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.