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The VGMS Logo.The VGMS Logo.The Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, Inc. (VGMS),
City of Ventura, California
County of Ventura, California.

Ventura Gem & Mineral Society named "All American Club" for 2009!
The following link goes to an explanation of our Purpose followed by
an article from the AFMS web site on how well we do with that this time.

****NOTE: New Location Address effective July 23 meeting.
The Poinsettia Pavilion, Santa Paula Room, 3451 Foothill Road, Ventura, CA.****

VGMS Workshop.

The Workshop.

     We host an "Open Workshop Day" for members the third Saturday of each month, where folks can come in and pursue individual lapidary and jewelry-making projects under the supervision of two to three shop stewards. The workshop space is divided between two buildings. Our garage holds slab saws and trim saws for cutting rocks to size for lapidary work. And within the clubhouse, the kitchen and laundry rooms have been converted to hold grinding and polishing units to craft cabs. Two small flat laps are available for long-term loan for members to use at home. The shop also features a fossil-prep station for extracting small fossils from matrix.

VGMS Library.

The Library.

     Our library collection contains over 660 books covering the full spectrum of the earth sciences, mineral and fossil collecting, lapidary arts, petrified wood, meteorites, gold prospecting and more. 139 of those books focus specifically on California - its mining history, field trip localities, minerals and fossils. The collection also holds hundreds of issues of such magazines as Rock & Gem, Lapidary Journal and Gems & Minerals. Many of these contain articles with field trip directions and step-by-step instructions for lapidary projects. The library room has a large reading table also used to host meetings.

VGMS Museum.

The Museum.

Our Ray Meisenheimer Memorial Museum has been set up with two purposes in mind:
     1. to provide samples of minerals and fossils collected in California and nearby states (along with directions to localities) to guide club members who wish to travel on a collecting trips;
     2. to provide displays and materials tied to school curricula and to Scout badge requirements as an educational resource for our broader community. The museum features a "Dino Room" with skull casts and information about California dinosaurs and our primary room with displays featuring rocks, minerals, and local fossils. The museum is open by advance appointment only.

The Easy Access Area.

PLEASE NOTE: An important change has been made to this site. Any page you request will now come up in your current browser window instead of appearing in a new window. This change improves the site's accessibility. An exception to the above is files that come up in other programs such as Microsoft Word. You will know when this happens because you'll see a new window with the file in it. Close that window when you're finished with that file.

The following link is for use by any VGMS members who need to renew their membership. The Application is located here. It's in Word and takes a little time to load.

PRESENTER'S MANUAL for Earth Science Activities.
     Leading this paragraph you'll find a link to the above mentioned manual and at the end an email address you can use for more information. The manual contains "scripts" for the ten most common presentations that Ventura Gem & Mineral Society members give to school groups, homeschoolers, and Scouts who come to the VGMS museum room or who request a presentation in the classroom. Each script includes a Learning Objective, a list of Recommended Materials, and a step-by-step guide (with photos) through the presentation, whether teaching about the three rock types, mineral identification, economic uses of minerals, dinosaurs and fossils, or our state rock, mineral, gemstone, and fossil. The manual is provided as a guide for VGMS members who volunteer to give presentations and as a "menu of options" for teachers, homeschoolers, and scout leaders to pick from in requesting presentations for their kids. We welcome edits and suggestions for additional activities to add to this manual. Please send your thoughts and suggestions to Jim Brace-Thompson at

You must have a Facebook account to use this page. -- Facebook.

For a Complete List of Books in the VGMS Library go to The VGMS Library Catalogue Page - Updated February 10, 2013.

Please visit the VGMS Gift Shop on CafePress!

The Next Meetings of The VGMS

     will be

a General Meeting on July 23, 2014, at 7:30 pm at a NEW LOCATION: The Poinsettia Pavilion, Santa Paula Room, 3451 Foothill Road, Ventura, CA and a Board Meeting on August 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm at the Community Center for Union Bank at 801 S. Victoria Avenue, Suite 200B, Ventura, CA on the corner of Victoria and Thille.

Regular Meetings - Fourth Wednesday of the month (except November and December - 2nd Wednesday), 7:30 pm at Poinsettia Pavilion, Santa Paula Room, 3451 Foothill Road, Ventura, CA. Everyone (including youth) is invited to attend any of our General Meetings.

Board Meetings - First Thursday of the month, 7:30 pm at the Community Center for Union Bank at 801 S. Victoria Avenue, Suite 200B, Ventura, CA on the corner of Victoria and Thille. However, the board meeting location or date may change. Keep yourself informed by contacting Diane Cook at 805-647-8517 or email or in person.

The Next Workshops of The VGMS

     will be

August 16, 2014 and September 20, 2014. See below for time and directions.

The Rockhound Sticker.

Workshops - Third Saturday of the month from 9 am until Noon. The location is 11969 Creek Road, Ojai, CA. It's across the street from Camp Comfort.

Directions to the Museum/Workshop Site: From Ventura travel north on Highway 33 through Casitas Springs and turn right onto Creek Road. After 4 miles on Creek Road you will come upon Camp Comfort on your right. Our facility is a group of structures on your left (across from the Camp) with a large parking area.

CAUTION: The speed of traffic past the clubhouse on Creek Road exceeds the limit for the area. We prefer and advise people to enter and exit the driveway at the point farthest from the clubhouse (on the side of the clubhouse toward Ventura) so it allows the drivers maximum view of approaching traffic as you turn off of and onto Creek Road. Your safety is of utmost importance.

Greg Davis.

The Purpose of The VGMS.

A Color Photo Showing Sardonyx (banded agate).     is

to promote interest and to sponsor and provide means and activities which will result in the dissemination of information and knowledge in geology, mineralogy, paleontology, lapidary, and similar sciences; to conduct lectures, classes, or study groups to further education and interest in the aforesaid sciences; and to make and exhibit mineral collections.
Webmaster's Note: Please see the article below to learn how well we do the things mentioned above.

The All American Club Award was established in 1967 to encourage clubs to share their activities and expertise with other clubs within their respective regional federations and with all clubs of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies. It was also meant to provide an organized approach to an historical record of a club's activities and to provide a means for national recognition of exceptional clubs. The Award focuses on the efforts of each club to be a good neighbor within its local community, to support other clubs and government initiatives, and to provide an avenue of learning and growth for its members. Clubs applying for this Award prepare a report on their activities from the preceding year, and each report is read and judged for completeness and quality, as well as inclusion of activities thought to make for a well-rounded club. Clubs are evaluated against a national standard established by a committee of judges and regional chairmen. The Award is broken into 2 categories: large clubs (100 members or more) and small clubs (less than 100 members). Gold, silver, and bronze awards are given, based on a point-count system, and the club with the most points is acknowledged as a & "Club of the Year" and awarded a certificate and medal. In 2010, the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society was recognized for their efforts throughout 2009 as "Club of the Year" with a Gold Medal at both the regional level of the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies and at the national level of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies.

In case we have you all excited about the purpose of the VGMS, here's an easy way to apply for membership. Click on the following link to the VGMS Membership Application in Word format and print the page on your printer.

Fill out the form and then you can either mail it (address on the application) or bring it to the next regular meeting. Bringing it to the meeting is recommended so we can meet you. Click on this link to the VGMS Information Page to find information about our meetings or go farther down the page to see officers' phone numbers to call for more information. The application will be presented at the next board meeting, which is normally a week after the general meeting, and we'll advise you how that turned out.

The following links are a few places you can visit.

(DISCLAIMER: By linking to other web sites from anywhere on this site, the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society, Inc. does not imply endorsement of those sites or any of their content, or of products or services mentioned on them.

In alphabetical order, the other members
of our Tri-Club Organization.

The Conejo Gem and Mineral Club Logo.
The Conejo Gem & Mineral Club.

The Oxnard Gem and Mineral Society Logo.
The Oxnard Gem & Mineral Society.

A few other organizations important to the VGMS.

The Searles Lake G&MS Logo.
The Searles Lake Gem & Mineral Society.

They are the nice folks who sponsor the annual Gem-O-Rama
at Trona, CA, with the well known Searles Lake field trips.

The Gull Wings Childrens' Museum Sign.
The Gull Wings Childrens' Museum.

I joined their Advisory Board this year and am helping
them to upgrade their Earth Science exhibits for kids.
In years past, Ray Meisenheimer had also done work
with them, and a number of our club members are donating
rocks and fossils toward the exhibit upgrades.
Jim Brace-Thompson.

The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) Logo.
The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS).

We're affiliated with them.

The California Federation of Mineralogical Societies (CFMS) Logo.
The California Federation of Mineralogical Societies (CFMS).

We're a member.

The United States Geological Survey Logo.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Logo.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The California Oil Museum Logo.
The California Oil Museum.

Learn how to contact


by going to The VGMS How To Contact Us Page.

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Webmaster: James A. Layton,
Last Updated: 07-19-2014,
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