About Us

The San Joaquin Valley Lapidary Society is located in Bakersfield, California. We are a group of rock hounds dedicated to the sharing of knowledge about the lapidary arts. We meet weekly for workshops in lapidary, silversmith, and wire wrapping/beading. We were founded in 2005, and are incorporated as a 501 (c) 3. Part of our focus is education, and offer a program for area elementary school 4th and 6th graders that supplements their geology studies.

San Joaquin Valley Lapidary Society

San Joaquin Valley Lapidary Society

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


 In a ceremony uniquely their own, the San Joaquin Valley
Lapidary Society installed their new officers for 2017. Pictured above on the left is member Tim Findley, dressed as a knight of old. Reading from a scroll and using his sword to convey the power of office to each board member the transition of power took place. Welcome to all, and may you reign in peace.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Snow, snow, snow...even here in the mountains of California.

Friday, October 28, 2016


Bernie Bentsen Wins Our Vote

The Nominating Committee has
reported back  with a slate
of officers for 2017.
Here They Are:
Bernie Bentsen...President
Donna Rodriguez...Vice President
Susan Casterline...Treasurer
Carol Powers...Secretary
CFMS Director...Marvin Neabeck
Director...Beverly Richmond

Sunday, October 2, 2016


The Mojave Desert is practically in our backyard here in Bakersfield, and still holds a treasury of rock for our club and other rock hounds. It is a place worth visiting time and again. In fact the club is out there at this moment enjoying the landscape, and the cooler temperatures that have arrived. Not only are we looking for those very special rocks, but today's outing finds us looking for a place to stake a claim, a place we can return to again and again over time, and be reasonably assured that our access will not be closed. The new National Monument status for this vast area  is now expected to continue to allow rock collecting by hobbiests. A big plus for our side. A claim of our own in this beautiful area further insures access to collecting  in years to come.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Kern County Fair

Opens September 21 and runs thru' October 2nd.

Come see us in the Mineral Hall during the Kern Co. Fair. Our club will be displaying three cases, and there will be several individual member cases as well.

Pictured below our two of our prize winning cases from last year. This year's entries include: Field Trip case, jewelry case, and a special theme centered around pictures in the rocks. Many thanks to all those who are working so hard to build our displays this year. See you at the FAIR.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Slab & Gab Briefs, Summer 2016

We will be taking the summer months of  July and August off and be back again ready to go in September. Weekly Saturday workshops will start again on the first Saturday in September. Anna Winter will be hosting summer workshop sessions at her home, contact Anna thru the club email on the blog for more information. The first general meeting for September is tentatively set for the 24th at the home of Marvin and Char Neabeck, 15124 Dobbs Ave, Bakersfield, time to be announced. This will be a potluck, and general meeting. Being gone for the summer does not mean that we will be kicking back and not being busy as a group. Our great volunteers will be working on getting our three cases ready for exhibit at the Kern County Fair in September. We need donations from our members of their works, and rocks or possibly fossils (if we enter a fossil case) for exhibit in these cases. You will be contacted with more details as we move along closer to the fair. Please have a wonderful summer time, come back refreshed and with happy memories of time spent vacationing, either away from or at home.

Show Dates:


August 7 – 9 NIPOMO,CA.,

 Orcutt Mineral Society,  Nipomo High School 525 Thomson Ave.,

 Nipomo, CA Hours: Sat 10 – 5 Sun 10 – 4 Website: omsinc.org


Host: El Dorado County Mineral & Gem ,Society

September 16-18 El Dorado County Fairgrounds

100 Placerville Drive Fri-Sun 10 am -5 pm Daily

 Barbara Terrill (530) 676-2375 info@rockandgemshow.org



President, John Martin 

Things are moving forward in Southern California, we have received written approval from the BLM that interim rock and mineral collecting inside the Mojave Trails National Monument is acceptable where it is lawful to collect. There are still areas in the monument where it is unlawful to collect such as Amboy Crater National Landmark. So when you go Rockhounding in the monument be sure you know where you are collecting is lawful. The final ruling on the collecting of rocks and minerals will be in the Monument Management Plan due to be released before early 2018. Until then, Happy Rockhounding and enjoy your public lands.  For more CFMS news please use the link on this page and go to their website.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Montana de Oro

 Our first ever picnic and beach trip was a wonderful break for all of us who have endured Central Valley 100 degree heat in early June. The soft, cool air was rejuvenating. Going back home at the end of the day brought a certain sadness, and returning to the heat took a resolve of spirit.

The day began at 5 am for me, and by 6:30 and our leader was here to pick me up. The drive west took us through Lost Hills (a dry bone piece of landscape peppered with oil rigs, poles, and wires. I have to remind myself when I look on this scene that this is what it takes to keep my car running, and make trips like this possible. Also a lot of other essentials to modern life are tied to the workings of this machinery and the people who keep it running.  The residents of this forlorn patch have a small park, a bit of shade from trees planted, and color from flowering plants. There are two stores being built, so shopping can be done at home and not 20 or so miles away in neighboring Wasco. They must be a hearty bunch.

Highway 46 has finally been widened  to two lanes of traffic each way. Only 18 miles are left as single lane roadway. The 'thrill' of braving the two lane roadway filled with big trucks and crazed drivers is pretty much gone. The crazed drivers do travel here still and you need to practice your defensive driving skills. We passed a driver in a truck towing a trailer, and the trailer was wandering out of it's lane. As we passed it we saw the driver writing notes on a clip board that was racked on the steering wheel, while having a phone to their ear. Multi-tasking!

The beach was perfect. The predicted wind was not there, a few drops of rain fell on us, we explored tide pools, ate a wonderful picnic meal, and played several games. We made a little mistake when we left out several dishes on the tables when we went back to the beach for more. About 20 sea gulls were had a feast, taking over the tables, pecking through plastic covers, knocking bowls to the ground. Their food choices included hot peppers and a fruit salad.

I watched out the window as we wound our way into the hills, and saw Morro rock and the Pacific waters disappear from view. Found myself preparing myself mentally for the starkness of  Lost Hills, and a return to the central valley summer heat. It was a wonderful pause. I thank our leader for his organizing, patience, and strength. I thank all who came and shared the day and contributed to the banquet.  Sally Larsen, president SJVLS 2016