Thank You to all the amazing vendors and volunteers who made the Rock & Gem Rendezvous 2022 a success. The show would not have been possible without you.  You ROCK!!  ; )

This website will be moving to a new address soon, please make note:  “wamsolympia.com”.

Our next meeting is September 6, 2022.  Bring your summer rockhounding stories and Show and Tell!

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in rocks and minerals.  Visitors and anyone of all ages are welcome to club meetings!  Regular meetings are the first Tuesday of the month in the First Baptist Church of Lacey at College St. and 22nd (Address:  4705 22nd Ave SE, Lacey, WA 98503, see directions below).  Meeting time is 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (except the first Tuesday of August when the meeting is a potluck picnic at Squaxin, formerly 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 fields 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.

Directions to First Baptist Church in Lacey

  • 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

83 responses to “About

  1. Douglas Shank

    Hello WAMS, I’m inquiring about any events happening this year, 2021 besides the trip to Darrington Rock show? Also, do you ever take field trips to Oregon, more specifically, the China Hollow mine? I hear they have extraordinary jasper there. And one more thing, how do I become a member? Thanks so much.

    • Douglas: Thanks for the inquiry. Our club puts on a show in Tenino every July and we are planning on one again this year. We do not do field trips except for joining the Washington Mineral Society trips. You can join by attending our next meeting that is being held on July 6th at the Church on 22nd and College at 7:00pm. Hope to see you there.

  2. The motor on my lsd-18 lortone saw has burned out. There’s no markings on it, I have some extra motors around, would anyone be able to tell me if a 1/3hp 1750 rpm would work efficiently?

    • Zach: I don’t have my Lortone saw any more, but I think the motor you mention probably would work. I would probably use a 1/2hp motor if I had one though. You could check with those that manufacture other brands of 18″ saws and see what they use on theirs.


  3. Hi, I’m Sarah. I have 3 topics to mention.

    1. I have a handful of display specimens I’ve been collecting and would love to get them identified by an experienced geologist or just a knowledgeable person. I’m will to pay, but would also like a somewhat hands on approach, if at all possible, so I can learn as well. I’m in Tacoma, and I’m wondering where to go or who to talk to. They are not specimens from Washington state.

    2. I am interested in getting more involved in the rocks, gems, minerals community in my area and wondering if you can point me in the right direction of where to start, who to talk to, how to get involved. I want to join chapters or attend meetings, learn about gem shows, all that kind of stuff!

    3. I would love to learn more about the rocks and minerals in our state! How can I learn, dig, tour, watch, etc?

  4. Bummer okay:)

  5. Hello Charley, I would love a geode if it’s all okay and if possible one day. That’d be GREAT! Thanks and only if it’s okay.

  6. Nancy: Thank you for reaching out to our club. Hopefully some one will be able to help you, and I hope you keep learning.


  7. jerry.marsh@comcast.net

    I have some geodes I’d like to give away. Interested?

    • Jerry: I would be interested in looking at what you have. There may be someone in our club that would make use of them.


      • I am Interested. I’d love to cut one open on the saw and show my neice ( and maybe her class on line) what they look like whole and then from the inside. She is turning 9 and just loves rocks, gemstones, and the geology that formed them.

      • Leah: If and when I hear back from Jerry I will let you know.


  8. HI I live out in Olalla, and have a huge interests in rocks and gems. In fact for my last birthday my dad asked me what I wanted to do for my 34th bday, I told him go find crystals. So we headed to hansen creek and dragged the family along. I don’t know ow about everyone else, but we had an awesome time. Lol. Anyways I’m trying to find a group to get involved with to learn more and go out to find areas and learn more able geology and geology. Is this group still active?
    Leah Frost

    • Leah: I am glad that you had a great time at Hansen Creek. Our club is dormant for now because of the Covid issue. You might want ot contact the Kitsap Gem and Mineral Society. They meet at Chico which would be closer to you.


  9. Dear WAMS, Hello, thanks for helping me to identify the couple rocks from the photos. I am thrilled that the one is indeed a jasper. I watched the video with Karen Keller and learned I could polish rocks by hand with sandpaper. So, I did it, and now I want to polish some that I found, but I’ll need a tumbler for those. Does anyone have a tumbler they would like to sell? 🙂 Or, recommend a nice shop where I can buy one. Thanks.

    • Douglas: Glad to be of help. I don’t know of anyone at this time that has a tumbler for sale. You can usually find some on eBay or Craigs List. Or check out the online rock shops. Lortone has some that are pretty good.


  10. WAMS, Hello, I saw Deanna’s post above and I am in a very similar situation. I started collecting just last month, September 2020 and found a few interesting rocks that I think I know what they are but would love to make sure. Am I even searching in the right ball park? I’m not having very good luck at all. I can definitely wait until the next meeting, unless a photo or two might be enough to confirm, yes indeed I have an agate or a jasper. Thank you so much.


  11. Deanna, hello. I came across the WAMS website via Gatorgirlrocks. I just started rockhounding September this year. I have collected a few rocks I think I know what they are by descriptions I found on a number of websites, but now I have many doubts about them and would love to find out if they are what I think they are. Basically I have the same questions you and your boyfriend do about my rocks. I’m glad I’m not alone. I need to know if I’m on the right track. Just read your post here and was excited that there is a way to find out what I might have. Thanks.

    • Doug: Thanks for contacting us. I could try to identify your rocks if you send me some pictures of them. Generally though Agates are translucent(light will pass through) and Jaspers are opaque. If you send pictures please try to take them from different angles with and without back lighting. You can send the pictures to me at chasfire@gmail.com.


  12. 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,

  13. 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.


  14. 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.


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

  16. 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.


  17. 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.


  18. 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.


  19. JoAnn: Sorry about that. I just updated the website to include the 2019 information. Cost is FREE.


  20. 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.


  21. Jim: I will let the other members of our club know about your rock.


  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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.


  25. Mary Ann: I will check with our club members at our next meeting and get back to you.


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