In the Oceanview mine in San Diego county looking at the tourmaline studded walls

Oceanview Mine gem-finding adventure with three generations! 💎🪣

Since my uncle is a gemologist, he can arrange some pretty amazing adventures. Not long ago, my uncle, aunt, son, niece, and I got to go dig for gems in a real gem mine! Oceanview Mine, located in northern San Diego county, is a pegmatite mine producing tourmaline, kunzite, triphane, morganite, aquamarine, quartz, cleavelandite, and lepidolite. You can bring your kids to mine for a fee: Dig for Gems!

Oceanview mine in San Diego county, digging through mine tailings for gems!

Normally kids would not be allowed in the mine tour, but since we were with my uncle, the kids got special treatment. We rode to the mine in an ROV and wore helmets with lights to travel inside. Because of the rainy year in 2023, the tour leader said that much of the lower part of the mine was full of water. We saw tourmalines and pegmatite as we walked through the cool, dark, humid tunnels.

Inside Oceanview Mine in Pala, northern San Diego county, with a helmet and headlamp, looking at a pocket.

Back at the sifting tables, the kids worked hard cleaning and sorting through the stones. They each did find some nice small tourmalines and a couple of other interesting stones. Mainly they enjoyed playing in the dirt and showing each other their discoveries.

 Kids shifting through mine tailings in Oceanview mine in San Diego county Pala mountains looking for gems with sieves, water, and care.
They enjoyed it so much that we were the last ones to leave.
Searching the mine tailings at Oceanview Mine, San Diego county, for tourmalines.
Jeff Swanger owns the mine, and dreamt of finding gems since he was a boy growing up nearby. Find out more about him and his fellow miners here. I purchased gem quality tourmaline from Jeff and you can purchase it here:
According to "Pegmatites are extreme igneous rocks that form during the final stage of a magma's crystallization. They are extreme because they contain exceptionally large crystals and they sometimes contain minerals that are rarely found in other types of rocks."
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