About us

Our Story

Friends of Mineralogy Virginia Chapter Inc. (FMVA) was founded by a team of passionate collectors, mineral curators, geologists, and mineralogists interested in promoting the Commonwealth’s mineral resources. FMVA is the connective tissue between the public and the state’s mining sector, academic institutions, and political offices. Through our material-based approach, aka “Mineral Diplomacy,” FMVA teaches about the importance of minerals in society by discussing their geologic history and the essential minerals which support our society. 

Our Mission

The purpose of FMVA is to support, expand, and promote the study of mineralogy and the hobby of mineral collecting by highlighting the scientific, industrial, economic, and aesthetic value of minerals in society. Through service-based operations, educational programming, research, publications, and community outreach, FMVA will provide local and statewide mineral-resource services to the Commonwealth of Virginia. FMVA operations are not limited to Virginia, with many of its programs, methodologies, and outreach strategies extending beyond the state.

Why should I be a part of FMVA?

FMVA is a service-oriented organization dedicated to specific topics such as safety, education, historical preservation, and research. Our goal is to develop a state-wide network for mineral education by engaging in meaningful programs and partnerships with industry, museums, universities, and local mineral societies. Despite our state focus, we are dedicated to the broader field of mineralogy and provide many opportunities to enrich your knowledge on the global level. Our diversity of programs and projects allows everyone to find a home in FMVA. We encourage students, teachers, industry professionals, and traditional rockhounds and mineral collectors to join our organization. 

Behind our Logo

FMVA chose the Barger’s Quarry Pyrite as our official logo due to its morphological complexity and its world-renown status as one of the most unique pyrite growths in the country. The specimens are found in Lexington, Virginia and the operation has played a vital role in the local economy by producing the aggregates necessary for the city’s development. This mineral specimen and locality highlights the core mission of FMVA as we hope to build connections between the geologic history and the economic, historical, and cultural aspects of our society. If you can’t grow it, you need to mine it!

Learn more about the location here.