The Wichita Gem and Mineral Society began meeting in January 1952. A group of 54 like-minded rock enthusiasts began to meet in their homes and set by-laws in motion that would ensure the continuation of their passion of the hobby. We now meet at the Community of Christ Church at 3500 S. Webb Road in Wichita KS.
In our 60 plus years of existence we have continued to grow. We plan monthly meetings where we learn about different types of rocks, minerals, and locales. Our members bring in ‘Show and Tell’ items they have gathered in their trips, ideas are exchanged, plans for exciting field trips are made, and we enjoy a variety of snacks and drinks we bring to share with everyone.
Our club hosts an impressive annual, multi-day show where vendors from around the country bring a vast variety of fascinating items to sell. We sponsor a junior rock pile created out of member collections to encourage budding rockhounds, we construct colorful and educational grab bags to sell at the show, and we have local artists demonstrate lapidary skills. Members organize, set up, and assist with all aspects of the show.
We have enthusiastic field trips coordinated by our dedicated field trip organizer where we find fossils, rocks, varied plant life, and metal detect for treasures. We visit museums in local areas to learn about local discoveries such as ancient marine fossils, geology, and local culture.
We welcome new members and enjoy learning new skills, hearing about new experiences, and sharing our skills and knowledge. In order to join our club, attend a monthly meeting.
The Purposes of this society are:
- To increase and disseminate knowledge of the sciences pertaining to minerals, gems, rocks, artifacts, fossils, and similar subjects.
- To increase a practical knowledge of cutting, grinding, and polishing of these materials.
- To encourage field trips to study the science of geology and of minerals in place.
- To encourage greater public interest and education in gems and minerals and cooperation with established institutions in such matters.
At WGMS, we are passionate about education, especially when it comes to geology and the earth sciences! Our monthly meetings consist of a presentation related to a field of earth sciences and then socializing over snacks! Past topics have included evolution, gemstone significances in different cultures, paleontology, volcanoes, mining, oil and so much more!
We also offer various events throughout the year. In the winter, we host classes where members learn about various lapidary arts including silver smithing, beading, cabochon-making, wire-wrapping, gemstone carving, and more! Once a year, we also host an auction where fabulous items are donated and purchased by club members and collectors.
The highlight of our club is our annual show which takes place at the Cessna Activity Center in April. In addition to featuring amazing dealers and demonstrators from around the country, we offer educational programs for local schools and scouts organizations. Proceeds from the annual show and other events we offer throughout the year help fund geology scholarships for students at Wichita State University.