The Mississippi Gem and Mineral Society (MGMS) was founded in 1957 with 11 members. It was chartered as a nonprofit, educational corporation to promote knowledge and the enjoyment of activities related to the earth sciences in 1958.
In August 1971, members of MGMS found an Eocene age fossilized whale skeleton in the Moodys Branch Formation, Jackson Group. Members of our Society were instrumental in excavating and preserving this fossil which is now on display at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.
MGMS members also initiated the effort to have this fossil designated as the state fossil and to have petrified wood designated as the state stone. These efforts were accomplished in 1981 and 1976 respectively.
Construction of the MGMS Lapidary School was begun in 2006. After almost 50 years of having lapidary and special interest classes in homes and carports. we now have a permanent place to meet, learn, and share our interests. The School was made possible because of donated funds and member volunteer labor.