The January 21, 2014 general meeting of the Pasadena Lapidary Society will feature a presentation on Tourmaline by member Briana Casay. Tourmaline is a highly sought-after semi-precious gemstone, and Southern Californians are fortunate to have this treasure in our own backyard – the Pala region of Northern San Diego County. During the early 1900s, Maine and California were the world's largest producers of gem tourmalines. The Empress Dowager Cixi of China loved pink tourmaline and bought large quantities for gemstones and carvings from the then-new Himalaya Mine, located in San Diego County. The Pasadena Lapidary Society has made field trips to the Pala region on occasion to collect tourmaline, kunzite and associated gems and minerals.
Our January meeting will also take an armchair look at Quartzsite, Arizona. This town is known as a ‘snowbird’ mecca and RV ‘capital of the world’ but it is thought of by rockhounds and lapidary enthusiasts for its rock and mineral shows in January. Many of PLS’ members take the annual trek to this location along Interstate 10, east of the Arizona/California border, and for those members and visitors to this month’s meeting who haven’t been there or are curious what Quartzsite is all about – here’s your chance to find out.The meeting is free and open to the public and will be at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, in the Donald Wright Auditorium wing of the Pasadena Central Library at 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, 91101.