining public lands once open to mineral entry under the general mining laws for the benefit of the Mission Indians, excepting the federal mineral patents issued between 1913 and 1979 from the transfer.

Because of the significance of the Pala district's impact on San Diego's history and economy, the County's regional land use plan recognizes the importance of the gem mines in Pala, and generally encourages the immediate development of the eight federal mineral patents.

United States Mineral Patents granted in the Pala mining district by date issued:
1913 - Tourmaline King lode by F. B. Schuyler
1914 - Ed Fletcher Jr. lode by Ed Fletcher
1949 - Stewart Mine lode by Blanche C. Crane
1949 - Hiriart lode by George A. Ashley
1955 - Tourmaline Queen & Tourmaline Queen No. 3 lodes, Pala Chief lode, Goddess lode by Mildred S. Wear and Margaret S. Moore (Frank A. Salmons heirs)
1979 - Oceanview lode by Roland Reed

Mindat Articles

Bismuth Ochers from San Diego Co., California by W. T. Schaller 1910 by Scott L. Ritchie
Kunzite the Precious by William B. Gross 1905 by Scott L. Ritchie
R. H. Jahns—Pegmatite Geology, Pala, San Diego, California by P. A. Saylor 1947 by Scott L. Ritchie


Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

Albite

var: Cleavelandite

var: Oligoclase

'Albite-Anorthite Series'

'Allanite Group'

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

'Clays'

Clinobisvanite

Clinozoisite

'Columbite'

Columbite-(Fe)

'Columbite-(Fe)-Columbite-(Mn) Series'

Columbite-(Mn)

'Columbite-Tantalite'

Cookeite

Digenite

Elbaite

'Elbaite-Schorl Series'

Epidote

Eulytine

Fairfieldite

'Feldspar Group'

'var: Perthite'

Fluorapatite

Foitite

Gahnite

'Garnet'

Goethite

Grossular

var: Hessonite

var: Magnesian Grossular

'Halloysite'

Halloysite-10Å

Hambergite

Helvine

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

Montmorillonite

Muscovite

var: Sericite

Namibite

'Olivine'

Opal

Orthoclase

Petalite

Phenakite

Phosphosiderite

Pollucite

Pseudomalachite

'Psilomelane'

Pucherite

Purpurite

Pyrite

'Pyroxene Group'

Quartz

var: Chalcedony

var: Citrine

var: Rock Crystal

var: Rose Quartz

var: Smoky Quartz

'Salmonsite'

Schorl

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


94 valid minerals. 3 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

Localities in this Region

USA
USA

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. 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 mindat.org 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.

References

Hanks, Henry Garber (1884), Fourth report of the State Mineralogist. California Mining Bureau. Report 4, 410 pp. (includes catalog of minerals of California pp. 63-410), and miscellaneous observations on mineral products): 125.

Kunz, George Frederick (1904), Precious stones. Mineral Resources U.S., 1903: 942.

Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1904a), The tourmaline localities of southern California. Science, new series: 19: 266-268.

Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1904b), Notes on some California minerals. American Journal of Science, 4th. Series: 17: 191-194.

Graton, Louis Caryl & Schaller, W. T. (1905), Purpurite, a new mineral. American Journal of Science, 4t. series: 20: 146-151; […eitschr. Kristallographie, Band 41: 433-438 (1905)]: 146.

Kunz, George Frederick (1905a), Gems, jewelers’ materials, and ornamental stones of California: California State Mining Bureau Bulletin 37, 171 pp.

Waring, G. A. (1905), The pegmatyte veins of Pala, San Diego County. American Geologist 35, pages 356-369.

Rogers, Austin Flint (1910a), Notes on some pseudomorphs, petrifactions and alterations. American Philosophical Society Proceedings: 49: 17-23.

Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1911e), Notes on purpurite and heterosite. USGS Bulletin 490: 79.

Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1912b), New manganese phosphates from the gem tourmaline field of southern California. Washington Academy of Sciences Journal: 2: 145.

Schaller, Waldemar Theodore & Fairchild, John Gifford (1932), Bavenite, a beryllium mineral, pseudomorphous after beryl, from California. American Mineralogist: 17: 409-422; […American Mineralogist: 17: 114 (1932)]: 409.

Donnelly, Maurice (1936), Notes on the lithium pegmatites of Pala, California. Pacific Mineralogist: 3(1): 8-12.

Stevens, Rollin Elbert & Schaller, W. T. (1942), The rare alkalies in micas. American Mineralogist: 27: 525-537, 528.

Saylor, Pauline A. (1947), The Geology of the Pala Pegmatites, San Diego, California: A lecture by Dr. Richard H. Jahns to the Mineralogical Society of Southern California; April 14th. Rocks and Minerals magazine, Vol. 22, No. 5: page 434.

Jahns, R. H., and Wright, L. A. (1951), Gem and Lithium-Bearing Pegmatites of the Pala District, San Diego County, California. California Division of Mines special report 7A: 72 p.

Weber, F. H. (1963), Mines and mineral resources of San Diego County, California. California Division of Mines and Geology, County Report 3: 309 p., illus., maps.

Murdoch, Joseph & Webb, Robert W. (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966). California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 79, 100, 105, 107-108, 155-156, 182, 195, 219, 238, 245, 275, 315, 337, 352, 373-374, 381, 391.

Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 73, 76, 80.

Mineral and/or Locality  
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