Beautiful geodes, crystals, gems, minerals, agates, fossils and jewelry can be found in a very cool place in Balboa Park.
Okay, I admit it. Possibly my very favorite place in Balboa Park is filled with rocks. Really beautiful rocks! And gems and fossils and jewelry and carvings . . .
Yes, I’m talking about the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society Museum, which is located at the north end of Spanish Village. Anyone who “digs” the beautiful natural productions of Mother Earth needs to drop on by. It’s free! And those who want to learn about the lapidary arts should seriously look into joining the society or taking classes. They’ve got a well-equipped lapidary workshop in one room where members facet and carve and polish . . . turning gems, metal and minerals into treasures fit for royalty.
An open door beckons near Balboa Park’s Spanish Village. San Diego Mineral and Gem Society and Village Silversmith’s Welcome You!
Lots of handmade jewelry, gems and semi-precious stones can be found in the glass counter display. There’s also lots of literature for rockhounds.
Any hobbyists interested in collecting rocks and minerals, or learning lapidary skills should swing on by.
Balboa Park visitors examine some exquisite handcrafted jewelry for sale.
Throughout the amazing San Diego Mineral and Gem Societies’ Museum you can see all sorts of beautiful geological specimens.
Pieces in this diorama are made of carved Serpentine.
Carefully made Quartz spheres dazzle with natural color. With a little added light they glow, appearing like magic crystal balls!
A natural history-themed diorama made of agates and crystals. It was created in the late 19th century, and is a unique artifact in this cool museum.
Sign provides some info about the above Natural History Diorama. It was built by Mr. Fred W. Woodend I while he was operating a curio and mineral shop in Denver, Colorado.
This big display case against one wall has lots of colorful minerals, including Calcite, Hematite, Halite and Wulfenite.
Primitive Fossil Bird, Confuciusornis sanctus, Early Cretaceous, 120-125 million years old! These early birds retain many primitive dinosaurian features.
Among a bunch of fossils is a fossilized pine cone!
A variety of beautiful things on display, including a slab of petrified wood.
It’s impossible for visitors to miss this portion of a fossilized skull. It’s from a Right or Bowhead Whale, which lived in the Pliocene Epoch 1 to 11 million years ago!
Amazing work by Johnny Johnson, a long time member of the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society, and member of the Gem Carvers Guild of America.
Examples of fantastic stone carving by society members.
Chasing and Repousse on copper, a skill learned in advanced silversmithing classes.
More small treasures in the museum upon which you can feast your eyes.
The San Diego Mineral and Gem Society has classes where you can learn cabochon cutting, faceting, silver fabrication, casting, enameling, bead stringing, rock carving, and sphere making.
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