The Himalaya Mine in Mesa Grande, California is world-famous for its production of gem-quality tourmalines in a variety of hues. First discovered over 100 years ago, it rose to prominence in the early part of the 20th century, supplying tourmaline to the Dowager Empress of China. When she passed away and the Boxer Rebellion ensued, the Chinese market for tourmaline collapsed and the mine became inactive for a long time. In the 1980’s and 1990’s Pala International once again operated the mine, producing large quantities of tourmaline, but once again the mine is mostly idle. Currently there is only minor hand mining done in the old tunnels, finding pockets passed over by the more recent work. This gem comes from some of that mining; this rough was mined in late 2015 from a small pocket.
This beautiful gem is a lovely lime green color, although in some light it can appear a lighter chartreuse green. It’s been faceted in a custom brilliant rectangle design I created just for tourmaline. The resulting gemstone is bright and lively in the hand and really shows of the gorgeous color of the tourmaline. The gem weighs 2.71 carats and measures 9.3 x 6.9 x 6.3 mm. The gem is exceptionally clean, all but flawless when examined with a 10x loupe.