Friday, February 25, 2011


In 1886 the New York Mineralogical Club was formed by famed Tiffany gemologist George F. Kunz, B.B. Chamberlain, and Professor Daniel S. Martin...Kunz was elected as secretary. The club functioned without a president until 1895 when Kunz received that position that he held for many years.

The club’s original mission was to keep alive an interest in only New York City minerals, but it now has a broader focus and is dedicated to the science of mineralogy through the collecting, describing and displaying of minerals and associated gemstones.

Its fine collection of more than 700 mineral specimens from New York City is housed at the American Museum of Natural History. It includes specimens of beryl, chyrsoberyl, garnet, tourmaline, stillbite, and xenotime, alongside many other species. Many of these specimens were found during the construction of the New York City’s subway system or in the bedrock underlying the foundations of New York’s famous skyscrapers.

During the 125 years the club has been in existence a number of honorary members have been appointed in recognition of their contributions in the filed of of minerals and mineralogy including Joseph Arons, Sir William Henry Bragg, Russ Buckingham, Maria Sklowdowska Curie, Edward S, Dana, Clifford Fondel, Victor Goldschmidt, Carl Kroti, Alfred Lacrois, Chalres Palache, Frederick Pough, Waldemar T. Schaller, Leonard J. Spencer (all deceased) and Lawrence H. Conklin (considered an authority on Kunz) and Richard Hauck (the mineral hauckite was named in his honor).

The club has published a number of booklets with the most famous being James Manchester’s Minerals of New York and Its Environs. In recent years the club has published three gem and mineral almanacs, two guidebooks to mineralogy, and several other publications which have received regional and national awards.

The current membership is over 250 including a unit for young collectors. Monthly meeting are held the second Wednesday of every months (except in July and August) and are open to the public.
Upcoming events include the Spring 2011 New York City Gem & Mineral Show which will be held March 5-6 at the Holiday Inn, 440 W. 57th St. (kids are welcome) and a lecture at the March 9 meeting by president Mitch Portnoy on “The Magnificent Building Stones of the New Yankee Stadium in the Bronx".