Our History:

The Southwest Gem and Mineral Society was first founded as the San Antonio Rock and Lapidary Society on July 27, 1953. The first President was Allan Nye. The Bexar County Mineral Club was formed on May 4, 1965. It was dissolved in October of 1971 and merged with the San Antonio Rock & Lapidary Society. The name was changed to the Southwest Gem and Mineral Society on May 1st, 1973 by Certificate of Amendment to the Corporate Charter.

The first Gem and Mineral show hosted by the society was around 1960 in front of the Witte Museum. Later it was moved to La Villita. From La Villita it moved to a bigger venue in the Morris Activity Center on the grounds of the Joe & Harry Freeman Coliseum. In 2009 we held our first show at the Live Oak Community Center. In 2013 we moved the show to the San Antonio Event Center until 2020. This 59th show was the last weekend before the COVID Pandemic, which forced the closure of all group activities. We resumed our 60th Fiesta of Gems show in April of 2022. It was during this year that we returned to the Joe Freeman Coliseum in the Morris Center, where we hope to continue our future shows.

Norm Simpson | Photo by Joann De Luna

The club continues to evolve and expand with the influx of new people, new ideas and new opportunities. We look to you, our new member, to help us in our future endeavors.

The Southwest Gem and Mineral Society is a member of the American Federation of Mineralogical Society. Our club has monthly meetings, field trips and many other interesting activities. Inside this pamphlet you will find more information about our society along with a list of activities enjoyed by members. We hope that being a member of the SWGMS will be a rewarding and fun filled experience for you. The rewards are greatly intensified by your level of activity. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting and hopefully you become an active member.


Our mission, as a nonprofit organization, is to promote interest, foster knowledge, and provide education in the Earth Sciences. We strive to bring together a community of persons with common interest to share in the appreciation of minerals, fossils, archaeology, paleontology, general geology and lapidary arts.


The Southwest Gem & Mineral Society is devoted to promoting interest, knowledge and education in the Earth Sciences. Each year the members of our society, along with area educators, nationally known dealers and many other knowledgeable individuals, devote a great deal of their time, effort, and talents to raise money to fund scholarships to three local Universities in the area of Earth Science. In addition, monetary awards are made to High School Science Fair Projects relating to the Earth Sciences and we further support the educational sector with donations of specimen displays. Our club hosts local gem & mineral shows and classes related to gems and minerals are conducted several times a year. We also encourage fellowships within our membership and encourage the community to join us in our passions and adventures by organizing field trips, rock hunts, gem and mineral shows and providing educational support.

Lonnie French | Photo by Joann De Luna