We are thrilled to be enjoying the sunshine, blooming flowers, late sunsets and more traffic. Our latest blog below features the intriguing and lengthy history of Maine famous tourmaline mine; Mount Mica as well as “What’s Going On” in our neck of the wood!
The History of Mount Mica
The Mt. Mica mine, which has just re-opened to the public, is located about 6km. northeast of the small town in Oxford Country by the name of South Paris. The mine is situated on a small hill, at an elevation of 970 feet in forested terrain. Mt. Mica was the first source of Tourmaline in the United States and would become the first gem mine in America as well.
In 1868 Elyjah Hamlin and his son Augustus began a serious mining venture at Mt. Mica. During their mining endeavor, many beautiful gem quality tourmaline were found. Tiffany & Co. of New York was a frequent customer for the Maine Tourmaline and sold them through their Manhattan Store. J.P. Morgan was also a frequent customer and purchased numerous crystals and made several donations to various museums such as The American Museum of Natural History. A selection of some of the finest of these Maine Tourmalines found their way into the Hamlin Necklace.
In 1890 Mt. Mica was leased by Loren Merrill and the next 23 years saw many fabulous Maine Tourmaline discoveries. One such fabulous crystal was faceted into 69.25ct blue green tourmaline and sold to Tiffany & Co. for $100,000.
In 1926 Mt. Mica was sold to Howard Irish of Buckfield, Maine. He didn’t enjoy the success that Merrill before him had but he did find several thousand carats of gorgeous green tourmaline.
In 1965 Frank Perham leased Mt. Mica. Because he had more knowledge and experience Perham had considerably more luck finding significant Maine Tourmaline. A stunning 59.59ct heart shape gem came from his finds. It was of the Indicolite variety which is blue green in color.
Plumbago Mining Corp. of Rumford, Maine purchased Mt. Mica in 1973 and commenced mining shortly thereafter. They discovered a new pocket of Maine Tourmaline only the size of a grapefruit but yielding a mammoth crystal which would be cut into a flawless emerald cut gemstone weighing 256 carats, which was a national record for the size of Tourmaline.
In August 2003 Coromoto Minerals LLC purchased Mt. Mica and began mining; removing some of the western most portion of the mine. This opened several new pockets of beautiful quartz and apatite crystals. Only in 2004 was Maine Tourmaline found in many different pockets of the mine. Diverse colors were found some never discovered before such as electric pink and bright bluish green.
In 2005, Coromoto began mining in a new direction and in only a few dozen yards found the largest Maine Tourmaline pocket ever encountered at Mt. Mica.
What’s Going On
Can you believe it!
Conner MacDonald the eldest son of Susan and Brian MacDonald just graduated from Cheverus High School. In the fall he will be entering his freshman year at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire. The staff at Coastal Jewelers sends him Congratulations and best wishes.
A sad day in Kennebunkport
There is a palpable void in Kennebunkport with the loss of our dear First Lady Barbara Bush. She was a lovely women and frequent customer here at Coastal Jewelers. We had the pleasure of helping her cherished husband pick out a strand of her famous pearls; and were honored to work with her from then on. President Bush Sr. came home to Kennebunkport at the end of May and was sadly missed at the annual Memorial Day Parade as he has been recently hospitalized. We wish him a speedy recovery!
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