Nineteen members of a fledgling rockhound organization put together their first field trip,  only about two months after they formed their club. Their destination was Murfreesboro, Arkansas, at Crater of Diamonds State Park. Ann Sisk found a .23 carat  light brown diamond, Marilyn Tims a .37 carat light brown, Jean White a .40 carat white diamond and Francis Mallison a .41 carat brown diamond. It was  reported that the men did not have much luck.

On August 9, 1956, a  meeting was hosted by Mrs. Arthur Lee Parker at her home. Mrs. Parker had discovered a  15.5 carat diamond (valued more than $15,000 in its rough state) at the Crater of Diamonds, known as the “Star of Arkansas”, which cut to a splendid marquise of 8.27 carats!   At this ‘first’ meeting, thirty area rockhounds attended. They elected a  President, Halstead; a Vice-President, Mrs. A.L. Parker; and a Secretary,  Mrs. G.S. Ohm. The group held their first business meeting three weeks later on  August 29, 1956. The club name, Dallas Gem and Mineral Society, was selected and  the constitution and by-laws were approved. There were fifty-one charter  members.

At the club’s next meeting, September 21, 1956, the first public showing of the  “Star of Arkansas” diamond was held. Harold Branch of New York City, who cut and  polished the stone, presented the evening’s program.

Dallas Gem and Mineral  Society received its Corporate Charter in December 1957 with 92 members. The  club held its first show May 1-4, 1958. At this National Gem & Mineral Show  and Convention, the displays and exhibits read like a world-class who’s who  list. Among the exhibits was the “Star of Arkansas” and other diamond collections, 200 hand-ground spheres, a 147 piece carved dinner set made from Death Valley matched onyx, a 155 pound meteorite from Brewster County, and 30 bowls, hand carved from jade, amethyst, agate, petrified wood and other minerals (just to name a few).

Today, the Dallas Gem and Mineral Society still carries on the  tradition of its founders. Our purpose and goals have remained the same:  promoting knowledge and interest not just in the areas of rocks, minerals,  fossils, lapidary art, metal-working, geology and related earth sciences; but  also promoting fellowship and support to everyone who has an interest in  these wonderful fields.

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4 thoughts on “History

  1. I have heard that there are geodes in the Dallas area, and would like to find one.

    Do any of your members know about this, and where I should look?

    Sorry to miss the swap today–I plan to visit on a Saturday soon.



    • The geodes found in the Dallas area are Septarian Nodules. Generally all of us rockhounds are snooping around any sight where there is major earth moving for construction purposes. Caution must be taken on all these sites for your own protection! Permission is required from the owner of the property to look for rocks. Another item of local interest is Pyrite. You may visit our Shop during “open shop” to visit with club members to get some ideas of where to look. Donald Slater at Nature’s Gallery, Carrollton, Texas, is another good source for places to look for septarian nodules and pyrite. He has local examples of both in his store.

      Gerald Pennington

  2. Do you have restrictions on allowing kids on field trips to say: TXI, Ashgrove, Black Cat, Kansas , etc . ….I have a 15 years old and an 8 years old & am looking for an organization that doesn’t precludes them from their field trips.

    • Generally there are no restrictions on allowing children on field trips at Dallas Gem & Mineral Society as long as they are accompanied by an adult (who is a member of the Club). There are exceptions, depending on the individual field trip.


      Gerald Pennington

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