The South Orange County Gem and Mineral Society is hosting a field trip to Heath Canyon, with stops along the way, where rock hounds will look for Rhodonite, garnets, black tourmalines and other gems and minerals. The group will meet on International Rock Day on Saturday, July 13, at 8:30 a.m. at San Clemente Community Center and at 9:15 a.m. at the Laguna Hills Community Center, to caravan to the geology and rock hunting sites along the way.

The field trip is open free to members of SOCGEMS, members of California Federation of Mineralogy Society members, or to the general public for $20 per person or $30 for a family.

Those who participate on the rock hunting field trip, led by geologist Richard Birt, will travel to Cajon Pass, Mormon Rocks, San Andreas Fault, Wrightwood and Heath Canyon.

To reserve a place on the trip, call Mike Holbert at 949.226.4077.

In addition, on Wednesday, July 17, at 7:15 p.m., Dr. James Shigley, distinguished research fellow with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), will speak at SOCGEMS’s monthly meeting at the San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville. Shigley will discuss the Institute’s field gemology program, which travels to mines around the world to collect reference samples, and its importance for colored gemstone research. For more than 30 years, Dr. Shigley has been recognized internationally for his research on diamonds, colored stones and gem identification. Guests are welcome to the meeting at no charge.

For more information, visit or follow it on The 56-year old nonprofit club serves the entire South Orange County community.

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