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.
  • Take Metro or use ParkMobile app for on-street parking on Constitution Avenue 6:30-10 PM. Or park on other streets.


Change! 10/3 meeting: Amethyst from the Jackson Crossroads locality - Everyone welcome!


I have good news and bad news.


First the bad news.  A health issue has sidelined our planned October speaker, Herwig Pelckmans.  We wish him a most rapid recovery and hope we can hear his presentation at some time in the future. 


Now the good news.  We are most fortunate to have found another excellent speaker and presentation for our October 3rd meeting.  Our speaker will be Sarah Christensen, former curator of the Tellus Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, who has recently relocated to the Washington, DC area.  Her presentation will be on the Jackson Crossroads amethyst locality in Wilkes County, Georgia.  When the Tucson Mineral Show picked as its theme “American Mineral Treasures,” they identified 45 sites in the U.S, as the best and most iconic the country has to offer.  Jackson Crossroads was one of them, well known for its world-class amethyst specimens.  Sarah will tell us about the geology of the deposit and share video of the recovery of a pocket at the site.


Please join us in taking Sarah to dinner on October 3rd 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 plan to come to dinner, please send an e-mail to davidhennessey at comcast dot net, so he can try to get the number right for the reservation - but do not hesitate to come to dinner if you forget to e-mail.  We can always make room for more around the table.  If you cannot make it to dinner, we will meet in the NMNH lobby (10th and Constitution NW) at 7:30 pm and head up to the Cathy Kerby Room for Sarah’s presentation.


(Thanks to Dave Hennessey for the great write-up and amazingly fast and excellent recovery after Herwig had to suddenly cancel.)


CHANGE in parking for meetings –


If you come to dinner, take Metro. There’s no parking on most downtown streets until 6:30 PM.


Parking for meetings:

  • The NMNH parking lot is closed to us through 2025 (7 years) because of construction.
  • On-street parking on Constitution Avenue will be available only after 6:30 PM. It will cost about $3 to 4 per hour until 10 PM.  Meetings and social time often last until 9:45 – 10 PM.
  • Payment for parking on Constitution Avenue must be done via the free app ParkMobile. Download it to your cell phone via GooglePlay or AppStore.
  • Perhaps parking on 7th Street, 12th Street, and on the Mall is also available, perhaps at lower cost.
  • Carpools can make sense – e.g., save on parking costs.

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!