Tourmaline Hunting

We had a lot of fun at the Himalaya Mine located at the base of Palomar Mountain in San Diego County. Unfortunately, we couldn’t enter the mine. It was still a blast searching through their tailings to find treasure. Check out our video of our day and the loot we brought home. 

Tidbits About Tourmaline

  • The princess of China, Tz’u Hsi, was obsessed with pink tourmaline in the early 20th Century, and the popularity of this precious gem skyrocketed during her rein. There were tons of it from San Diego, and the Himalya Mine in particular, that shipped overseas facilitated by Tiffany and Co. The Dowager Empress died in 1911 and so did some of the craze for tourmaline.


    • We saw some amazing specimens of tourmaline at the San Diego Natural History Museum and made a video of the exhibit that was recognized by the museum itself. Check it out when you get a chance. One of the three largest rubellite specimens is on display plus so much more. Bring little notebooks to draw and take notes. The show runs until April 2012 and if you can’t make it, take our virtual tour!


    • Tourmaline doesn’t just come in pink and green! Depending on what part of the world it originates from, you can find tourmaline in amazing variations of color from transparent to opaque. RED(cranberry, magenta, reddish purple, pink), orange (peach and deep orange),  yellow (canary and pale yellow), green (mint, forest and lime), blue (neon, ocean) and bicolor pink and green (watermelon and reverse watermelon). Black tourmaline is called Schorl and is the most common color. We founds lots of it at the Himalaya Mine.
    • Manufacturers like Aveda are using tourmaline in moisturizers claiming it pulls pollutants from skin.