About the Peninsula Gem & Geology Society


The Purpose of the PENINSULA GEM & GEOLOGY SOCIETY INC. as stated in our By-Laws:

"ARTICLE I: The primary objective of the Peninsula Gem & Geology Society, Inc., is to promote interest in, and disseminate knowledge of, Geology, Mineralogy, and related subjects. The Society will conduct meetings, seminars, conferences and field trips in furtherance of the objectives stated above."


On a sunny Sunday in April, 1950, while sitting in a quarry on Half Moon Bay Road, the Rock Identification Class at the Palo Alto Adult Education taught by Lawrence Fuller appointed a temporary committee to write up a club's constitution and by-laws. They were approved in October and forty two charter members held their first meeting of the Palo Alto Geology Society. The founding members were interested primarily in rocks, their composition, their origins, their age and transformations. Dr. Gordon Oakeschott, Chief Geologist, and Oliver Bowen, Chief Petrologist, California Bureau of Mines, were honorary members and over the years led the group on field trips all over California. Lapidary and gemology were incidental to begin with but as the interest in lapidary increased, the club changed its name to Peninsula Gem and Geology Society. The change in name in April 1965 reflected the wider geographic range of membership as well as the wider range of interest among the members. Our meetings were held in the Los Altos Garden House until our 50 year lease was up in 2015. The Garden House allowed the use of a basement room for a lapidary and that will continue as a separate community service. Members of PGGS taught lapidary as well as preparing their own outstanding lapidary projects, from classic cabochons to 'grape clusters' and 'stained glass lampshades' Today, we have an updated lapidary, a Vendor Show and a hope for new members.


Our general meetings are held the 4th Wednesday of most months, at 7:00 PM. We feature guest speakers, slide shows, videos and/or demonstrations on various aspects of geology, rock hounding or mineralogy. Programs are followed by refreshments and a 'silent auction' of rocks and rock related materials. We are 'dark' July-August and we schedule a Summer Picnic, a May Dinner Meeting and early dates for the November and December meetings. Details are in our Newsletter and will now be posted online. See the Schedule page for upcoming meeting location and program information.


Our monthly newsletter, the "Petrograph," contains information on club activities, feature articles on rocks and minerals, listings of other clubs' shows and field trips, in this area or to other major California collecting sites.


Lapidary Workshops
As part of our activities, we have instruction in the lapidary arts at the Garden House in Shoup Park, Los Altos, California. See our Lapidary Schedule for current hours.

Craft Workshops
Show workshops are held to create and prepare items for personal use, gifts, or for sale at our Annual Show. Instruction in Wire Art, Ming Trees and Beading is also provided as desired. Information is in the newsletter.

Field Trips

Current members may attend one-day or weekend trips to nearby collecting sites throughout the year. Members may also participate in field trips offered by other clubs in the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies.


Our annual show, Recreation with Rocks, is held at the Los Altos Civic Center, Youth Center on One San Antonio Road, Los Altos, California, in late October. We have exhibits of club crafts and collections and sales of polished stones, rock critters, cutting materials and mineral specimens.

Board Meetings

Board meetings are usually held the 1st Thursday of most months. The location is announced in the newsletter.

Non-Profit Status

We are a 501c3 non-profit, educational club, donations are tax-deductible, EIN 94-6095152. Click Here for information on how to send money to our club.

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