SOCGEMS Monthly Meetings are held the 3rd Wednesday of the month, at 7:00pm in the multipurpose room at the San Clemente Community Center, at the corner of Avenida del Mar and Calle Seville – next to the library. They are free and open to the public – we encourage you to participate!

gary at quatzsite


As the situation surrounding the COVID-19 continues to evolve on a daily basis the officers and board members of SOCGEMS feel it is important to protect the safety and well-being of its members and guests. We have come to the decision to cancel this month’s meeting.
THANK YOU all for your understanding as we work through this difficult time together.
Gary Martin

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 at 7:00pm

The South Orange County Gem and Mineral Society is proud to welcome Renee Newman, GG

thumbnail_Renee Newman IMG_3263 300 dpi

Our speaker, Renée Newman, GG, learned to appreciate fine gemstones when she directed tours to Asia and South America in the early 1980’s. Her passengers wanted details on how to evaluate the quality of the gems they were exposed to, so she signed up for the GIA Colored Stone Grading Course. She was so impressed with it that she decided to take the other courses required for gemologists.

After obtaining her gemological diploma, she was hired as a gemologist at a wholesale firm in downtown Los Angeles. Armed with trade experience and gemological credentials, Newman decided to create books that showed readers how to visually evaluate the quality of gems. Her first book, the Diamond Ring Buying Guide, was published in 1989. Since that time, she has written twelve more books on gems and jewelry.

Additional information about Renée and her books is available on her website here.

Meetings of SOCGEMS are held the third Wednesday of the month, 7:15 pm in the San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente (next door to the library). Guests are welcome at no charge. Speaker presentation is preceded by hospitality and refreshments, a raffle and brief business meeting. SOCGEMS Members are invited to field trips, special auctions, classes in lapidary, Junior Rock hound activities and more.

Public Welcome
march 2020_socgems

How Exotic Gems are Changing the Jewelry Industry

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

San Clemente Community Center

Gems that were once only bought by collectors have become increasingly popular in jewelry stores and designer boutiques. New finds have made these non-traditional gems more available, and retailers are using the stones to set themselves apart from their competition by creating unusual items to wear and give as gifts. This increasing interest in exotic gems prompted author Renée Newman to write five books on them – Exotic Gems: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 and Rare Gemstones.

Her presentation will help you evaluate the quality of unusual gem materials and show you how they can be used to create distinctive jewelry. The session will include photo examples and information on:

  • Unique jewelry designs with non-traditional gems
  • Value factors that can be more important than color
  • Care tips and appropriate setting styles for fragile gems
  • Pricing, including the highest-priced non-traditional gems
  • Geographic sources

The main stones that will be discussed are apatite, fluorite, kyanite, rhodochrosite and tanzanite. However, other colored stones will be illustrated and mentioned briefly.

Speakers, Field Trips, and More!

Join our resident Rock Hounds on one of our monthly field trips! Check here and (probably more up to date) the SOCGEMS facebook page for upcoming rock hounding field trips!

Andy on a field trip


South Orange County Gem and Mineral Society members pursue our hobby with responsibility.
Code of Ethics per The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies:

*   I will respect both private and public property and will do no collecting on privately owner land without permission from the owner.
*   I will keep informed on all laws, regulations and rules governing collecting on private lands and will observe them.
*   I will to the best of my ability, ascertain the boundary lines of property on which I plan to collect.
*   I will use no firearms or blasting materials in collecting areas.
*   I will cause no willful damage to property of any kind, such as fences, signs, building, etc.
*   I will leave all gates as found.
*   I will build fires only in designated or safe places and will be certain they are completely extinguished before leaving the area.
*   I will discard no burning materials – matches, cigarettes, etc.
*   I will fill all excavation holes, which may be dangerous to livestock.
*   I will practice conservation and undertake to utilize fully and well, the materials I have collected and will recycle my surplus for the pleasure and benefit of others.
*   I will support the Rockhound Project H.E.L.P. (Help Eliminate Litter Please) and will leave all collecting areas devoid of litter, regardless of how found.
*   I will cooperate with Field Trip Leaders and those in designated authority in all collecting areas.
*   I will report to my Club or Federation Officers, Bureau of Land Management or other proper authorities, any deposit of petrified wood or other material on public lands which should be protected for the enjoyment of future generations and for public educational and scientific purposes.
*   I will appreciate and protect our heritage of Natural Resources.
*   I will observe the ‘Golden Rule’, will use Good Outdoor Manners, and will at all times conduct myself in a manner which will add to the stature and Public Image of Rockhounds everywhere.

Save the Date!

Guests and visitors are welcome at all General Assembly Meetings.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR here’s what’s coming up …

FEBRUARY: Nathan Renfro – GIA Analytical Manager /Analytical Microscopist -Photomicrographer
MARCH: Renee Newman – Exotic Gems

silent auction

past events and speakers - here’s what you’ve missed ...

Each month it’s something new and interesting – we enjoy renowned speakers, field trips, and the pleasure of the company of other gem and mineral enthusiasts!