The purpose of the Apache Junction Rock & Gem Club is to provide an opportunity for hobbyists of similar lapidary interests to meet each other to:
- Share information, special abilities and talents, collect and exchange gems materials and minerals as an organized club activity
- To form friendships and enjoy the pleasure of socializing with each other
- To provide the members of the club with the privilege of exhibiting to the public their lapidary and jewelry arts at frequent Rock Art shows sponsored by the Club.
- To subscribe to, and promote the national interest in the conservation of this country’s natural resources and public lands.
- To conduct field trips for the purpose of collecting material and specimens specifically related to earth sciences in accordance with state and federal regulations.
- To share with its members knowledge and experience gained in working with minerals specimens and gem material.
- To encourage and assist junior members in furthering their education in minerals, gems and related subjects.
- To foster good fellowship in the course of club activities.
- We provide scholarships to students.
The Apache Junction Rock & Gem Club was started in 1961 by a small group of members with the primary interest in field trips to obtain rocks. The members had access to lapidary shops in their homes or in park locations, so a club shop was not a focus.
By 1981, the club had grown to 90 members and met in the Baptist Church on Superstition Blvd. in Apache Junction. At this time, the club members were very interested in purchasing land and building a club building in Apache Junction. This idea was not developed as few members were year around Arizona residents. The membership was reduced in numbers in 1983 due to a lack of a Field Trip Leader. This situation was reversed when the Field Trip Committee became more active and membership increased.
The club held monthly meetings from c.2002 to 2006 at the Four Peaks Elementary School and then at the Central Arizona College until 2008. The college students and the Apache Junction high school students were the recipients of the club scholarships starting in 1983. The club arranged for two rooms at the community college, one for lapidary work and the second for silversmith work. The college furnished the rooms and the club furnished the equipment. This arrangement was successful from 1988 until 2000, then the community college had a great need for the two classrooms. The club then moved the lapidary shop and the silversmith shop to the property of Tom Sundling on East Superstition Blvd. in Apache Junction.
The Club obtained a building in April of 2012 that will house the Lapidary and host Club Meetings and other activites.
We have two Rock and Gem Shows one at Apache Junction High School and one at Skyline High School. Club scholarships, under the direction of the Scholarship Committee, selected students to receive these awards. The annual rock show moved to the Skyline High School in Mesa in 2006 with the scholarships directed to those students.
We are over 500 members now!
- To generate and provide funds to science classes at local schools.
- To donate earth science publications to local libraries.
- To support and contribute to earth science scholarship committees.