SOCGEMS Monthly Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, at 7:00 pm PST.


Wednesday, 16 June 2021, at 7:00 pm PDT

The South Orange County Gem and Mineral Society is proud to welcome Brian Cook

brian cook geologist

From a family salted with prospectors dating to western U.S.A. pioneer days, Brian Cook, geologist, lapidary artist, designer, philanthropist, resides between Tucson, AZ, and Bahia state, Brazil.

Brian met his lifelong muse, Kendra Grace, when she was an exchange student from Bahia, Brazil to Clairmont High School, (12th grade) in San Diego, 1974. Together they opened Nature’s Geometry Inc. in 1989 as a venue offering their art, gems, and minerals to the jewelry industry, and collectors, providing the lifestyle to raise a bicontinental, multi-cultural family. They have three daughters and two grandchildren.

During the 1980s Brian sourced minerals from Brazil for the gem and collectors trade. Starting in 1987, directing grass-roots exploration for precious metals in Brazil brought Brian to the Borborema Pegmatite Provence where his love of gem crystals and exotic minerals eventually led him to collide with the “Paraiba” tourmaline discovery as it was happening.

Currently mining golden rutilated quartz in Bahia, Brazil where his initiative is inspiring like-minded responsible sourcing advocates around the world to bring greater benefit for people and land to communities at the source. Brian is heading a project in Amazonas funded by Swarovski, which brings a fully traceable topaz to market while benefiting the mining community and the forest through reforestation and regenerative agriculture initiatives.

SOCGEMS invites you to our Monthly General Meeting via Zoom.
Registering is simple and quick
– once registered you will receive a confirmation email with a link to the meeting. See you there! 7:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time (US and Canada)

TOPIC: SOCGEMS General Meeting May 2020

WHEN: June 16, 2021, 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
ZOOM ROOM now opens at 6:45 pm PDT for social MEET and GREET


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Brian Cook Paraiba Tourmaline


In the 1980s, Brian sourced material from Brazil and directed grass-rootS exploration for precious metals in the Borborema Pegmatite Provence, which led to the “Paraiba” tourmaline discovery as it was happening.  This presentation will focus on two mineral localities—the Batalha Mine in Paraiba, Brazil, and the Novo Horizonte, Bahia district of golden rutilated quartz.

The Batalha Mine is the type locality for cuprian elbaite, “Paraiba Tourmaline”. We will see historical photos from the early discovery of 1989 talking history, geology, gemology into the 21st century. The Novo Horizonte mining district famous for golden rutilated quartz is an artisanal mining community ripe for demonstrating how sustainability can be designed into an extractive resource, the land, and the people.

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 …


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!