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Blue Lady Mine (Blue Tourmaline claim; Blue Bell deposit; Blue Bell mine; Exposition claim; Panama claim; San Diego claim; San Diego group), Chihuahua Valley, Warner Springs District, San Diego Co., California, USAi
Regional Level Types
Blue Lady Mine (Blue Tourmaline claim; Blue Bell deposit; Blue Bell mine; Exposition claim; Panama claim; San Diego claim; San Diego group)Mine
Chihuahua ValleyValley
Warner Springs DistrictMining District
San Diego Co.County

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 33° 23' 31'' North , 116° 37' 56'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 33.39194,-116.63222
GeoHash:G#: 9mvjcyz40
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:Csa : Hot-summer Mediterranean climate
Nearest Settlements:
Anza3,014 (2011)18.5km
Aguanga1,128 (2011)22.3km
Alpine Village146 (2006)28.2km
Borrego Springs3,429 (2014)28.3km
Julian1,502 (2011)34.9km

Whoe'er she be, That not impossible She, That shall command my heart and me.
-Crashaw, Wishes to His (Supposed) Mistress

A gemstone-bearing pegmatite mine located in the SW¼ sec. 12 and in the NW¼ sec. 13, T9S, R3E, SBM, 12.2 km (7.6 miles) N of Warner Springs and 10 miles E of Oak Grove.

The Blue Lady mine was discovered in 1905 by Bert Simmons of nearby Oak Grove. Simmons subsequently staked a lode mining claim along 1500 feet of the layered pegmatite vein series, which he named the "Blue Tourmaline". In 1906, Simmons explored the deposit extensively by developing open cuts and several short tunnels in search of gem-quality blue tourmaline (indicolite). These workings were reported to have been abandoned around 1907.

The next discovery made at the mine was described in Waldemar T. Schaller's 1916 report on U.S. mineral resources for the United States Geological Survey. Schaller's report detailed the circumstances behind the Roy Carson tourmaline discovery which was described as a "rich pocket". Carson and his associates E. L. Haney, and D. H. A. Fiske, located three lode mining claims known as the "San Diego, Panama, and Exposition" which covered the area of Simmons' abandoned workings. Carson's group of claims were thoroughly examined by Schaller as a potential source for high-grade tin, due to irregular masses and imperfect crystals of cassiterite which had been discovered. At this time Schaller described "about a hatful of small blue tourmalines" obtained from the cassiterite-bearing pocket.

In 1983, several lode mining claims were once again staked over the old workings by Mark Carter of Long Beach, and Bill Magee of Pala. Working with several partners including Magee's son Lance, Dave Morrow of Pala and Bill Carmona of Chino, work proceeded to extend existing underground development headings. Drilling, blasting and mucking, the group closely followed the enriched sections of the gem-bearing pegmatite. Several hundred feet of interconnected irregular drifts and rooms were constructed which effectively honeycombed the area of historic production. The group encountered many large pockets which produced considerably outstanding specimens. Witnesses account the discovery of several hundred pounds of quartz crystals, as well as several kilos of blue tourmaline pencils. One remarkable specimen recovered during this period was an intensely colored and well formed orangey pink beryl crystal (morganite), which measures 20 cm across, with a bright grayish white quartz point attached to its side. This aesthetically pleasing large beryl with quartz was acquired in 1986 by the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, where it is currently on display to the public within the California Minerals exhibit.

Between 1990 and 1999, Carter worked weekends at the mine with several local prospectors including Otto Komarek, Byron Wegee and Jim Clanin of Pala, often assisted by Arthur McCollum of Sun City. Mechanized excavation along the edge of the existing roadway adjacent and north of the underground development encountered pockets of significance which produced many specimens of blue tourmaline, aquamarine, garnet and quartz.

The mine is currently located on property managed by San Diego State University for the public purpose of botanical study, and federal law forbids the disposal or sale of the mineral estate by the University during such studies. University regulations warn all visitors to not collect, remove, or disturb any natural elements or organisms on the Field Station without first obtaining state and federal permits and the permission of the Field Station Director. Please notify the Field Station Director of any violations you observe at the Field Station.

A series of relatively shallow tunnels into the mountain in a pegmatite deposit. This mine (and rock on the dump) shows a superb display of the "line rock" above and below the pegmatite vein. According to D. Peeler, this is where a cavity allowed fluid and gases to collect and interaction over time with the surrounding country rock. One can visualize them as "bath tub rings" showing the effects of local contact metamorphism. They are alternating bands where muscovite, then garnet, and then possibly a few other minerals have concentrated based on distance out from the pocket and chemical interaction between the penetrating vein fluid/gases and the country rock over time. The bands may be seen to repeat from the inside out as the vein cools and crystallization depletes the fluid/gas phases. (Goldstein 2005)

Regions containing this locality

Pacific PlateTectonic Plate

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List

13 valid minerals.

Detailed Mineral List:

Formula: Na(AlSi3O8)
Albite var: Cleavelandite
Formula: Na(AlSi3O8)
'Almandine-Spessartine Series'
Formula: Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Beryl var: Aquamarine
Formula: Be3Al2Si6O18
Beryl var: Morganite
Formula: Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Formula: SnO2
'Columbite-(Fe)-Columbite-(Mn) Series'
Formula: Mn2+Nb2O6
'Elbaite-Schorl Series'
'Feldspar Group'
'Feldspar Group var: Perthite'
Formula: Ca5(PO4)3F
'Garnet Group'
Formula: X3Z2(SiO4)3
Formula: A(D3)G6(T6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
Formula: K(AlSi3O8)
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Formula: K(AlSi3O8)
Paragonite ?
Formula: NaAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Formula: SiO2
Quartz var: Smoky Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Formula: Na(Fe2+3)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Formula: Mn2+3Al2(SiO4)3
Formula: Al2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
'Tourmalinated Quartz'
Formula: A(D3)G6(T6O18)(BO3)3X3Z

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
var: Smoky Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
Group 8 - Phosphates, Arsenates and Vanadates
Group 9 - Silicates
var: Cleavelandite9.FA.35Na(AlSi3O8)
var: Aquamarine9.CJ.05Be3Al2Si6O18
var: Morganite9.CJ.05Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Paragonite ?9.EC.15NaAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Almandine-Spessartine Series'-
'Columbite-(Fe)-Columbite-(Mn) Series'-
'Elbaite-Schorl Series'-
'Feldspar Group'-
'var: Perthite'-
'Garnet Group'-X3Z2(SiO4)3
'Tourmalinated Quartz'-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 51 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in [6] and >[6] coordination
Group 52 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups and O,OH,F,H2O
Insular SiO4 Groups and O, OH, F, and H2O with cations in [6] coordination only
Group 61 - CYCLOSILICATES Six-Membered Rings
Six-Membered Rings with [Si6O18] rings; possible (OH) and Al substitution
Six-Membered Rings with borate groups
Group 71 - PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 layers
Paragonite ?71.2.2a.2NaAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Group 76 - TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
Al-Si Framework with Al-Si frameworks
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
var: Cleavelandite
'Almandine-Spessartine Series'-
var: Aquamarine
var: Morganite-Be3Al2(Si6O18)
'Columbite-(Fe)-Columbite-(Mn) Series'-
'Elbaite-Schorl Series'-
'Feldspar Group'-
'var: Perthite'-
'Garnet Group'-X3Z2(SiO4)3
var: Smoky Quartz
'Tourmalinated Quartz'-

List of minerals for each chemical element

H MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
H TopazAl2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
H SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
H ParagoniteNaAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Be Beryl (var: Morganite)Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Be Beryl (var: Aquamarine)Be3Al2Si6O18
Be BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
B IndicoliteA(D3)G6(T6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
B SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
B TourmalineA(D3)G6(T6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
O Beryl (var: Morganite)Be3Al2(Si6O18)
O AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
O IndicoliteA(D3)G6(T6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
O QuartzSiO2
O MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O CassiteriteSnO2
O Beryl (var: Aquamarine)Be3Al2Si6O18
O BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
O FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
O MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
O SpessartineMn32+Al2(SiO4)3
O TopazAl2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
O SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
O Albite (var: Cleavelandite)Na(AlSi3O8)
O OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
O TourmalineA(D3)G6(T6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
O Quartz (var: Smoky Quartz)SiO2
O Columbite-(Mn)Mn2+Nb2O6
O Garnet GroupX3Z2(SiO4)3
O ParagoniteNaAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
F FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
F TopazAl2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
Na AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Na SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Na Albite (var: Cleavelandite)Na(AlSi3O8)
Na ParagoniteNaAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al Beryl (var: Morganite)Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Al AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Al MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al Beryl (var: Aquamarine)Be3Al2Si6O18
Al BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
Al MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
Al SpessartineMn32+Al2(SiO4)3
Al TopazAl2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
Al SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Al Albite (var: Cleavelandite)Na(AlSi3O8)
Al OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
Al ParagoniteNaAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si Beryl (var: Morganite)Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Si AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Si QuartzSiO2
Si MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si Beryl (var: Aquamarine)Be3Al2Si6O18
Si BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
Si MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
Si SpessartineMn32+Al2(SiO4)3
Si TopazAl2(SiO4)(F,OH)2
Si SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Si Albite (var: Cleavelandite)Na(AlSi3O8)
Si OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
Si Quartz (var: Smoky Quartz)SiO2
Si Garnet GroupX3Z2(SiO4)3
Si ParagoniteNaAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
P FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
K MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
K MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
K OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
Ca FluorapatiteCa5(PO4)3F
Mn SpessartineMn32+Al2(SiO4)3
Mn Columbite-(Mn)Mn2+Nb2O6
Fe SchorlNa(Fe32+)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Nb Columbite-(Mn)Mn2+Nb2O6
Sn CassiteriteSnO2

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

Late Cretaceous - Middle Jurassic
66 - 174.1 Ma

ID: 2938780
Mesozoic granitic rocks, unit 2 (Peninsular Ranges)

Age: Mesozoic (66 - 174.1 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Bonsall Tonalite; Bradley Granodiorite; Cactus Quartz Monzonite; Cajalco Quartz Monzonite; Corona Hornblende Granodiorite Porphyry; Domenigoni Valley Granodiorite; Escondido Creek Leucogranodiorite; Estelle Tonalite; Fargo Canyon Diorite; Green Valley Tonalite; Home Gardens Quartz Monzonite Porphyry; Indian Mountain Leucogranodiorite; Lakeview Mountain Tonalite; Lake Wolford Leucogranodiorite; La Sierra Tonalite; Mount Hole Granodiorite; Rattlesnake Granite; Roblar Leucogranite; San Jacinto Granodiorite; Stonewall Quartz Diorite; Woodson Mountain Granodiorite

Description: Mesozoic granite, quartz monzonite, granodiorite, and quartz diorite

Comments: Peninsular Ranges. Primarily tonalite, granodiorite, and minor quartz monzonite and granite. Emplacement ages mostly 80 to 105 Ma in eastern part of area and 105 to 140 Ma in western part; minor Jurassic rocks in central part Original map source: Saucedo, G.J., Bedford, D.R., Raines, G.L., Miller, R.J., and Wentworth, C.M., 2000, GIS Data for the Geologic Map of California, California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, CD-ROM 2000-07, scale 1:750,000.

Lithology: Major:{tonalite}, Minor:{quartz diorite,granodiorite,quartz monzonite}, Incidental:{granite, pegmatite}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

66 - 145 Ma

ID: 3186295
Mesozoic intrusive rocks

Age: Cretaceous (66 - 145 Ma)

Lithology: Intrusive igneous rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License


Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1916d), Cassiterite in San Diego County California. Contributions to economic geology, 1915, Part 1. USGS Bulletin 620; […Geol. Zentralbl., Band 28: 101 (1922)]: 351-354.
Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1916), Mineral Resources of the United States, Gems and Precious Stones, 1915, Part II. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey: 852, 856; December 11th.
Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1919), Gems and precious stones. Mineral Resources U.S., 1916, pt. 2: p. 887-889.
Stevens, Rollin Elbert & Schaller, W. T. (1942), The rare alkalies in micas: American Mineralogist: 27: 531.
Weber, F. H. (1963a), Geology and mineral resources of San Diego County, California. California Division of Mines and Geology, County Report 3: p 89., illus., maps: 89, 271.
Murdoch, Joseph & Webb, Robert W. (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 242.
Gastil, R. C. (1975), Plutonic zones in the peninsular ranges of southern California and northern Baja California. Geology 3(7):361-363.
Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 176, 177, 427, 431, 504.
Fisher, J. (2002), Gem and rare-element pegmatites of southern California. Mineralogical Record 33(5): 369-371.
Gochenour, K. (2002), Personal communication with S. L. Ritchie, SDMC, 2002. Tustin, Orange County, CA; March.
Goldstein, A. (2005), Abstract on the Blue Lady mine pegmatite deposit. Mindat.org.
Ritchie, S. L. (2006), Blue Lady Mine Centennial: 1905-2005. SDMC, Temecula, Riverside County, CA; February.
Fisher, Jesse (2011), Mines and Minerals of the Southern California Pegmatite Province. Rocks & Minerals: 86: 14-34.

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