About Us

The Billings Gem and Mineral Club is a non-profit organization devoted to the enjoyment of mineralogy, geology, paleontology and lapidary arts with specific attention to the Montana/Wyoming/Dakotas region.

We meet on the 1st Thursday of the month at 7 PM, September through June, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 226 Wicks Lane , Billings Montana. There is an annual picnic in August, a Christmas meal in December, and an annual Rock Show in May. We do not meet in July. Meetings usually include member sharing of recent "finds" and an educational offering. Since we are a member of the Northwest Federation and American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, there is also a business component to each meeting.

Membership dues are paid annually. New members are 16$ each and 22$ for a family/couple. Continuing membership is 10$ for an individual and 15$ per family/couple. Dues support our annual show and program and club development activities.

The Billings Gem and Mineral Club is affiliated with the Montana Council of Rock & Mineral Clubs, the Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies and the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies. All members of all levels of these societies are governed by a code of ethics that include 17 governing rules including
  • Rule 2: Keep Informed of Laws
  • Rule 3: Ascertain Legal Collecting Boundaries
  • Rule 16: Protect Our Heritage.
Compliance is becoming increasingly more difficult with additional laws and additional philosophies of enforcement. It is important that each member take responsibility for compliance with laws and regulations concerning rock and fossil and artifact collecting and for his/her own individual actions.

AFMS CODE OF ETHICS

  • I will respect both private and public property and will do no collecting on privately owned land without permission from the owner.
  • I will keep informed on all laws, regulations or rules governing collecting on public lands and will observe them.
  • I will to the best of my ability, ascertain the boundary lines of property on which I plan to collect.
  • I will use no firearms or blasting material in collecting areas.
  • I will cause no willful damage to property of any kind such as fences, signs, buildings, etc.
  • I will leave all gates as found.
  • I will build fires only in designated or safe places and will be certain they are completely extinguished before leaving the area.
  • I will discard no burning material - matches, cigarettes, etc.
  • I will fill all excavation holes which may be dangerous to livestock.
  • I will not contaminate wells, creeks, or other water supplies.
  • I will cause no willful damage to collecting material and will take home only what I can reasonably use.
  • I will practice conservation and undertake to utilize fully and well the materials I have collected and will recycle my surplus for the pleasure and benefit of others.
  • I will support the rockhound project H.E.L.P. (Help Eliminate Litter Please) and will leave all collecting areas devoid of litter, regardless of how found.
  • I will cooperate with field-trip leaders and those in designated authority in all collecting areas.
  • I will report to my club or federation officers, Bureau of Land Management or other authorities, any deposit of petrified wood or other materials on public lands which should be protected for the enjoyment of future generations for public educational and scientific purposes.I will appreciate and protect our heritage of natural resources.
  • I will observe the "Golden Rule", will use Good Outdoor Manners and will at all times conduct myself in a manner which will add to the stature and Public Image of Rockhounds everywhere.
Code of Ethics Revised July 7, 1999 at the AFMS Annual Meeting