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.


December meeting -- if you haven't received email info on the holiday party, please email thompson01 at yahoo dot com.  Looking forward to celebrating together!


Meeting January 2, 2019 -- Casper Voogt will tell us about his recent field trip to Namibia.

Our January presenter is our own co-webmaster Casper Voogt.  While we are benefitting daily from his computer skills keeping MSDC’s website up and running, every year I look forward to Casper’s presentations, which allow me to live vicariously through his adventures.  Casper is always generous with his time presenting to our club and other area clubs on his amazing trips.  Over the last few years, we had opportunities to “travel” with Casper to Mozambique, Myanmar, and the Kola Peninsula in Russia.  At our January meeting, Casper will take us on the next adventure, this time to Namibia.


Casper will connect history, geography, and geology in a presentation that will take us from geological changes a billion years ago, to German colonization a century ago, to independent Namibia of today.  We will travel from the capital of Windhoek in the center of the country to Etosha National Park and mining towns in the north, to the Sossuvlei desert in the south.  We will see zebras, cheetas, lions, and more.  And, more on point for our mineralogical interests, we will admire localities for, and samples of, dioptase, amethyst, quartz, aquamarine, and copper.


Casper is a part-time mineral dealer, lifelong mineral collector, and avid traveler.  His academic background is in architecture (Princeton and Georgia Tech).  He has lived in the U.S., the Netherlands, Aruba, and Switzerland.  Casper runs a web development company and is the webmaster of the Northern Virginia Mineral Club and co-webmaster of our MSDC website.


Please join us in taking Casper to dinner on January 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.  If you cannot make it to dinner, we will meet in the NMNH lobby at 7:30 pm and head up to the Cathy Kerby Room for Casper’s presentation.


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 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.
  • Payment for parking on Constitution Avenue - at a kiosk, or with 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 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!