SOCGEMS Monthly Meetings are held the 3rd Wednesday of the month, at 7:15pm 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!

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 at 7:15pm

The South Orange County Gem and Mineral Society is proud to welcome GIA Historians Judy Colbert and Peggy Tsiamis!

Judy Colbert is Manager of Visual Resources at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), a non-profit institute of gemological research and education in Carlsbad, California. She obtained her Graduate Gemologist diploma from GIA in 1994. Prior to that, Judy worked at the Los Angeles Times for 14 years as Senior Permissions Coordinator, where she licensed the use of images and articles owned by the L.A. Times. In her current position, she specializes in image acquisition, rights management, image licensing, and special projects including articles and presentations. She holds a professional certificate in Intellectual Property through the University of California, San Diego Extension program.

Peggy Tsiamis is a Visual Resources and Research Librarian in the GIA Library since 1999. She has a background in art history, fine art photography sales and jewelry retail. Peggy studied gemology at Santiago Canyon College and has her AJP and Diamonds Graduate diploma from GIA. She has a special interest in jewelry designers and jewelry history and is a member of ASJH.

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

The Famous, Unknown Hollywood Jeweler

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, Presentation

San Clemente Community Center

                Beverly Hills jeweler, William Ruser, is mostly remembered for his whimsical figural jewelry with freshwater pearls. Very little has been written about his life and the other exceptional quality work he created for Hollywood’s elite such as Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford and many others. Through research and interviews, two GIA gem historians will present a program about the artist and jeweler, Willian Ruser, at the monthly Oct. 16, South Orange County Gem and Mineral Society meeting, 7:15 pm, at San Clemente Community Center.

Judy Colbert, is Manger of Visual Resources in the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and co-authored the book with Peggy Tsiamis, the Visual Resources and Research GIA Librarian, revealing details about Ruser’s personal and professional life in a well-illustrated book entitled The Jeweler Who Charmed Hollywood, to be published by GIA shortly.

They will also unravel some of the mystery surrounding the copycat “Children of the Week” jewelry he created, which is based on an 1800’s nursery rhyme that begins, “Monday’s child is fair of face.”

Born in 1908, Ruser began his career in jewelry design in Atlantic City, and moved to Beverly Hills in the 1930’s. After serving in the Army Air Corps in World War II, he opened his own jewelry store, Ruser Jewels, at 300 Rodeo Drive, with his wife, Pauline.

His creations were known for their three-dimensional platinum and diamond jewelry, as well as their cutting-edge use of baroque, freshwater pearls, which was very unusual at the time. His work was featured in many Hollywood films of the period, most notably in Sorry, Wrong Number, with Barbara Stanwyck, and his work was included in the book, Hollywood Jewels.

Ruser retired in 1969 and sold his business location to Van Cleef & Arpels. He died in 1994. The GIA authors both have an interest and extensive background in jewelry history and have earned diplomas from GIA as well as being staff members of the internationally known gemology authority institute for many years. This should be a fascinating and visually exciting presentation.

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 …

AUGUST: Richard Birt – Classic CA Rockhounding Sites
and San Clemente Arts & Crafts Fair
SEPTEMBER: Kirk Kegel – Gemological Photography
OCTOBER: Al Gilbertson – Cutting & Cabbing Colored Stones
NOVEMBER: Robert Weldon – Photo Tour of Burma
DECEMBER: Club Christmas Party


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!