In 1907 the famous Steamboat Tourmaline was unearthed by Frank Barlow Schuyler in San Diego County in a rich tourmaline-bearing pocket zone in the mine which was named the Tourmaline King. It was then sold by Schuyler to Washington A. Roebling and it is now housed at the Smithsonian Institution.
Schuyler presented and sold his tourmaline gems that he had extracted from the Tourmaline King Mine, at the 1915 Panama Pacific international Exposition in San Francisco. His slogan during the exposition was “wear a tourmaline for luck”. Schuyler also sold and presented other specimens that he had extracted from the Tourmaline King Mine in San Diego County at the exposition.
Robert Max Wilke, a California mineral dealer, purchased the patent grant deed from Schuyler in 1916 for rights to the Tourmaline King Mine so he could work it himself. This purchase by Wilke is the end of Schuyler’s involvement with the Tourmaline King Mine. Wilke went on to discover large amounts of lepidolite, morganite, tourmaline and kunzite at the mine. Wilke eventually abandoned the Tourmaline King Mine in 1922.
The amazing Steamboat Tourmaline is housed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. The Steamboat Tourmaline is one of the best tourmaline specimens from the Tourmaline King Mine in San Diego, California.