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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Paicines in San Benito County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Benitoite

 
 
Benitoite Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, March 22, 2013
1. Benitoite Marker
Inscription.  Was discovered on February 22, 1907 by James Marshall Couch while prospecting for quicksilver on a fifty dollar grubstake for shares from R.W. Dallas and Tom Sanders. On July 30, 1907 mineralogy Professor George D. Louderback identified it as a new mineral species, barium titanium silicate (BaTiSi3O9). He named it Benitoite after the river, county and nearby mountain range. The gem-quality crystal combines the color of sapphire with the fire of a diamond. It looks like two stubby triangular pyramids attached to their bases; its shape is unique. It fluoresces a bright deep-sky blue under ultraviolet light. Benitoite in gem quality occurs nowhere else in the world. It is associated with other rare minerals such as fresnoite, joaquinite, natrolite and neptunite. They formed in fractures of a Serpentine rock from hydrothermal solutions. Just how such solutions occurred and what other conditions caused the crystallization of these rare minerals is still not well understood. Benitoite was declared the official California State Gem on October 1, 1985.
 
Erected 2001 by
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E Clampus Vitus, Monterey Viejo Chapter No. 1846 & James Savage Chapter 1852.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Natural Features. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1774.
 
Location. 36° 17.877′ N, 120° 41.636′ W. Marker is near Paicines, California, in San Benito County. Marker is at the intersection of Coalinga - Los Gatos Road and Union Carbide Road, on the right when traveling west on Coalinga - Los Gatos Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 25365 Coalinga - Los Gatos Road, Paicines CA 95043, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Raymond F. Eade (approx. 6.7 miles away); The Coast Range: an ecological meeting place (approx. 8.9 miles away).
 
Benitoite Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, March 22, 2013
2. Benitoite Marker
Dedication ceremony for the Benitoite Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Davidson, October 27, 2001
3. Dedication ceremony for the Benitoite Marker
Noble Grand Humbug George Peabody on left and Noble Grand Humbug Bill Davidson on far right jointly dedicate the Benitoite marker in 2001. The late "Infamous Amos" leans against the new marker.
Benitoite, the California State Gemstone image. Click for full size.
Photographed By N/a, n/a
4. Benitoite, the California State Gemstone
Benitoite, the California State Gemstone image. Click for full size.
Photographed By N/a, circa n/a
5. Benitoite, the California State Gemstone
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 25, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 928 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 25, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   3. submitted on October 7, 2014, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.   4, 5. submitted on March 25, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 26, 2024