Minerals of the Stewart Lithia Mine, Pala, San Diego County, California


About: This is a classic California locality and has been mined by many of the old names in San Diego gem mining including Ed Swoboda, Bill Larson, and of course the current owner Blue Sheppard. The current owner is a forthright and straightforward individual and has a life dedicated to mining properly. There is alot of lore associated with this mine since the time it was first mined at the turn of the century by the Chinese. This mine is surrounded by the Pala Indian reservation on all sides and the land is all patented. What does this mean? It means that access is restricted and because it is patented it is private property. The BLM does not control this property - only public lands which means that this is an extremely favorable position to be in during these days of overregulation.

The Stewart Mine is world famous for its diverse and unique geology. To see an aerial map of the property click here. . It is also famous for its diversity of minerals including a pure pink tourmaline (rubellite) , green tourmaline (verdelite), indicolite tourmaline, montmorillonite, quartz, goshenite, morganite, kunzite, purpurite, lepidolite, albite, bismuthinite, digenite, zircon, amblygonite, cookeite, lithiophyllite, triplite, vivianite, spessartite, wardite, apatite, columbite, tantalite, bismutite, clevelandite and many other minerals. Of particular note are the green tourmaline specimens which are overshadowed by the fabulous pink specimens from this mine. Check with the shop as these as well as the pink tourmalines are available as facet rough and specimens on occassion. Below are pictures of specimens of some of these minerals from this world class mine. The mine is in the process of being studied by a University of Calgary (Canada) researcher, Jeffrey Patterson, who currently has an thesis study in progress. To find out more click here to go to the Millennium site. When in the area be sure to check out the Gems of Pala Store on Magee Road in Pala, CA for their latest treasures. To find out more specifics about what was found in these areas to start a collection or to possibly collect you might want to sign up for the Minerals of California Online Database. Click here to sign up.


To see some of the newest finds in 2002 click here.

Elbaite Tourmaline Crystal 1.3cm long

Bismutite on Quartz 4cm max

Green Tourmaline Crystals in Montmorillonite 2.3cm max
Largest Crystal 1.2cm

Double Terminated Quartz 1.7cm max

Quartz Coated with Clay 5cm max

Elbaite Crystal 3.3cm max

Gwindel Quartz 2.2 cm max

Elbaite Crystal 1.5cm max

Included Quartz 3 cm max

Indicolite Tourmaline 0.8cm max

Killer Kunzite 6cm max

Green Tourmaline on Quartz/Lepidolite 9.5cm max

Tourmaline on Matrix 4.3cm max

Morganite Beryl 5cm max

Purpurite on Matrrix 3.3cm max

Green Tourmaline in Quartz 1.5cm max

Rubellite Tourmaline 1.6cm max

Rubellite Tourmaline 0.9cm max

Rubellite Tourmaline 2.2cm max

Rubellite Tourmaline 2.3cm max

Green Tourmaline 1.3cm max

Green Tourmaline 1.5cm max

Green Tourmaline 3cm max

Blue Tourmaline 1cm max

Quartz Cluster 3cm max
Terminated All Around

Stellate Quartz Cluster 6.5cm max

Green Tourmaline in Cookeite/Quartz 3.3cm max

Green Tourmaline in Cookeite/Quartz 2.3cm max

Green Tourmaline on DT Quartz 2cm max

Green Tourmaline with Albite
Cookeite/Quartz/Lepidolite 4cm max

Rubellite in Cookeite/Quartz 4.3cm max



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