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, 21 July 2019 at 7:15pm

The South Orange County Gem and Mineral Society is proud to welcome Richard Birt!

richard birt

Richard Birt

A geologist and rockhound enthusiast will share location details and probable specimens to discover at a presentation on Classic California Rockhounding Sites at the monthly South Orange County Gem and Mineral Society meeting, 7:15 pm, Wednesday, August 21, at the San Clemente Community Center. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Richard Birt, has been active in gem and mineral collecting, lapidary, gold smithing and geology for over 50 years. He still has the piece of Rhodonite he collected as a 13-year old in Heath Canyon in Wrightwood, CA. He has been leading geology classes in the field for over 40 years.

Birt will bring samples of materials he’s found at various sites, including geodes and fire agate from Wiley Well; lapis lazuli from Mount Baldy; petrified wood from Boron Dry Lake and blue agate from Acton.


The speaker earned his MBA in 1981 from Claremont Graduate School, and studied geology at Pomona College and USC. He is founder of RytePath, a customer targeting analytics marketing company.

Public Welcome

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.

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!