The Reno Gem & Mineral Society, Inc. History
The notion of organizing a gem and mineral society was conceived at the conclusion of a lapidary course sponsored by the Washoe County School District. This course was under the direction of Victor Dow as instructor at his place of business on B Street. Plans for forming a society were discussed among interested persons at a meeting in the Council Chambers of the Sparks City Hall.
The Washoe Gem & Mineral Society was organized in the spring of 1950. It was an active organization, sponsoring field trips and conducting classes in lapidary and silver smithing. The Society became affiliated with the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies (CFMS) in November 1954. At that time there were 104 members.
In 1955 a second group of twelve members formed the Pyramid Gem & Mineral Society. This group joined the CFMS in June 1958.
Three groups (Pyramid, Washoe & Fallon's Lahontan Society) alternated in sponsoring annual Gem & Mineral Shows in the area. These shows were called the Nevada Gem & Mineral Show. The first Jackpot of Gems Show was held in 1966 with Len Vance as Show Chairman.
In August, 1965 the members of the Washoe and Pyramid societies voted to merge into one called the Reno Gem & Mineral Society. The first combined meeting occurred on December 1, 1965.
Until 1976, the Societies held their meetings, classes, etc. in homes, garages and basements. In 1976 the Society moved to its' present location at 480 S. Rock Blvd., Sparks, Nevada.
The Society was given non-profit status by the Internal Revenue Service in 1984 under code 5010(7). In March 2012, the non-profit status was changed to code We are now classified as a public charity and can provide statements to donors of more than $250.00 so they can claim a tax deduction.
In October 2017 we were able to purchase the building that contains the area we've rented for over 30 years.