reply to post by Libertygal
You got an 8 carat Tanzanite from a mine in California? Do tell?
HAHA!... I would, but I'd hafta kill yaz aftawordz! =
Here's a link to this location:
Gems of Pala
No seriously though, the Pala Indian Reservation is located in a set of mountains just behind San Diego which interestingly formed outside of the
normal channels most of California's topography formed under, which is the buckling of the crust's surface via the fracturing of land caused by the
Pacifc Tectonic Plate and a slip fault system running the length of California's coastline where subduction occurs at roughly a 30 degree angle to
the North American land mass.
These Mountains - which span only a few hundred square miles - formed as a huge Batholith previous to the lifting of the Californian Landmass.
Batholiths are unique in that thier cooling process isn't a fast one. It probably took thousands of years just for the magma chamber to finally cool
into hardened stone.
Pockets of Magma that cool in this manner develope very large crystals within the array of hardened minerals, which are known as igneous deposites.
This type of slow cooled formation is known as Pegmatite Granite, and is composed of the same minerals as regular granites, but these materials
consist of extrordinarily large crystaline format and then became exposed due to weathering and additional tectonic uplift.
The mineral composition of this particular formation is:
Muscovite Mica, Quartz, Olivine, Corundrum, Feldspar, Hornblend, Tourmaline, Garnet, and Dolomite. The three essential minerals we're interested in
Olivine can be pretty, if found in large crystaline structure, but that is fairly a rare thing to find. the Corundrum minerals that can be located
there are Saphire (in rare amounts), and Ruby (no significant gem quality has been found to date, however large quantities of low grade material has
been discovered). Tanzanites however, have been found in Pala, and one mine in particular.
Sorry to say, but the mine is owned by the tribe... and has been sealed with an iron door lol. but, one can never tell if the tribal leader won't
open the door if approached.
There are many mines that are located within these mountains however that have produced, and are producing tourmalines in great quantity.