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.

Next Meetings


Wed,, March 6 -- Pegmatites - Mike Wise, Mineral Sciences Department, Smithsonian Institution


Wed., April 3 -- The Many Faces of Fluorite - Herwig Pelckmans


Wed., May 1 -- Recent Smithsonian Mineral Acquisitions - Jeff Post, Chair of Mineral Sciences Department and Curator of Gems and Minerals at the Smithsonian Institution


Wed., June 5 -- Dr. Cindy Kearns


Please join us as we typically take speakers to dinner at 6:00 PM before the club meeting. We'll have dinner at the Elephant and Castle Restaurant, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, just a couple of blocks from our meeting place -- the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  If you can't make it to dinner, meet us in the Constitution Avenue lobby of the Natural History Museum at 7:30 PM. 

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 because of construction.
  • On-street parking on Constitution Avenue is available only after 6:30 PM. It costs $3-4 per hour until 10 PM. It's free after 10 PM. Meetings and social time often last until 9:45 – 10 PM.
  • Pay for parking on Constitution Avenue at a kiosk, or with the free app ParkMobile. Download it to your cell phone via GooglePlay or AppStore.
  • Maybe parking on 7th Street, 12th Street, and on the Mall is also available, maybe at lower cost.
  • Carpools can 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!