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Lost and Stolen SpecimensBreak-in at Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society

11th Sep 2017 01:24 BSTGina Palculich

Copyright © Jolyon Ralph
Five significant tourmaline specimens along with other minerals and gems were stolen from Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Museum on 10 Sept. 2017. Two of the specimens (see attached photos) were shown in The Mineralogical Record Supplement, July-August, 2017 volume 48, number 4 (page 8).

Please contact San Diego County Sheriff Dept at 760-451-3100 regarding information about suspicious items or possible leads.. We appreciate your aid in spreading the word.

The two tall Cryogenie tourmaline speciments are approximately 22 cm high.

The 3rd (elbaite) is 17 cm tall.

The museum can be reached at 760-728-1130 (closed Sunday-Wednesday); assistant curator Gina Palculich 760-802-6773 is the point of contact for theft and reward information. Museum address: 123 W. Alvarado St., Fallbrook, CA 92028 website



11th Sep 2017 02:11 BSTWayne Corwin


Do you have photos of the other stolen specimens?

11th Sep 2017 11:49 BSTChristopher Wentzell

Thank you for getting this up right away, i shared the fgms post on facebook to numerous groups and pages. I would also suggest contacting all pawn & coin shops in the so Cal area, as well as Las Vegas..... and check the craigslist pages for southern california..... Please update us with a list and photos of all the pieces when you can so we can spread them out, the more the images are shared publicly the harder it will be to offload them anywhere and hopefully they get returned safely. Maybe someone can get this info into the Mineralogical Record stolen specimens page?

11th Sep 2017 23:41 BSTIan Nicastro

I am posting some photos that I took of specimens when I visited the Fallbrook museum in the past few years. I think the small photo of the Queen piece at the end of Gina's post above is one of my photos... so I will attach a larger size photo here. I am posting a photo of a Cryo piece the Museum had... although it doesn't look like the one in Gina's post above, I think the specimen I am posting a photo of was shown on the Society's facebook announcement of the break in. I have a few more photos of pieces I took at the museum in the past, but I don't know if they were stolen, I will post the photos on their FB, and post those other additional photos here if I hear back from the museum staff.


12th Sep 2017 03:47 BSTHolger Hartmaier

Further to Christopher's post, given the timing of the robbery just ahead of the Denver shows, there should be some publicity of these thefts there as well.

12th Sep 2017 20:09 BSTJim Walker & Mary Fong/Walker

The Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society (FGMS) is a 60 year old ALL VOLUNTEER organization whose primary purpose is to educate people, especially kids, about minerals, fossils, and nature. No one gets paid and admission is FREE. Thru thousands and thousands of volunteer hours, FGMS has created a museum that anyone would be proud of.

The specimens stolen were the heart of the collection because the museum emphasis is San Diego County. The Tourmaline specimens that were stolen are irreplaceable. Whoever broke the wrought iron gates, busted thru the museum doors, and smashed the cases, at 4 in the morning, stole from all of us who love minerals and stole from the countless children who come thru the museum. Now, because of wanton greed, someone has ruined something that was special. We will rebuild but we cannot replace these one-of-a-kind treasures of San Diego's mining history.

The troll who called it an "insurance scam" is heartless and cruel.
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