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High Desert Gems & Minerals
Himalaya Mine

The Himalaya Mine is privately owned by Lithaurum LLC. Rock hounds are allowed to dig tourmalines from the mine ore. For more information on our gemstone digs please see “Dig Gemstones - Himalay Mine”.

Mining for tourmaline

Chris Rose and the Himalaya Mine

The world famous Himalaya Tourmaline Mine is located in Mesa Grande on quiet, Gem Hill across the valley from Mt. Polomar in San Diego County, California. The mine is an underground five mile labyrinth of steep passageways that were dug, drilled, and blasted over the past 100 years.

There are several gem-grade tourmaline mines in San Diego County, but the Himalaya Mine is the most prominent tourmaline mine in the world! Opened in 1898, the Himalaya Tourmaline Mine is known for producing tons of beautiful gem quality green and pink tourmalines. An estimated 250 thousand pounds of tourmaline and mineral specimens have been extracted from the mine. The Himalaya Mine produced more tourmaline than any other tourmaline mine in the world, for 15 years, including an amazing 5.5 tons in 1904 (the most tourmaline ever produced in one year). But, that’s not hard considering some of the largest pockets have produced over a ton of tourmaline. Tourmaline is found in pegmatite veins that are formed at nearly a 45 degree angle deep into the the earth. There are several pegmatite dykes containing tourmaline on Mesa Grande. The Himalaya Mine is located on the largest one tourmaline pegmatite dykes. The tourmalines found here are pink, green, bi-colored, tri-colored, or watermelon. About 5 percent of the tourmalines produced are gem-grade. Many tourmaline specimens have also been extracted from the mine, some of which can be seen at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Pegmatite

Himalaya Mine: tourmaline pocket

Tourmaline is a complex mineral, a hexagonal boron-aluminum-silicate structure, that can occur in any color. The most common color found at the Himalaya Mine is pink (rubillite) and green (Brazilian Emerald). On occasion, though extremely rare, blue tourmaline (indicolite) is found here. Tourmaline is the only mineral with three sides, like a prism. This crystal structure happens because the crystals grow in a trigonal system, which can be seen when viewing the cross sections of the nicer tourmalines. Tourmalines also have an electrical charge that changes when heated, becoming polarized, acting like a magnet attracting light objects, like ashes. Some other minerals found here are quartz, apatite, morganite, clevelandite, calcite, lepidolite, feldspar, stibiotantalite, topaz, and spessartine garnet.

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Pink Tourmaline

Pink & Green Tourmaline Crystal

Digging For Tourmaline
Visit us and dig
Tourmalines, Crystals, 
and other Gems & Minerals.
Open Year Round

Keith helps customers at dig

Tourmaline Mining

Himalaya Mine
c/o/ Lake Henshaw Resort
26439 Hwy 76
Santa Ysabel, CA 92070
info @ high desert gems and minerals . com
Chris 775-772-7724
Denise 831-246-3214
 

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