OUR MISSION – Since 1946:
The Pasadena Lapidary Society serves to educate its members and the community in mineralogy, earth sciences, and training in the lapidary and jewelry arts – while promoting a policy of sound mineral resource stewardship based on environmental awareness and ethical behavior. The Society fulfills its mission year-round which may include field trips, lapidary workshops, outreach presentations, public mineral displays, an annual show, and our monthly informational meetings which are open to the public. We have active youth programs and we encourage and mentor our junior members and guests. Our educational programs and outreach brings the hobby of rockhounding and lapidary arts to the public. We are a 501 c3 non-profit registered in the state of California
2018 marks our 71st year in operation!
2018 Officers are:
President – Ellen Ferrell
Vice President – Mona Ross
Secretary – David Lacy
Treasurer – Phil Lahr
Federation Director – Joe Goetz
1st Trustee – Marcia Goetz
2nd Trustee – Chris Kyte
3rd Trustee – Joe Goetz
We are proud members of the AMFS (American Federation of Mineralogical Societies) – Click the AMFS logo to browse the AMFS website.
We are proud members of the CFMS (California Federation of Mineralogical Societies) – Click the CFMS logo to browse the CFMS website.
EARLY HISTORY OF THE PASADENA LAPIDARY SOCIETY
A well-known collector and seller of rocks, fossils and unique
items – Edwin Howard Vose II (widely known as Chuckawalla
Slim) made his summer home in Pasadena in the 1940’s and
1950’s. This self-proclaimed “Rockologist” was so popular that
he attracted a number of other collectors from the Pasadena area
wherever he spoke.
Slim, C.D. Gibson, Clarence Chittenden and Vic Armstrong
formed the Pasadena Lapidary Society in the mid-1940’s and
incorporated it as a California non-profit corporation on May 19th,
1949. For years their gatherings were informal affairs – tailgate
swapping and meetings in local parks.
The ranks of the new Pasadena Lapidary Society grew quickly.
It was not unusual to have more than 50 members at a club
meeting. Meetings were held at the Odd Fellows Hall in Pasadena
and Jessie Chittenden taught jewelry design there.
The club began planning field trips for its members almost
immediately. Clarence Chittenden and his wife, Jessie, (a dean at
Pasadena City College) compiled a series of rock collecting maps
which he published and were widely used among Southern
California rock collectors. In 1953 the club ventured outside of
Southern California to spend the Labor Day weekend at Cambria,
California, to search the beaches for jade.
The club has been active in keeping collecting areas open for
collectors and were involved in the fight to keep Dinosaur
National Monument from becoming a storage project – as was
reported by Desert Magazine in August 1954.
The club’s annual public show, the “Tournament of Gems”,
began in 1955 and was held at the Davies Memorial Building at
Farnsworth Park in Altadena. The club, lead by Harry and Arlene
Billheimer, was a leader in showcasing rocks and gems at the
Los Angeles County Fair, where the club’s exhibits won ribbons
Members of the Pasadena Lapidary Society have a history of
being leaders of our hobby. The PLS was one of the first clubs
that formed the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies
(CFMS) in 1947. Clarence Chittenden’s maps were the standard
for the hobby. Arlene Billheimer served with distinction as
president of CFMS and we are represented among the officers of
SCRIBE, which promotes newsletters for lapidary societies