Curious about the world under your feet?

Join with us to explore

the earth's 4000+ minerals and how they came to be!


Mission of the Mineralogical Society of the District of Columbia (MSDC)

  • To learn together and further knowledge about mineralogy and earth sciences
  • To share the pleasure of collecting minerals
  • To welcome you to explore these interests with us

Who We Are

  • We're rockhounds, professional mineral scientists, mineral collectors and enthusiasts, and people with new interests in minerals and earth sciences.
  • We're from DC, the Maryland and Virginia suburbs, and points beyond.
  • You're always welcome!

What we do:

  • Since 1942, we've met at the Smithsonian Institution to discuss all facets of earth sciences and hear  from experts in many related fields.
  • We sponsor or join with other local clubs for field trips.
  • Our monthly newsletters offer diverse articles at all knowledge levels.
  • We support mineral sciences by volunteering at the Smithsonian and elsewhere and by finding other ways to expand interest and knowledge.

When and Where

  • 1st Wednesday of every month except July and August.
  • At the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC.
  • 7:30 p.m. in the Constitution Avenue lobby. A security officer leads us to our meeting room, so please be on time.
  • December time and place may vary.

Next meeting – everyone welcome! Wed., April 5, 7:30 PM -- New Acquisitions of the Smithsonian Gems and Mineral Collection

We are pleased to once again welcome Dr. Jeffrey Post, curator-in-charge of the National Gem and Mineral Collection, U.S. National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution), as our presenter this month.  Dr. Post majored in Geology and Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1976.  He then earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry, with a specialty in Geochemistry, from Arizona State University in 1981.  Prior to joining the Department of Mineral Sciences at the Smithsonian Institution in 1984, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for three years in the Department of Geological Sciences at Harvard University.  From 1989 to 1994, and again from 2014 to the present, he served as the Chairman of the Department of Mineral Sciences, and in 1991 he became the Curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection.  In addition, Dr. Post served as the lead Curator for the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals that opened in 1997.  His areas of research interest include mineralogy, gemology, geochemistry, crystallography, and electron microscopy.  He has published nearly 100 articles in these fields.  In 2011, the mineral Postite, a rare hydrous decavanadate, was named in his honor.


Dr. Post’s presentation will take us on a journey of Smithsonian Institution Department of Mineral Sciences activities over the last year, including visits to and acquisitions at the Denver Mineral Show in September 2016 and the Tucson Mineral Show in February 2017.  He will also tell us about field collecting activities undertaken by the Department of Mineral Sciences and other significant happenings (personnel changes; acquisition of new scientific equipment to facilitate research) that occurred during the past year.

Please join us in taking Dr. Post to dinner on April 5th before the club meeting.  We will be meeting at 6:00 pm at Elephant & Castle Restaurant, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC, about 2 blocks from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) where our club meeting is held.  If you can't make it to dinner, we will meet in the NMNH lobby at 7:30 pm and a security officer will lead us to our meeting room for Dr. Post’s presentation.

Want to know more about any of this?

  • Email us at thompson01 at erols dot com. We’re happy to answer your questions.

  • Check the MSDC newsletter.

  • Visit a meeting any time!