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Mining in California

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Most people think California is beaches, surfing, sunshine, and earthquakes but those of us who live here know that that the climate and topography is varied. But, did you know that California is also home to gemstone and gold mining? Very few are open to commercial mining, but they are open to the public for an experience you’ll never forget! As warmer weather approaches and Summer vacation comes into view, I thought I’d give my jewelry lovers a few places to travel to!

Benitoite loose gem

Benitoite Mining Company: California’s state gem is a rare gemstone that one does not normally see in jewelry because finding gemstone quality crystals big enough to be cut into smaller gemstones does not occur very often. In fact, the only source for gem quality Benitoite is in the San Benito County of California. It is a beautiful blue color that rivals the finest Sapphires! You can be a miner for the day at the Benitoite Mining Company!

California Gold Panning: The California gold rush was an important economical time in our history. It brought thousands of people to try their hand for riches by mining, but also thousands of people who had businesses to support the miners. California Gold Panning offers one-hour guided gold panning up to 3 days of guided gold panning! What an adventure!

Dig For Gems: Tourmaline, quartz, Kunzite, Morganite, and Lepidolite can be discovered in these hills. You can have the experience of sifting through dirt brought straight from the mine and keeping what you find, or you can take home a bag of dirt to sift through at home.

As you can probably tell, mining is dirty work, so be sure to wear your grubbies and give yourself plenty of time. You will see how hard it is to find just one gemstone even today where these same techniques are used worldwide.

I would love to hear about your mining adventures and help you design a piece to go with any gemstones you find! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:

  • One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)

  • Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)

  • Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 26 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)

Learn more about me and my process:


Book your FREE appointment with me today!

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