Lapidary can refer either to the person who practices or to the practice of shaping harder pieces of the earth into more useful or decorative forms.

For example, in our workshop, our members have the tools and expertise to:

  •   Take a rock or small boulder, called rough
  •   Cut it into slices, called slabs
  •   Trim the slabs into rough cabochons
  •   Shape and polish a cabochon, often abbreviated as "cab"
  •   Create a silver setting for the cab with a bail--an attachment point
  •   Build a silver chain from wire
  •   Attach the mounted cab to the chain
  •   Wear the new necklace

Occasionally people take a big rock and make it into book-ends.

Whatever your creative bent or geologic background, there's something for you at the Des Moines Lapidary Society!

Monthly meetings are usually the first Saturday of each month from September through May. We take the summer months off.

We meet at the club house at 2608 24th St, in Des Moines

Members of the public are welcome to drop in to the club house to learn more about the Society. $ Our workshop is typically open throughout the year

  • most Saturdays from 10 AM-4 PM
  • most Thursdays from 4 PM-7 PM

Members of the club are welcome to use the equipment after they have been trained to use it safely.  Please don't forget to make a contribution to cover the cost of consumables, blades, etc.

We have three kinds of workshops:

  • Lapidary workshop - The Lapidary workshop has a full range of lapidary equipment including trim saws, rock saws, grinders, and cab machines.
  • Silversmithing workshop - The silversmithing workshop is available during open shop and is set up for small group classes.
  • Classroom - The Classroom is arranged on an as-needed basis for classes like wire wrapping, etc.

Administrative meetings will begin one hour prior to the regular monthly meetings.

Other administrative meetings will be scheduled as needed.

Picture needed here

Strip of polished rocks