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The Gem Hunter's Destination / Located in Pala, CA / 760-742-1356
Locally owned and operated by Blue and Shannon Sheppard 

About Us

About Gems of Pala

Our Brief History

During the 1850s, miners sought their fortune in the waterways in San Luis Rey River to find gold. Instead, they found strange, pink, purple, and green crystal in their gold pans. They followed these colorful stones to their source: the majestic Queen Mountain. Here they found a vast fortune in gems, including a huge pegmatite that was the source of the most colorful gem in the world — tourmaline. This site would be called the Stewart Lithia Mine, which became the largest producer of lithium in the United States from its huge reserve of Lepidolite ore.

During the late 1800s, Chinese miners and laborers harvested electric pink tourmaline crystals and sent them back to friends and family in China. The Empress Dowager Cixi became interested in these gems and sent her officials to the mines to acquire more of the gems. These gems became popular among the rulers of the time, including the Romanov Czars and Queen Victoria. Even today in China, pink or red tourmaline gems are very popular and highly valued.

Gems of Pala welcomes you to join this long legacy of gem mining in the same stockpiles that were mined in the 1800s. Become part of history as you try your luck mining, real dirt from a real mine, straight from the tunnels of Queen Mountain.

You can also purchase genuine Stewart Lithia Mine Gem Bags. They are fun, educational, and can possibly reward you with interesting gems within its dirt and rocks. Please note: there are no guarantees that these bags will produce any gemstones. All sales are final — no refunds.

Learn more about the Secret World of Gems and Mining. The fun, the education and the history of the world famous Stewarts Tourmaline Mine is revealed in the best DVD ever made called the The Stewart Tourmaline Story. Order it now.


About the North San Diego County Area

North County San Diego Inland is a hidden treasure offering pure fun and adventure that is like no other place on earth. Touring within these Tribal Lands and Wonderlands, your visit will be as unique as it will be welcomed by all who live here. You will find that whether its casinos for the adults, digging for your own gemstones for kids of all ages, the Gemological Institute of America World Headquarters, the Old Missions, The Historic Indian Cultural Centers, Mount Palomar Astronomical Observatory, the Wild Animal Park, Temecula Olde Towne, Temecula Valley Wine Country, Spuntino’s Pizza, or the highest rated Hotels and Buffets in California, this is every person in the worlds’ own backyard so "Come and Play!" And if you cannot visit, then please order a Heart of the Mine Gem Bag and experience the legendary riches of California Real Estate for yourself in your own home. You might just find the next “Big One!”
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