Pile-Diggers

Score: +4

Amanda and I made the trek up to the Oceanview Mine here in San Diego county and boy was it worth it. The mine features Tourmaline primarily, with some Beryl (Aquamarine and Morganite), Kunzite and Quartz. The deal is: you pay an entry fee and they provide you with a workstation which is composed of two sifting screens and a water trough. You are then to gather your dirt from a massive pile of mining tailings in the center with all the workstations positioned around it. You bring the dirt back to your station and pour it through the strainers, first catching the larger rocks, cleaning them, and inspecting them, and then moving on to the second screen, with all the little pieces.

It’s a labor-intensive process, and it takes many buckets before anything is found. But find we did! First, Amanda pulled this Quartz crystal right off the big screen. She was one of the only ones to find an intact crystal.


While you are digging, it’s hard to tell what you got. I picked up this sample, but it wasn’t until I got home that I was able to identify it as a rare clear Toutmaline called Achrodite.


Towards the end of the dig, I found an Aquamarine in my small strainer… I was jazzed, because the guy next to me had done twice as many buckets and he hadn’t found shit.


Amanda and I both picked a sample of Morganite, hers the larger one.


So we made off with some precious gems to put in the tumblers. We were pretty tired after a while, and didn’t stay the whole time. But we got our fair share of loot. It was a very successful and fun trip. I am glad we did it.

However, my body is very sore and tomorrow might be tough. Price paid for fun.

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