It has been decided that because of the Covid19 virus our April meeting is now canceled.  There is info on the Covid 19 virus on our blog.

You can contact us by calling:

M.J. Hueter – 360.352.9702

The Washington Agate and Mineral Society (WAMS) is one of the oldest clubs in the state of Washington (founded 1937). Members share a common interest in rocks, minerals and activities such as collecting and Jewelry making.

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in rocks and minerals. WAMS has a separate junior branch for youngsters. Regular meetings are the first Tuesday of the month in the First Baptist Church of Lacy at College St. and 22nd (see directions below). Meeting time is 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for both juniors and adults. (Except the first Tuesday of August when the meeting is a potluck picnic at Priest point park in Olympia).

Club meetings include demonstrations and informative presentations on rock and minerals, a silent auction and a “show-and-tell” segment for members to exhibit their favorite rocks and lapidary work.  WAMS members can attend rock collecting field trip sponsored by the Washington State Mineral Council.

WAMS also puts on an Annual Rock, Gem, Fossil and Mineral Show in Tenino WA during July.

WAMS is affiliated with the Washington state mineral council and The Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies.


  • Take I-5 from the north or south to Exit 109 (Martin Way Exit)
  • Head west ( right from the north,left from the south) onto Martin Way.
  • Turn left onto College St. SE and go 1.45 miles
  • Turn left onto 22nd SE. and go .07 miles
  • Turn right into the Church parking lot

130 responses to “About

  1. Good morning,
    I know a youngster that is interested in rocks.
    She is 9 and we would like get some recommendations for local excursions that are likely to be interesting and productive for a beginners.
    Any suggestions or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.


    • Lou: I would recommend that you contact a local rock club, or attend one of our meetings. The Washington Mineral Council has a list of rock hunting field trips that you might be interested in.


    • Good morning, I have a similiar question as Lou above. I’m interested in taking my son to find Thundereggs near Lincoln Creek/Lincoln School. I did this as an elementary school trip many years ago. I don’t exactly know where to find the location and if it is open to anyone to visit any longer? Can someone tell me where to find this? I remember it being by an old school building. Can anyone provide information for someone who is a total novice? Thank you!

      • Marny: I am sorry to say that I have never heard of Thundereggs being found near Lincoln Creek/Lincoln School, so I won’t be able to help you. I do know that there are crystals and augite located in the hills above Lincoln Creek. I will check with our members at our next meeting to see if anyone knows the location you are talking about.


    • I have a roughly 6 inch diameter branch of petrified wood that I need cut into slices. Does anyone know of someone in the Olympia or Tacoma area with the capability of cutting such a piece? I would greatly appreciate the help… Marc

    • Rev. Mark Schwinn

      Is she looking for a friend? Our family will be moving to Olympia for a year of education at the hospital, and we have an 8 year old boy who is an absolute rock hound. We’ll be checking out your meetings as soon as we get to your area.

  2. Hi, I have a large rock tumbler I’d like to find a home for. It was purchased from Robinson machine several years back and is a solidly built, homemade piece of equiptment. The drum is 18″ diameter x 10″ wide. The opening is 5″x 5″. $75 and it’s yours. Call me @ 360 229 2211 for a picture or to meet up. I live on the west side of Olympia. Thank you, Will

    • Will: Thanks for the information about your rock tumbler. I have no need for another tumbler, but I will pass along your information to the club members.


      • Vicki Patterson

        Hi Charley

        I would be very interested in the rock tumbler if it’s still available.
        Thank you and I appreciate your time.

        Warm regards,
        Vicki Patterson

      • Vicki: I currently don’t have a rock tumbler for sale. Thank you four your interest. You might check eBay as they usually have some for sale.


      • Vicki: I went back through the comments and found this one from 2012. I don’t know if it is still available or not.

        Hi, I have a large rock tumbler I’d like to find a home for. It was purchased from Robinson machine several years back and is a solidly built, homemade piece of equiptment. The drum is 18″ diameter x 10″ wide. The opening is 5″x 5″. $75 and it’s yours. Call me @ 360 229 2211 for a picture or to meet up. I live on the west side of Olympia. Thank you, Will.


  3. I’d like to visit the meeting this next Tuesday. I have a three year old…assuming he’d be a little too young to join the meeting. I can try to find child care for him. My grandfather left me all his lapidary and rocks in his will so I have LOTS of questions on what stones are and how I can go about learning how to use the machines to make cabs and jewelry. I make jewelry now but haven’t ever cut my own stones.

    • Our club meets the 1st Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm. You are very welcome to come and ask all the questions you want. I will not be there this coming Tuesday, but there should be someone there to answer your questions.


      • Charley,
        My wife and I will be visiting Washington State for a road trip with a bit of rockhounding thrown in. We have a few hours to spend at Adna, and would welcome any information about the site that would help is make our short visit productive.Thanx,
        Steve Duncan

      • Steve: I hope this isn’t to late a reply. I just got back from Central Oregon. Adna is a small area, but can be productive if one works at it. I have have the best luck digging on the downhill side of the road. There are plenty of previous dig holes. I like to work the edges of existing holes. There is a lot of private land in the area so make sure there are not any no trespassing signs blocking your way.

        Good luck.


      • Steve Duncan

        Thank you very much Charley, you are not too late, we leave for WA in a week. The gem trails book has mileage for Adna, and shows some markers tied around trees. I will use that mileage unless you have a better landmark. I will remember downhill side, and I assume you are saying you go outwards from existing holes rather than down?

      • Steve: I go both outwards and down. I think the Gem Trails book is pretty accurate.


      • Steve Duncan


  4. Pinewood Newbee

    Hi Charley,
    My second grade son and I are looking for very small samples of rocks/minerals for his science presentation on categorizing rocks next week. We are new to WA and looking for a store (near Steilacoom) where we could buy small pieces of talc, gypsum, pyrite, as well as something with luster and another that reacts to vinegar. We saw the perfect shop in Port Townsend a few weekends back and I am now kicking myself for not getting a few samples; I wish I had known about this project before that trip! Do you have any recommendations for us?
    Grateful for your time,

    • Pinewood Newbee: Jerry’s Rock and Gem shop in Kent would be the closest spot to you. He has a website at jerrysrockandgem.com You might check it out and give them a call. I have some of what you need but I will be gone all next week. Good luck.


  5. Pinewood Newbee

    Thanks! Not sure I can make it to Kent this weekend, but we’ll look into it.
    Take care.

  6. Hi, my twin 6 year old boys are just getting into rock collecting. They went to the Gator Girl Rocks presentation at the Oly library a few weeks ago, and we just returned from Central Oregon where we visited Richardson’s Rock Ranch and collected thunder eggs. At Richardson’s they cut the geodes but not polish, so we’re wondering if there are any Olympia area shops that will polish their favorites for them? Thanks!

  7. Charley: Thank you! I may have the location wrong. I’m trying to remember back to elementary school and our field trip where we dug up rocks to open and found small crabs and the like inside them. I remember being near an old school and digging on a hill right near the road with a bunch of other 5th graders. It was somewhere local because we took a bus there from a Lacey elementary school. Thanks again! Marny

    • Marny: I think the location you are talking about is near the small town of Porter on the Chehalis River. There are concretions with crab fossils inside located there. I don’t know if you can still dig in the road cuts of Hwy 12, but the Gem Trails of Washington book by Garret Romaine gives directions to an area that is probably still accessible.


  8. Sounds like fun; my 3rd grade rock hound would love that! Does your group have access to a wet saw? We’ve cracked geodes open before, but we just received two bigger ones and wanted to get them sawed open. Thanks!

    • Genny: There are members in our group that can cut the larger geodes you mention. Come to our next club meeting and I am sure someone can help you.


  9. Pinewood Newbee

    Thank you. I will try to come in to the Sept 3rd meeting. However, we will arrive a bit late as my son has soccer until 7:15 pm in Steilacoom. Is that a problem?

  10. Hi, I’m a rock/mineral junkie thanks to my grandma who made us search for clear agates (lol) on the beach in AK while commercially setnetting salmon. Then my science’s in college were geological due to my step dad was a geologist for the st. & really it became my “niche” of unobtainable
    I’m now medically retired & want to have a small lapidary set up in my garage.
    Opals, Ethiopian Welo, ate my favs, & of course others as well. I have stock piled AAA+ gem quality raw & rubbed nontreated
    Welo & some Australian Yowah, Kowait stones, I also have cans of various stones FROM : AK, MT, EA etc. I do have some free form 5/5 Aussie & Welo cabs. 10k + rubbed Afghanistan lapis from a buddy on a FOB that harvested it w/ a local family. It’s rubbed but has a couple of veins of Quartzite on one quarter. Superior color & pyrite stratification. Non treated!
    Help me get my rock on lol! I know better than to even touch an opal w/ cutting etc until I have handled 2k lbs of other rocks @ minerals. I’d love to share at a meeting my various deals of Welo’s as they’re so vastly different.
    TY Stacy Cruz 360-486-4115.
    I live by Lacey post office. The meetings are close?

  11. I recently moved my elderly father here and he is in assisted living. He had a long hobby career as a rock hound and had a robust lapidary equipment spread when I was growing up (Phoenix). He is wanting to “connect” with fellow hobbyists even though he is unable to work machinery any more due to Parkinson’s. Any suggestions welcomed.
    Val (vkvool@aol.com) 360-481-1232.

    • Val: What is his address? Depending on how mobile your dad is, he would be welcome to attend our club meetings. If he is unable to attend the meetings I will see if anyone in our club could visit him.


  12. Hello,
    I have been a prospector for a few years but find myself getting more and more into rockhounding. I work an interesting job that keeps me away six months of the year but then I get six months off. I would like to make some connections with some people around my age to go out hunting with. I’m not sure what your member base is like but it would be nice to meet some more 20 somethings that are as die hard as I am. Any information about WAMS or any other clubs would be helpful and appreciated.

    • Tyson: You are more than welcome to attend our meetings as a guest to see if it will fulfill your needs. We currently have between 15 and 20 active members, and sponsor a show every year in Tenino. We rely on the Washington Mineral Council for scheduled rockhounding trips, but some of our members also go on trips individually. You don’t mention where you live, but the Washington Mineral Council has a list of Rockhound Clubs that you could access to find one in the area you are closest to.


  13. Frank J. Rempel

    Wife & I decided to take a day trip from longview to the suggested site of Lucas Creek in Lewis county. Was disappointed to be greeted at the Lucas Creek road turn by signs posted by the property owners saying “no rock hounding activities” on all Lucas Creek properties.
    Just thought I would pass this on so other prospectors could cross this off their list.

    • Frank: Thanks for the heads up. I have been aware of the Lucas Creek closure for quite awhile, just haven’t gotten around to posting on this site. You might also be aware of the permit process that Weyehaeuser just implemented. It effectively shuts down all of their land to rockhounding. Good luck on your future trips.


  14. How active is your junior group? I have an 8-year-old boy who is very interested in hounding. Thanks!

    • Kim: Thanks for your inquiry. Currently our Junior group is not as active as we would like. You are more than welcome to come to a meeting and check us out.


  15. Hello I am wondering if you are still meeting in the same location due to your website being a little behind. I am also wondering what the cost to attend your meeting/club is. I am greatly interested and trying to find things to do with my father who is also interested in the same things. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.

    • Brieanna: Yes we still meet in the church at 22nd and
      College. Our dues are $5.00 per year for a family if you want to receive the electronic newsletter, or $10.00 per year for a paper newsletter.

  16. okay thank you very much for your reply. My father and I both love rock hounding and I thought this would be something interesting that we could do together.

  17. Hi, I found some rocks that I think are black obsidian, but when you fracture them into small shards they will bend before they break and I was under the assumption that obsidian is very brittle.. Are there any places in puget sound that I could take these too to get them identified and or sell? I’m curious what they are.. Thank you!

    • Josh: You can check with any rock club in the area, and they may be able to identify it for you. Besides our club, you can look on the Mineral Council Website to locate a club that may be closer to you. If you want to attend a meeting of our club, we meet at the Church at 22nd and College the 1st Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm.


  18. I recently came across a quartz crystal I had in storage, and I’m looking for a way to polish and shine it up. Can anyone give me ideas?

    • Jerry: How big is the crystal? If it isn’t to small you can hand polish the faces by using different grades of waterproof sanding paper. You would start with a coarse grit and work up to a very fine grit. This takes a while and can be a little frustating. You may be able to locate a faceter which would do the polishing for you but I am not sure what it would cost. You can also check with a rock shop, the closest one would probably be in Tacoma or Seattle.


      • This crystal is kinda small, actually. I don’t have a tape measure, but I would estimate about 2 inches long and about a half inch thick. The size one might wear as a necklace. It even has a hole already drilled into it for the necklace chain/cord to go through, which is what I want to do once it’s polished. You mentioned waterproof sandpaper. Where can I find that?

      • Jerry: You can find water proof sandpaper at most hardware stores. If you decide to go the sandpaper route be sure to keep the faces flat against the paper, and the paper on a really flat surface.

        Good luck.

  19. Thank you. I’m rather new at this, so I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Thanks for the info!

  20. Hello, I’ve heard of a few spots in Chehalis that claim to have found thundereggs. Is this true? If so, can anyone give me more specifics on the location? I’m taking my sons out this weekend, hoping to find some. Thanks!

    • Hello: Sorry to take so long to answer. I have heard of some thundereggs being found on private land between Oakville and Brooklyn. Have never been there though so can’t give you any more information.


  21. Hello,
    I am interested in joining the group, but might feel a bit uncomfortable starting with the Christmas event. I celebrate Christmas , but not knowing anyone and just popping in with a potluck or exchange happening could be awkward.
    Will shoot for January instead.

    • Kimberley: I think you would feel welcomed at our December get together, so feel free to come and join us. If we don’t see you in December we look forward to meeting you in January.


  22. We have some small emeralds to polish…does anyone there have a tumbler and would be willing to polish for a reasonable fee?

  23. Rockhound Rick

    Lois if you still have stones to tumbler , give me a holler, 360-601-6855 I might trade you a couple tickets to the Gold & Treasure Show on the 9th and 10th of April

  24. Tons of rocks, jewlery finings, rock jewlery, and rock equipment. Moving and cannot take it with us. Very reasonable prices! Sale supervised by Shelton rock club members. Sale Saturday May 28, 2016, 8:00 – 5:00. For more information call Jim at 360-463-9850. Hope to see you at the sale.

    • Cathy talmadge

      The rock sale has been extended and will be held Friday and Saturday June 3-4, 9am-5pm. Still lots of great rocks, slabs, and some rock equipment. 1370 West Cloquallum Rd, Shelton. For more information, call Jim at 360-463-9850 or Cathy at 402-290-1215.

  25. Chris(tina) Durham

    Hello WAMS! I am a budding rock hound and just about lost hope of there being any local group to learn more from. Ate you still holding your monthly meetings? I would love to connect with some people here rather than have to run to Tacoma or Seattle to be around like minded folks. Thanks

    • Chris: Yes we still hold our meetings on the 1st Tuesday of the month at the church at 22nd and College in Lacy. You are welcome to attend.


  26. Hi,
    Aside from the monthly meetings and scheduled field trips is it possible to schedule a field trip/class for a homeschool group at JBLM?

  27. Please call me

  28. Is your club interested in Lapidary Journal magazines from 1995-1998? I would like to donate them if you would like them.

    • Diana: If you want to donate the magazines our club will take them. You could bring them to a meeting or contact one of the officers and they can make arrangements to pick them up.


  29. That’s great! I am in Tumwater. I couldn’t find contact information on the site, so you can either send me contact info or I can bring them to your meeting in February in Lacey. Thanks!

  30. I will do that–thanks!

  31. Thomas Kreuger

    My wife has a collection of approx. 100 rock ‘eggs’ (with bases) in varying patterns collected over the years. We’re moving and they can’t go. Is there an outlet for a collection such as this. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Thomas: I don’t know your time frame for getting rid of these eggs, but the best place to sell something like this would be eBay or Craig’s List. I just checked on eBay and small eggs with stands sold for around 9 dollars. I don’t know if any Rock Dealers would be interested. Hope this helps.


  32. Hello,
    I am from Czech Republic and I am staying in Olympia during the summer. I am quite interested in minerals but have no experiences with it. Mi question is If I could join you on some of your trips as I am not able to trawel on my own farther than in Olympia. And as I can not orient well on websites of WSMC. I would also like to ask when and where are these trips happening. Thank you wery much.

    • Jan: Our club tags along with the Washington Mineral Council for all field trips. We do not sponsor trips and any of our members that go on individual trips usually don’t schedule them. If you want to attend one of our meetings you are welcome and can ask about individual trips.

      Charlie Price

  33. I am new to the Lacey area and am interested in connecting woth your group. Previously I belonged to the Lincoln City Agate Society in Oregon. When and where is your next meeting? Thank you so kindly for your response.

    • Hi Linda: Our club holds it’s meetings on the 1st Tuesday of the month, starting at 7:00pm. The location is The First Baptist Church in Lacey at 22nd and College St. Our next meeting will be on Sept 5th. Hope to see you there.


  34. Hi
    Im looking for places to find crab concretions in Washington….I have tried looking for some around Juan du Fuca but to no avail…do you know of any locations where there are crabs to be found?

    • Bev: I think that the best crab concretions I have seen come from the coast west of Port Angeles. Am not sure which beaches are best, but you can probably check with the Port Angeles Rock Club and they might be able to help you.


  35. Mary Ann Lindemann

    I make jewelry using semi precious stones. I would like to learn to hunt, cut, and polish my own stones, but am not available on the first Tuesday of the month. Is there anyone in the greater Olympia area whom I could contact for advice? Mary Ann Lindemann

  36. Richard whitehead

    I have a small piece of petrified wood (3” x 4”). Is there a place in the Olympia area where I can take it to have it cut? My phone 360-870-1757.

  37. Jessica Barber

    Can you test metoerites

    • Jessica: Our members are not able to test for meteorites. You might check with a school science teacher, who should be able to check for specific gravity. A lot of meteorites are quite heavy and they might then be able to direct you further.


  38. I am visiting Olympia for four days in mid-June. I like to collect naturally formed egg-shaped rocks and naturally formed spheres. Are there any good places in the area–or on the Pacific Coast–that have such rocks? I’ll have time during one of the days to drive an hour or two to such a destination.

    Also, do you have any tips on transporting rocks on an airline? Last year I got some geodes from Missouri and took them on my carry-on luggage (I don’t usually check luggage), and the TSA delayed me a half hour looking through my bag.

    Thank you!

    • Jay: I have found egg-shaped or sphere shaped rocks in the local rivers and streams. Usually the larger rivers have a better tumbling action. There are a few places on the coast that has ocean tumbled rocks, but the ones I know of are more than two hours from Olympia. I have never tried to transport rocks by air, but I know of a number of people that use the USPS flat rate boxes and mail their finds to themselves.


      • Jay A Parry

        Charlie, this has been very helpful. Thank you for your prompt and informative answer!

      • Jay A Parry

        HI, Charlie, This is a follow-up to an interchange we had on May 5 and 6. I have decided to take a couple of days and drive around Olympic Peninsula. Which beaches around the peninsula would be most likely to have smooth, egg-shaped or spherical rocks? Thank you for your help!

  39. I’m looking for someone that can cut and facet gemstones for a ring setting and other jewelry. I currently have a handful of raw pieces. Is there anyone in Thurston County that does this for a living? Please email me and I can provide a photo of the ring and stones. Thank you.

  40. Mary Ann Lindemann

    I make jewelry, much of it with semi-precious stones. I would love to join WAMS, but the first Tuesday is the ONLY day of the month I cannot
    make. Would it be possible for me to join the rock-hunting trips in the summer? Mary Ann Lindemann

    • Mary Ann: Unfortunately our club does not do rock-hunting trips as a club. We tag along with the Washington Mineral Council Field trips. You can contact them on their website and get information on field trips and what it would take to join their trips.


  41. Hello! I am looking for a local silversmith/ jeweler to take some classes from, any leads?

    • I don’t know of anyone in our club that does silversmith teaching, but I will ask at our next meeting. There was a silversmith class at Chehalis College awhile ago, but I am not sure it is still available.


  42. Heard about the show in Tenino. Searched Tenino Gem Show. It gave the days and location. No times or admission cost. Hope WAMS didn’t pay XPO-PRESS to put the show info online because there’s not much there.

  43. Hi interested in vending at the rock show at Oregon trail days. I ran Spences booth last year there. My name is Neona Moore. I was told to speak to Dan Boer? I’m not sure how to get ahold of him for vending or placement at the rock show for next weekend. I was told by Steve that the Facebook flyer should have the contact information but I’m not seeing it. I was interested in becoming part of wams and also in vending. If you could get back to me my number is 3608702763. My name is Neona Moore.

  44. JoshuaThompson

    How do i get a table at your shoe

  45. Interested in learning more about rock hunting and gold panning. I would like to attend a field trip.

    • Ross: You would be welcome to attend any of our meetings on the 1st Tuesday of each month at the Church at 22nd and College. Our club tags along with the Mineral Council for field trips, but we don’t have any ourselves.


  46. I’ve got a stone in my yard that is very unique, I need to some how get it checked out, how would I do that

    • Jason: How big is the stone? If it isn’t to large you could bring it to our club meeting on the 3rd of September. If that doesn’t work, I could come by sometime and make a guess at what it is.


  47. My girls and I found a rock with lots of tiny red garnets imbedded in the various layers of the rock. We are having a hard time, maybe due to our location (Wenatchee Area), finding anyone who can direct us to someone who buys garnets. Any chance we found something here? Any information would be appreciated! Thank you.

    • Thomas: Not sure where to send you. You can try a search on eBay for rough garnets to find out if what you have is worth anything. That would also be a place you might be able to sell yours. I think your best bet would be to try and sell the rock with the garnets still embedded in it.


  48. Looking forward to to coming to your meetings in the very near future.

  49. Melanie Wirkkala

    Hi , Are you interested in holding an Agate and Mineral show in one of our empty suites at the Centralia Outlets. Maybe for a day or two sometime during the year?
    I thought it would be a great opportunity to display some rocks and minerals and interact with our community. We wouldn’t charge you for the use of the space and you would have additional outreach to the public.

  50. How do we get you to display at the 2020 SW WA Fair in Chehalis? We’d love to have you as a new department —-Pat Slusher 360-740-2655

  51. I am a newbie whose learning is that ok? i found some specimens i have never seen before could i bring them in for help or send someone pics? please let me know thank you.

    • Heidi: You would be more than welcome to bring your specimens to one of our meetings. Some one there should be able to help you identify them. Pictures are not always the best way to identify rocks since there are other characteristics besides sight that help with identification.


  52. Me and my boyfriend both have collected alot of rocks of the last few years, but we can’t find anyone that can come look at them and tell use what we possibly have we know we have some agates and geodes but not 100% sure on the rest an anyone help us out

    • Deanna: Thank you for contacting us about your rocks. At this time I think it would be prudent to wait for a few months and then contact us again.


  53. Good evening,
    The boys and I were in steilacoom on the beach front and found some cool rocks. Is there an online resource we can use to help identify what we have. Our kids are young elementary age.

    Thank you,

  54. Me and my boyfriend have lots of rocks and gems we aren’t 100% about is there anyway someone could tell us what we have we have been rock hounding for 3years

    • Deanna: Thanks for reaching out. I think that during this time of staying home and staying safe it would not be a good time to look at your rocks. If you will contact us after things have returned to a semblance of order we can maybe come by and see what we can help you identify.


  55. Will there be August meeting 2020?

    • David: It is looking like there will not be an August meeting or picnic at this time. Our President Jim will be making an announcement about it later on.


  56. Would you know anywhere I could donate old lapidary equipment to ? My email is tmtashina@yahoo.com

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