We offer instruction in the Lapidary Shop at the HGMS Education Center, 7901 Bailey Cove Road SE, Huntsville.  Our certified instructors are Bill Friday, James Yack, Les Bartel, and Anthony Zwilling.  Click shop schedule to see when the shop is open.

Lapidary Shop

by Bill Friday

The Education Center Lapidary Shop features an enviable array of rock saws, grinding machines, and polishing equipment.  Certification training is required for HGMS members to use the shop equipment.  Any certified HGMS member may use the shop when it’s open.  Lapidary training is available to any 18+ HGMS member who requests it.  Special training times can be arranged by request to

All maintenance is provided by a crew of dedicated volunteers.  Saw blades and wheels gradually wear out and must be replaced, and disabled equipment must be repaired or replaced.  Oil is regularly run through the special oil cleaner.  The Annual Auction generally pays for most shop maintenance, plus there is a daily usage fee.  There is no training fee.

Almost all of the lapidary shop equipment was purchased new in 2016.  We have four Highland Park 14” diamond blade slab saws and ten diamond surfaced double-wheel arbors, with 80/220 grit for grinding, 280/600 grit for sanding, and 3000/14,000 for polishing.  There are two 6-inch trim saws and a 24” saw for large rocks.  On some busy evenings, there are up to a dozen participants, though usually fewer, most of whom can find an empty machine of some sort to use in pursuit of the creation of genuine treasures.  It should be added that the fellowship of swapping stories, swapping rocks, and admiring each other’s skills and accomplishments is a significant part of the attraction.

Click shop schedule to see when the shop is open.