Feature Gems & Gemology, Summer 2005, Volume 41, No. 2

Mt. Mica: A Renaissance in Maine’s Gem Tourmaline Production

The Mt. Mica area in southwestern Maine has been mined for tourmaline and other pegmatite gems since the 1820s. Most tourmaline production occurred during the late 1800s to the 1910s, with occasional finds made from the 1960s to 1990s. Since May 2004, a new mining venture has produced gem- and specimen-quality tourmaline in a variety of colors. The faceted stones typically are yellowish green to greenish blue, although pink and bicolored or tricolored stones have been cut. Their gemological properties are typical for gem tourmaline. Chemical analysis shows that the tourmaline mined from pockets at Mt. Mica is mostly elbaite, with lesser amounts of schorl, rossmanite, and foitite.