Where To Find Gemstones In Southern California?

Where To Find Gemstones In Southern California - gemstones universe

If you’re looking to find a few pieces of quality jewelry, Southern California is the place to be. With its many gemstone mines and shops, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

In this blog post, we’ll give you a few tips on where to look for gemstones in Southern California. Keep reading to learn more!

The Different Types of Gemstones Found in Southern California

There are a variety of different gemstones found in Southern California. Some of the more popular types include opal, turquoise, and jade. Each type of gemstone has its own unique set of properties and colors. Opals, for example, are typically milky white or pale pink in color and have a waxy or pearly lustre.

Turquoise, on the other hand, is a vibrant blue-green color and is known for its Mohs hardness of 6-7. Jade is another popular type of gemstone found in Southern California. It ranges in color from pale green to deep emerald green and has a Mohs hardness of 6-7.

The History of Gemstone Mining in Southern California

Southern California has a long and varied history of gemstone mining. For thousands of years, native tribes mined talc, soapstone, and other materials for use in tools and jewelry. In the early 1800s, Spanish missionaries began to mine turquoise in the desert areas east of Los Angeles. 

Turquoise was highly valued by the Native American tribes of the region, and it soon became one of the most popular gemstones in the world. Gemstone mining continued to boom in Southern California during the Gold Rush era, as miners searching for gold also found a variety of valuable minerals and gems. 

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Today, Southern California is home to a number of commercial gemstone mines, which produce a variety of stones including turquoise, jade, opal, and tourmaline. Thanks to its rich history and abundance of natural resources, Southern California is truly a gemstone Mecca.

Where To Find Gemstones In Southern California?

1. Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande in California

The Himalaya Mine is one of the most productive mines in the Mesa Grande District of Southern California. It has produced a variety of gemstones, including turquoise, opal, jade, tourmaline, and peridot. The mine is located on a hillside near the town of Julian, and it is currently operated by a family-owned company.

The company offers tours of the mine and allows visitors to search for gemstones. The Himalaya Mine is also a popular destination for rockhounds and amateur geologists.

2. Gold Prospecting Adventures, Jamestown, California

Gold prospecting is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise, and it can also be lucrative. If you’re interested in trying your hand at gold prospecting, there are a few things you should know before you get started. 

  • First, you’ll need to obtain a permit from the Bureau of Land Management. 
  • Second, be sure to research the area where you’ll be prospecting. There are many areas in Southern California that are rich in gold, but some areas are better than others. 
  • Finally, be sure to bring the proper equipment. A metal detector and a sluice box are essential for gold prospecting. 

3. The OceanView Mine, San Diego County, California

The OceanView Mine is located in San Diego County, California. The mine is situated just south of the town of Borrego Springs, and it is surrounded by stunning desert scenery.

The OceanView Mine is a placer mine, which means that it produces gemstones that have been eroded from their original bedrock location and then transported by water or wind to their current location. The type of gemstones found at the OceanView Mine include garnet, peridot, citrine, amethyst, and agate.

4. Opal Hill Mine, Mule Mountains District located in Riverside Co., California

The Opal Hill Mine is located in the Mule Mountains District of Riverside County, California. The mine is known for producing a variety of gemstones, including opal, jasper, chrysocolla, and turquoise. The deposit was first discovered in the early 1900s by a prospector named Frank Brown.

Brown initially thought that the opal he had found was worthless because it did not glitter like other gemstones. However, he soon realized that the stone was actually highly valuable and started mining operations at the site.

5. Gems of Pala, Magee Rd, Pala, California

The San Diego Gem and Mineral Society is one of the oldest and largest gemstones and mineral clubs in Southern California. Since it was founded in 1949, the club has been dedicated to furthering the knowledge and enjoyment of the Earth sciences.

The club’s primary focus is on providing educational opportunities for its members and the community at large. In addition to hosting monthly meetings, the club also sponsors several field trips each year to collecting sites in the local area. The club’s flagship event is the annual San Diego Gem & Mineral Show, which is one of the largest shows of its kind in the country.

6. California State Gem Mine, Coalinga in California

The California State Gem Mine is located on Los Gatos Creek Road in Coalinga, California. The mine is open to the public for a fee, and it offers a variety of different gemstones for purchase.

The most popular stones include agates, jaspers, and turquoise. However, a wide range of other stones can be found at the mine, including amethyst, peridot, and garnet.

7. Stewart Mine, Pala Mining District, San Diego County, California

The Stewart Mine is located in the Pala Mining District of San Diego County, California. The mine is best known for its production of tourmaline, a semi-precious gemstone that is prized for its beautiful colors and clarity. Tourmaline is found in a wide range of colors, but the most prized specimens are those with a deep green hue.

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The Stewart Mine has produced some of the finest examples of green tourmaline ever found, making it a popular destination for gem collectors and mineral enthusiasts.


Although you can find gemstones all over Southern California, there are certain places where you’re more likely to find specific types of stones. If you’re interested in finding gemstones, it’s worth your time to do some research on the best spots to look. With a little bit of effort, you could be the proud owner of some beautiful gems mined right here in SoCal.

Where To Find Gemstones In Southern California?

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