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!


Wednesday, 12 February 2020 at 7:00pm

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

richard birt

Richard Birt runs the largest turquoise academic site on Facebook, which houses the largest collection of white papers and mine identification postings, now at 6,000 plus. It has over 600 contributors. He has been cutting and collecting stones since 1972.

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
feb 2020_socgems

Turquoise: Southwest America’s Sky Stone

Wednesday, February 12, 2020, Presentation

San Clemente Community Center

Turquoise is one of the most beloved stones found in America. The talk will cover the historic mines of Pre Colombian America, how it was traded by the SW Native Americans, and how it became the beloved stone of the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni and Pueblo people.

In 1880, began the adoption of Western mining interests, allowing it to be used internationally and for Native American tourist items sold through trading posts and railway stops. We will tell the rich history of California, Colorado and NM mines that drove the initial boom. And how Nevada and Arizona drove the mid century to today’s market. There were over 200 mines in the SW.

We will also celebrate the Modern Native American Jewelry Movement, lead by Kenneth Begay (Navajo) and Charles Loloma (Hopi).

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!