Biggest online listings of prospecting vacation locations. If you want to look for Gold or Gems, this is the place to find your adventure!

Gems of Pala

Pala, CA


  • Phone: 760-742-1356
  • Web sitehttp://www.gemsofpala.com/
  • Length of Vacation: Half day, they usually run two groups a day
  • Cost: $30
  • Open: Saturday and Sundays – Seasonal (see site for details)
  • Type of Prospecting: Tourmaline
  • Equipment: Screens and water provided
  • Instruction: Short training video and hands-on help from staff
  • Lodging: Pala Casino nearby
  • Meals: None; bring your own food, they do sell cold drinks

From their web site:

The Stewart Mine will always be one of the great classic locations for mineralogists. The Stewart produces the world’s finest natural pink tourmaline, both for mineral specimens that spotlight the world’s museums and also, for gemstones that highlight the world jewelry industry, but especially for the fabulous blue-capped rubellite specimens that hallmark Pala as the very crest of the best in tourmaline over the whole planet. Today, at Gems of Pala, mineral specimens, gemstones, jewelry, carvings, and gifts are presented in a natural country store atmosphere. Buckets of underground mine gravels are brought to Gems of Pala from three different locations within the 2.5-mile maze of tunnels.  Screens, tables and an instructional 5-minute video get you started on your way to sharing that greatest of all treasures: your own shining moment of discovery as you mine your own gems and minerals from the buckets of fresh underground material. Our hours and days of business, along with a convenient map, are provided below this invitation to a gem of an outdoor adventure: Hunting the Pala Pink Tourmaline of the Stewart Mine at Gems of Pala!

My time there:

I visited Gems of Pala in the summer of 2007. I took my wife and then 2yr old daughter. Finding the mine was easy if you follow their map. They have a very straight forward and easy setup. They first give a small explanation of the mine and what tourmaline is. You then watch a quick video on how to look for the gems. There is a large pile of virgin mine material that you then get to dig into and fill up your bucket. After you’ve acquired your material you got the tables and use the screens and tubs provided. When I was there, we had two staff members always nearby to “double check” your finds. My daughter had a blast ‘helping’ daddy! You may not think it when you first get there, but it does take a few hours to go through an entire 5-gallon bucket. I didn’t find anything on my trip, but two other people in my group found very nice specimens; while almost everyone else in the group found at least a gem or two. On a side note, since I am Red/Green colorblind I had a VERY hard time spotting the gems. I probably dumped a few finds into their tailing pile! Oh yea, when I was there they said that people are allowed to search their tailing piles for gems. You should call and see if you still can before digging through their piles. You can also buy sandbags of material to dig up yourself and take home. I took one home. I found a few nice specimens at home, but I think that is because I was able to take my time at the house and really examine my finds. Again, being color blind sucks if you are looking for gems. But after more than a few hours of classifying material, I can now spot them most of the time.

Remember to call for reservations before you go! I saw several people get turned away while I was there. I highly recommend staying at the Pala Casino Resort if you go. I booked a morning slot at the mine so that we could spend the rest of the day at the pool! The resort has a very nice pool area. And if the fever hits you, GPAA claim CA-57 is only about 30 miles away.


  1. ruben

    been looking for gem’s gold silver mineral digging or panning

  2. John Matteson

    Hi Blue,since my visit to you last year,my hunger for earths hidden treasures have really gotten the best of me!I have a couple of questions to ask if you have time,first is a question about Corundum,I know in Ontario Canada there is a large deposit of it,I live on the southeast shore of lake Ontario in New York,my question is could it been brought down by the glaciers,I find some stones that are green,blue,clear,some have just a hint of blue in them,the angles seem to fit the bill for it,even though they are well worn from the lake.2nd question is on the Mohs scale where would glass fit in,steel blades don’t scratch these stones.3rd question is,My wife and I went to the Barton Garnet mine here in N.Y.I found some very nice chunks,the largest is bigger than golf ball,have about 3lbs worth im guessing..anyway,we did found some pieces that I can have faceted,one for a ring,the other i think can be cut into earings,is this something,if I sent them to you,you could do,and if so,what is a basic price,they are a beautiful natural red,or should I find someone close to me.After meeting you Blue,I trust you and your opinon.If you want I can send pictures of everything and send that to you..Thanks for your time Blue. john matteson,G.P.A.A. member since2000

    • Dan

      Hi John, thanks for visiting my site. I am not affiliated with any of the sites listed here. I simply put them all in one place so people can find them easier. If you would like to leave a message for Blue from Gems of Pala, please visit their website. You can find the link above.
      Good luck!

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