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., January 4, 2017 Program – Dr. Tim McCall of the Smithsonian will discuss iron meteorites in a program titled "Four Cores and Thirty Years Ago."

Our originally planned program for January, The Stone Faces of Teotihuacan, will be postponed to February 1. Our presenters were both called out of town unexpectedly.
Luckily, we have been able to line up another excellent presentation and presenter for January.

Our presenter this month will be Dr. Timothy McCoy, Geologist and Curator-in-Charge of the Meteorite Collection of the Smithsonian Institution.  His research is focused on using meteorites as a tool to understand the origin and evolution of their parent bodies, namely asteroids and Mars. His major focus has been on understanding the detailed melting and differentiation of asteroids in the early history of the Solar System to ultimately unravel the origin of differentiated worlds like Earth.  His presentation this month is entitled:

Four Cores and Thirty Years Ago

To many people, the word “meteorite” is synonymous with “iron meteorite”.  With their distinctive cross-hatched Widmanstatten pattern etched into the dense metal, these meteorites sample the cores of differentiated worlds that, like our Earth, had cores, mantles and crusts. 

Combining thirty years of study of iron meteorites and his work on spacecraft missions, Dr. McCoy will tell us about four different ways that cores formed in asteroids and planets and how each type produced a different kind of meteorite.   He will also discuss a proposed mission to sample the asteroid Psyche, a metallic asteroid, thought to be a core stripped of the crust and mantle by impacts.   

If you’ve always been curious about these visitors from outer space, come learn about iron meteorites.

Please join us in taking Dr. McCoy to dinner on January 4th 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 cannot make it to dinner, we will meet in the NMNH lobby at 7:30 pm (Constitution Avenue-side lobby) from which a security officer will lead us to our meeting room for Dr. McCoy’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!