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! November 2, 2016 Program – Some History and Minerals of Franklin and Sterling Hill, New Jersey:

  • The mines of Franklin and the Sterling Hill Mine in Ogdensburg, Sussex County, New Jersey, are world-famous. No other site can boast the same assortment of rare and interesting minerals. More than 365 different minerals have been found at these mines, including 74 for which Franklin and Sterling Hill are the type locality.Among those, 27 have been found nowhere else.Many of the minerals found here are fluorescent and the borough of Franklin has been called the
  • Our Nov. 2 presenter is Mark Dahlman, who will discuss the fascinating history and minerals of Franklin and Sterling Hill.He is the current president of the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society (FOMS) and a director of the Franklin Mineral Museum.He is also a past president of the Gem, Lapidary, and Mineral Society of Montgomery County (GLMSMC) and currently leads their Future Rockhounds of Americaprogram, for up-and-coming mineral collectors, ages 10-15.Mark is a native of the Washington, DC area and a graduate of Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!).He, his wife, Rebecca, and his daughter reside in Montgomery County, MD.In his real life, Mark is an engineer working on air traffic control programs.In his fantasy life, he is a miner in the Franklin Mine who comes home each night with a lunch bucket full of rare and beautiful treasures.
  • Please join us for dinner on November 2nd 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. Ask at the restaurant for “the mineral club.” If you can’t make it to dinner, meet us 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 a brief business meeting and Mark’s presentation.

Special Opportunities!

  • Help scientists search for 145 carbon-bearing minerals. They’re relying on us, the mineral-collecting community.
  • Become a volunteer at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. You choose what to do: engage with visitors to NMNH exhibits or work with scientists behind the scenes. It’s fascinating, fun, and a great way to learn and serve at the same time.

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!