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!

June 7 Program – Maryland Minerals:  A Bit of the Unusual, Extreme, and Spectacular

When searching the internet for information about local (e.g. Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania) minerals, localities or collectors, I often find relevant links that lead me to the same site – the Mineral Bliss blog.  It seems that whatever has piqued my interest already piqued the interest of veteran mineral collector, Jake Slagle, and not only that - he has researched the topic and written an article about it.  Jake’s blog articles are always fact filled, but more than that, they relate interesting personal anecdotes and include pictures that bring an extra dimension to the stories Jake tells.  Jake describes himself as a “collector of, writer about, and photographer of minerals.”  His blog brings together all those facets of his enthusiasm for and dedication to our shared hobby.

I am happy to report that for our June 7th program, Jake has agreed to make a presentation to MSDC on Maryland Minerals.  His presentation will be a tour of unusual, extreme, and spectacular Maryland minerals and will include information especially relevant to MSDC regarding the major role members played in 1944 and again in 1965 with respect to phosphate concretions found on the grounds of NASA Goddard’s Visitor Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

A life-long Maryland resident, Jake specializes in Maryland and regionally collected mineral, micromounts, and rare species.  Like many of us, Jake enjoyed mineral collecting as a child but then took a hiatus (of 45 years) before reconnecting with the hobby in the late 1990’s.   He created the Maryland Minerals website in 2007 and the Mineral Bliss blog in 2009, and continues to manage both today.  He has consulted at the Harvard Mineralogical Museum regarding its Maryland collected minerals.  Jake was Program Director for the Baltimore Mineral Society from 2007 through 2016 and has been the Secretary of the Baltimore Mineral Society from 2011 through the present.

Please join us in taking Jake to dinner on June 7th 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 Jake’s presentation.

Dave Hennessey, Vice President and Program Chair

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!