The Nittany Lion looks out from a 
Central Pennsylvania doubly terminated quartz crystal.  Artwork © John Passaneau.
Nittany Mineralogical Society, Inc.
State College, Pennsylvania

About NMS

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We are a non-profit organization incorporated in State College, Pennsylvania, and granted 501(c)(3) status by the IRS (EIN: 75-3220108).

Our Purposes

Our purposes, as set forth in our Articles of Incorporation, are education and encouragement of interest in the field of mineralogy and the earth sciences.

A more detailed list of objectives is provided in our bylaws:

  1. To educate those interested or potentially interested in the various Earth Sciences.
  2. To provide a means whereby those interested in minerals and rocks can exchange ideas, specimens and experiences.
  3. To foster in the minds of the public an appreciation for minerals, rocks and gems.
  4. To encourage members to donate specimens to schools for use in the study of earth sciences and to make themselves available for programs and demonstrations for other organizations such as Scouts and civic organizations.
  5. To encourage the search for new minerals in Pennsylvania and the recording of all Pennsylvania minerals and mineral locations.
  6. To support museums in their effort to display and preserve mineral and other earth science specimens for public education and appreciation and for scientific research.
  7. To promote the scientific study of minerals, rocks, and Earth Sciences.
  8. To secure the practical conservation of mineral specimens, mineral localities, and sites illustrating earth science concepts.
  9. To provide events for children emphasizing the role of earth sciences in an industrial world.
Our Activities

We go about achieving our purposes through a variety of activities:

  • monthly regular meetings with a social hour and a presentation on a topic of interest
  • meetings for children
  • symposia for mineral collectors
  • Nittany Gem and Mineral Show for collectors and the general public
  • annual Minerals Junior Education Day for children and their families
  • field trips for collecting specimens and experiencing earth science in person
  • trips to museums and similar sites
  • a variety of outreach and community programs within our areas of interest

Our Affiliations

Nittany Mineralogical Society, Inc., is a member of EFMLS, the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies, and therefore an affiliate of AFMS, the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies. Our links page leads to more information about the federations. We contribute to scholarships and other projects of the federations, and benefit from their newsletters, educational resources, conventions, connections to other clubs, arrangements for insurance, and more.


Our society was founded in 1994. Some of our members had been part of an earlier club in town with a lapidary emphasis, the Nittany Valley Gem and Mineral Club. Others had participated in mineral clubs elsewhere and were looking for the same activities in State College. The Penn State Mineral Museum provided a nucleus, and a Friends of Mineralogy - Pennsylvania Chapter symposium held here in 1993 brought some of the key players together. The society was founded in January 1994, and chose the third Wednesday of the month for its meeting night. The first meeting was held on February 16, 1994, in Steidle Building on Penn State's University Park campus in State College. This web site provides a complete list of past meeting programs.

Among the major projects in the first decade were a series of seven (not counting the one before NMS formed) symposia for mineral collectors, generally featuring a full day of talks by experts, an auction, a banquet with keynote speaker, and a full day field trip.

We incorporated as a non-profit in Pennsylvania prior to our first Nittany Gem and Mineral Show in 2006, and in early 2008 we received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, retroactive to our incorporation in 2006.

We held a series of four Nittany Gem and Mineral Shows, which included dealers, children's activities, a speaker program, field trips, and more. We have not held the show since 2009 because of the cost and difficulty in scheduling local venues.

Our longest-term project, other than monthly meetings, has been our annual Minerals Junior Education Day for children and their parents. Children go to about eight different stations, each with a different topic on minerals, gems, fossils, or earth science. Each station includes a demonstration, display or activity and a discussion with trained personnel, and each provides a specimen related to the topic for them to keep.

Join Us!

Please come to one of our meetings and get to know us. Visitors and guests are always welcome. We hope you'll join - benefits of membership and a membership form are available here.
Please feel free to
contact us if your questions are not answered by this web site.

©2023 Nittany Mineralogical Society, Inc.          Page last modified 19 January 2023          webmaster