The Columbia Gem & Mineral Society

Do you like to look at interesting rocks, sparkling gemstones or hunt for arrowheads? Love rare stones? Want to learn about beading and lapidary art? The Columbia Gem and Mineral Society is a non-profit educational organization that offers workshops on cutting rocks, cabochons and more. Exciting field trips are planned throughout the year for rock hounds, amateur gemologists and explorers.

geodes_cutAt monthly meetings, there is often a Show & Tell where members show off a rock, found or bought, or a piece of jewelry. These items can be found on field trips, made in lapidary class or from a personal collection. Sometimes certificates are awarded for the prettiest AND ugliest items!

Interesting field trips like the recent trip to Little Pine Garnet Mine, where members got a chance to explore the mine and collect garnets, and the trip to Willis Mountain Kyanite Mine to search for white and rare blue kyanite crystals. The mine is known for having pyrite, white muscovite, green fuchsite and red iron-stained muscovite crystals. gem2

This gives you an idea of the types of classes or workshops they have offered in the past: Chain Maille-One of the most popular and fastest growing areas of jewelry making. This class taught old “knights’ armor” designs updated with precious metals to create beautiful chains, necklaces, earrings etc. Flint Knapping focused on replicating stone tools made by prehistoric Native Americans. Participants learned to work flint with percussion and pressure flaking techniques to create shark-tooth-other-productarrowheads, knives, scrapers and more. Stone Carving was an introduction to lapidary skills. Students learned how to grind, carve and work stones and create polishing points to achieve beautiful finishes on gemstones.

gem1Sound interesting? Meetings are held the third Thursday of the month except in December, at the McKissick Museum from 7-9PM. (Park beside the museum at the intersection of Pendleton & Bull Street in downtown Columbia) Enjoy socializing and refreshments! Visit, download a membership form and submit by mail or email to Also, contact Sue Shrader about upcoming field trips, dues and more at

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