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Educational Links & Resources

National and Regional Societies:

American Federation of Mineralogical Societies

A non-profit educational federation of seven similar regional organizations of

gem, mineral and lapidary Societies. Founded in 1947. MMS is also a

member of the Midwest Federation.

Midwest Federation of Mineralogical and Geological Societies

Membership is open to both adult and junior Societies located in Illinois, Indiana,

Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, and parts of Nebraska,

North Dakota and South Dakota, plus a few clubs in Arkansas.

Special Affiliate and Show Presenting Sponsor:
Cranbrook Institute of Science

Interactive exhibits, a world-class collection of objects and minerals, special events, a planetarium and observatory, lecture and educational programs and changing exhibitions offer something for every member of the family. Stand beneath a T.rex, feel a mastodon’s fur, or touch a meteorite. 

Rock & Fossil Collecting Tips & Tricks


Michigan Rockhounds
A great website with pages of relevant content on collecting rock, minerals and fossils in our great state.


Is it Legal to Collect Rocks?
You're out walking or see a pretty rock beside the road, can you collect it? What happens if you're on Federal, State or Private Lands? This article offers some suggestions and guidelines for what to do.


Fossil Hunting Tool Kit Basics
A successful fossil hunt starts in the planning stage. This article presents a list of basics, for the novice or pro, to pack before you go.

      Mineral & Geology Related Links

Mineralogy Resources

The world’s largest public database of mineral information.

Rock & Gem Magazine

Since 1971 R&G has been the leading magazine for the lapidary and mineral hobbyists.

The Mineralogical Record

The Mineralogical Record magazine is issued six times a year. This is the most authoritative and widely respected collector’s journal in the world.

Mineral Identification Key

The creator wishes to make this key available to one and all in the hope of correct identification of minerals in collections, rock gardens, and on windowsills everywhere.

Maryville Online University Guide to Geodes

A Guide to Geode Formation and Creation

Minerals A to Z Database

A visual database of the mineral kingdom filtered by name, hardness, streak, and color. Great visual impact.

Gemology Resources

International Gem Society

An online gem and rock encyclopedia, and numerous articles related to all things gemstone and mineral, including a gemology scholarship

Free Consultation for Gem Merchant Aspirants

David Epstein, the author of the only book on the subject (The Gem Merchant)

will offer a limited number of free monthly consultations to qualified aspirants.

If you have a gemological degree, or are now studying and have read the Gem Merchant, you may qualify for a 1-hour phone consultation. Founder and owner

David Epstein and his team help professional buyers from around the world by sourcing single stones, discount lots and by making special cuts. The company also consults on how, when, and where to sell what is bought through them, aiming to “solve gemstone buying and marketing problems”. Contact David Epstein at

Useful links for gems and gemologists


The Gemological Institute of America. Dedicated to all things gemmy.

Mining Resources

Mining Terms Explained From A to Z

A glossary of words used in the mining of rocks and minerals from Anglo American mine company.

Since 1996, has been dedicated to providing the latest medical information on mesothelioma, spreading awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, and helping victims connect with legal resources.

The Basement Collecting Guide for Rock Hunters

A great website that is a Quickstart guide that hits all the right subjects to get you up and going quick from where to find collectible rocks and minerals, what equipment to bring, and the ethics you should follow.

And for Fun Resources


Rock and Mineral Shows

An online source for Rock and Mineral Shows, Clubs, Rock Shops, Mineral Museums 

Diamond Dan Publications

Really cool Rock and mineral site for Coloring Pages and all kinds of great stuff related to geology and collecting.

Mineral Explorers

Join mineral expert Thomas Nagin, who leads viewers to some of the richest and most remote mines in the world to discover the natural treasures found deep within! Hosted on Youtube.

Big Thunder Gold Mine

The Big Thunder Gold Mine in South Dakota is a great place to spend some serious time gold panning and feeling like an 1800s gold miner.

2023 Rock Hunting Holidays

A Year long calendar of rock and gem events.

Earth Science Resources for Kids

Interactive Activities & Ideas for Kids on Geology

History and Meaning of Gemstones

The master jeweler, 77 Diamonds, has created a detailed and deeply informative guide on the history and characteristics of some of the world's most sought-after gemstones

Natural Resource Links

USGS International Mineral Maps

United Stated Government International Survey maps.

Check out your next vacation destination.

A geoscience news and information site for professionals, teachers, and students

Earthchem is an open-sourced contributor website of geochemical, petrological, and geochronological data. All at your fingertips for free!

Michigan DNR

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. The DNR strives to:

  • Protect natural and cultural resources.

  • Ensure sustainable recreation use and enjoyment.

  • Enable strong natural resource-based economies.

  • Improve and build strong relationships and partnerships.

  • Foster effective business practices and good governance.

Macrostrat (Geology Mapping Web Resource)

Google Earth add-ons and layers for Geological Research

The School of Natural Resources and Environment

University of Michigan Conservation Ecology program

The MUCC (Michigan United Conservation Clubs)

Michigan United Conservation Clubs is the largest statewide conservation organization in the nation. Founded in 1937, our mission is to unite citizens to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan's natural resources and outdoor heritage. This mission drives everything we do as an organization.

Paleo-Biological Database

An amazing database of all the fossils and biological data from all over the world. The Paleobiology Database (PBDB) is a non-governmental, non-profit resource of paleontological data.

The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Geology

This guide shows you exactly how to mine your own backyard for treasures and cultivate a lifelong hobby.

Discover the Fun of Backyard Geology

When you’re teaching your kids about the big wide world, why not start in your own backyard? Give them a shovel and turn them loose on the path to learning first-hand about our planet’s rocks and minerals through your own backyard geology.

Teaching Geology and Petrology

From the Mineral Society of America comes a web portal that links out to multiple other resources and suggestions. This is a large resource with multiple offerings.

Michigan State University Futures Magazine

Agricultural Biology and Geology Research Magazine. Published bi-annually as an online newsletter.

Related Museum Links

 credit: Eric Fritzsch

Cranbrook Institute of Science

Interactive exhibits, a world-class collection of objects and minerals, special events, a planetarium and observatory, lecture and educational programs, and changing exhibitions offer something for every member of the family. Stand beneath a T.rex, feel a mastodon’s fur, or touch a meteorite. 

A.E. Seaman Mineralogical Museum 

This college collection is located far north in the Keweenaw Peninsula, in Houghton, Michigan, and is well worth the visit. The premier mineral museum in Michigan.

The Wayne State Geology Mineral Museum

For the first time, the exceptional collection of minerals and other geological specimens collected by and donated to the Department of Geology to showcase the most valuable and interesting minerals, fossils, and mining artifacts in the collection.

University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology

Spend a day and learn about the Earth's natural history. 

The University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology (UMMP) is a research museum devoted to studying the history of life, interpretation of its meaning, and sharing these experiences with students. UMMP is the intellectual home of paleontology in Michigan.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Arts

The Lizzardro Museum of Lapidary Arts, just west of downtown Chicago, is a dazzling resource. Since 1962, it has been sharing an appreciation for lapidary arts and inspiring visitors.

The Smithsonian Museum

This is one of the great museums of the world, located in Washington, D.C. It is actually a series of buildings and museums with the natural history museum housing the minerals. 


American Museum of Natural History 

This museum, located in New York City, has recently undergone an upgrade to its displays. It is a major metropolitan museum and other displays will keep you interested along with the minerals. The mines and museum ( at Franklin, New Jersey are also nearby. 

Harvard Mineralogical and Geological Museum

This is a great college museum and there are a lot of other things to do and see in and around Boston. The museum display is in old wooden cases and is one of the earliest collections in the United States.

Maine Mineral Museum

It was opened in late 2020, had some flooding issues, then reopened in 2021, and had to shut down due to COVID. It is privately funded and is located in Bethel, Maine. The collection of local material is fabulous and it has a great meteorite collection as well. I am hoping to get there in the next couple of years as a destination vacation. 

Royal Ontario Museum 

A world-class mineralogical museum. The ROM has a great display and the last time I was up there, they had recently upgraded their exhibits and it is perhaps the best displayed mineralogical museum plus Toronto is a great city to visit.

Canadian Museum of Nature

This museum bought Bill Pinch’s collection of minerals and merged it with their own collection to make a wonderful display. Ottawa is the national capital of Canada and borders Quebec, so it has an international feel. It is kind of hard to get to, but a great place to visit. 

Carnegie Museum of Natural History 

If you are ever in Pittsburg, they have a great mineral hall and the museum is one of America's great history museums.

Museum of Geology 

Located in Rapid City, South Dakota, this collection started as ore specimens to teach miners and engineers. It isn’t as fancy as some of the other museums on this list, but it is a nice collection. The Black Hills are a special place to visit.

Colorado School of Mines Museum of the Earth

This is the premier mining college mineral museum located in Golden, Colorado (just a few miles west of Denver). The collection is well cared for, funded, and up to date. 

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Located in Denver, Colorado, this municipal museum is well worth the admission charge to see the Alma King, the reconstructed rhodochrosite pocket, or the gold vault. Denver is a fun city to vacation in.

The Etches Collection on Youtube

The Etches Collection, Museum of Jurassic Marine Life based in Kimmeridge, Dorset extends you a warm welcome!

New Mexico Geology Resources & Mineral Museum

Located on the campus of New Mexico Tech in Socorro, New Mexico, this is another mining college collection. They’ve recently undergone a renovation and are constantly adding new specimens. They host a popular mineral symposium in November each year.

The Perot Museum Lyda Hill Gems and Mineral Hall 

Located in Dallas, Texas, Ross Perot left money to establish this municipal museum with Lyda Hill and others donating specimens and finances to support this section of the museum.

Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum 

This exhibit is still being constructed and plans to open soon. Go and visit the University of Arizona collection and this collection, which will soon grace the former Pima County Court House in a new museum in downtown Tucson.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 

This is a great collection that is often overlooked when people visit Los Angeles. This collection houses an impressive gem, gold, and California mineral collection.

Keck Earth Science and Mining Museum 

This is another mineral museum that I haven’t visited, but have heard great things about. Located on the University of Nevada at the Reno campus, this collection also inspired miners and engineers to examine the minerals that they were mining. Lake Tahoe is nearby and gambling is legal too, though we prefer to gamble our money on rocks.

Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals 

This collection is located in the house owned by the collector in Hillsboro, Oregon (just west of Portland, Oregon). It has many nice zeolite specimens collected in the area. A good stop on your way down to the Oregon coast. 

Other & Related Clubs

Friends of Mineralogy

The non-profit, Friends of Mineralogy (FM), a national organization founded in 1970, includes nearly a dozen chapters from coast to coast, whose members share a common love of minerals.


Livingston Gem and Mineral Society

This club has a wealth of knowledge in cutting slabs, jewelry making, stone setting, and other lapidary activities. They are located at the Hartland Consolidated School Building, 9525 E. Hartland Rd., Howell MI 48843.

Oakland County Earth Science Club

Oakland County Michigan Rock HUnting, Geology and Mineralogy club.

The Kalamazoo Geological & Mineral Society (KGMS)

A non-profit and educational organization whose main purpose is to further interest in gems, minerals, geology, paleontology, and lapidary arts.

There are more Educational links on the School Information Page (Here).

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