Help|Log In|Register|
Home PageMindat NewsThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusManagement TeamContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatSponsor a PageSponsored PagesTop Available PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralSearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsMember ListBooks & MagazinesMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryHow to Link to MindatDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

Vanderberg Mine (MS 5391; Naylor Rock; Naylor-Vanderburg mine; Sickler group; Vandenburg mine; Vanderburg mine), Hiriart Mountain (Hariat Mtn; Harriot Mtn; Heriart Mtn; Heriot Mtn; Hiriat Hill), Pala, Pala District, San Diego Co., California, USA

This page is currently not sponsored. Click here to sponsor this page.
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 33° 22' 32'' North , 117° 2' 11'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 33.3758333333, -117.036388889

"from the mountain"
—Dutch, van meaning "from", der meaning "the", berg meaning "mountain".

The Vanderberg mine is located in the SE4 Sec. 24 T9S R2W SBM; about 2.3 miles (3.7 km) east-northeast of Pala. The main workings are in the center of the Vanderberg pegmatite dike, which strikes northward and dips about 40 degrees west. The dike is exposed along the crest of Hiriart Mountain for more than 3000 feet. The deposit has been a source of spodumene, beryl, quartz, and tourmaline.

The Vanderberg was located on April 22nd of 1902 as one of the Sickler group of claims, located near Pala, San Diego County, California, in the Peninsular Range, at an elevation of about 1600 feet. The north-northeast trending unpatented lode mining claim which was bordered on the west by the unpatented White Queen and Sempe lode claims, and on the south by the patented Hiriart lode. This was the northwestern-most claim of the group of lode mining claims filed by Marion M. Sickler on Hiriart Mountain during the period from 1901 to 1904 (see US Mineral Survey 5391A). The deposit was worked for precious gemstones.

Not long after the date of the Vanderberg location, the surrounding vacant public lands were temporarily withdrawn and removed from mineral entry under the United States land and mineral laws pursuant to Secretarial Order dated January 24, 1903. This order was a temporary withdrawal pending acquisition of all private inholdings, including valid existing rights, for the benefit of the Pala Tribe, under Indian tract allotment pursuant to the Act of January 12, 1891.

In 1905, Kunz reported approximately 5 pounds of kunzite had been mined by Sickler from the Naylor-Vanderberg[1]. The mine was also noted as a source for the decorative stone known as Orbicular Gabbro. By 1906, Kunz reported that the mine had been penetrated by a tunnel nearly 200 feet long, which cut the main vein in the two mines. Kunz reported lithium beryl, kunzite, and a transparent green spodumene as the primary mineral production, and mentions the occurrence of a rare "ferro-manganic phosphate of purple color".

On August 27th, 1938, Marion M. Sickler deeded the mine to his son Fred for 1 dollar and 'love and affection'. Fred eventually sold the mine to George Ashley in 1947. In 1949, George Ashley mined approximately 2000 pounds of colorless and smoky quartz crystals, with one reported to weigh in at more than 100 pounds. In 1951, Ashley discovered a pocket in the dike from which he removed about 130 pounds of pink, green and blue gem-quality spodumene.

Ashley sold the mine in January of 1957, although little work was actually accomplished until the claim was purchased by Norman E. Dawson of San Marcos around 1966. Dawson subsequently worked the deposit and produced around 12 kg of high-quality kunzite, along with some morganite and large smoky quartz crystals. In 1983, a series of pockets containing elbaite-foitite tourmaline crystals were discovered by Phil Osborn of Hemet, just below the road and to the southeast of the main workings on the Vanderberg dike. This location is at an elevation of approximately 1440 AMSL, near a spot along the ledge captioned by Kunz in 1905 as "Naylor Rock". Several kilos of small loose tourmaline crystals of gem quality were recovered, typically grading in color from a dark purple to a greenish blue at the basal pyramid, including several samples on matrices of cleavelandite and microcline with quartz.

In the early 1990's the Secretary of the Interior, through the delegation to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), investigated the bona fides of the mining claim to determine any encumbrance of an allotment application (trust patent) filed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs on behalf of the Pala Tribe on June 19, 1980. The Vanderberg claim was adjudicated and in 1992 it was declared abandoned and invalid from the beginning, or void ab initio. The land is now managed for the benefit of the Pala Band of Mission Indians by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

1.The northeast corner of the Vanderberg lode was separated by a 336 feet from northwest corner of the K. C. Naylor lode at their closest proximity (see US Mineral Survey 5391A). The Naylor-Vanderburg name association was not actually a contiguous deposit, but a loose reference to the north end of the more-or-less contiguous group of lode mining claims generally referred to as the Sickler group, and later as the Ashley group, and lastly as the Dawson group of unpatented lode mining claims.

Mineral List

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

21 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.

Note: this is a very new system on and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

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

Localities in this Region


This page 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.


Dana, E. S. (1892), System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York; Appendix 3 (1915), by Ford, W. E.: 72.

Kunz, G. F. (1905), Gems, jeweler's materials, and ornamental stones of California. California State Mining Bureau bulletin 37: pages 86, 129-132.

Kunz, G. F. (1906), The Production of Precious Stones in 1905. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Division of Mining and Mineral Resources. GPO, Washington: pages 26-27; 40 pp.

Kunz, George Frederick (1906), Precious stones: Mineral Resources U.S., 1905: 1344.

Schaller, W. T. (1911d), Orbicular gabbro from Pala, San Diego County, California: Amer. Chem. Soc. Jour., vol. 33, p. 162-166.

Wheeler, H. V. (1917), Field notes of the survey of the mining claims of Marion M. Sickler, known as the El Molino, Fargo, Hiriart, K. C. Naylor, and Vanderberg Lodes; and El Molino Mill Site; in Sec 24-25, T9S, R2W, SBM. USDI, Surveyor General's Office, Mineral Survey No. 5391A-B: 1 plat.

Kennard, Theodore Gladden & Rambo, A. I. (1934), The extraction of rubidium and cesium from lepidolite American Journal of Science, 5th series: 28: 102-109.

Milner, A. H. (1948), Famous Gem Mines Reopened. Rocks & Minerals Magazine 23(6): 517.

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), Geology and mineral resources of San Diego County, California. California Division of Mines and Geology, County Report 3: p. 114; illus., maps.

Murdoch, Joseph & Webb, Robert W. (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 242, 346.

Rynerson, F. J. (1967), Exploring and mining for Gems and Gold in the West. Happy Camp, California: Naturegraph Publishers, Inc.: pages 8, 14-19, 42.

Sinkankas, J. (1976), Gemstones of North America. Vol. 2. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 494 p.

Bancroft, P. (1984), Gem and crystal treasures. Fallbrook, California. Western Enterprises/Mineralogical Record, Inc., pages 98-110.

Bancroft, P. (1989), Gem Mining in San Diego County. Environment Southwest, San Diego Natural History Museum, Number 525, pages 14-20.

Todd, W. R. & Waiwood, R. M. (1996), Mineral Report: Validity Examination of the Katerina Lode; Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior, Oct. 30; 71 p., maps/plats, photos, legal/technical data.

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

Osborn, P. (2007), Description of the Naylor Rock location and Foitite discovery on Hiriart Mountain by Phil Osborn of Hemet, Riverside Co., California. Personal communication with S. L. Ritchie; 7/27.

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

Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2017, except where stated. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: September 21, 2017 20:36:51 Page generated: August 28, 2017 03:03:28
Go to top of page