In the middle sixties, some very farsighted individuals realized the need and the benefit which could be derived from uniting all the Gem and Mineral Clubs / Societies in South Africa at the time, into a Federation. This Federation, when founded would elect office bearers and appoint various committees who would be entrusted with the task of carrying out the wishes of the collective Clubs and Societies affiliated to the Federation.
This Federation was then duly formed in Kimberly on the 3rd September 1966. The aims and objects of FOSAGAMS are to assist in the formation of Earth Science Clubs and Societies and, to promote the hobby of lapidary art and mineral collecting and all its associated fields.
The Executive Committee of the Federation consists of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Immediate Past President. Annual General Meetings are held every year over the Easter weekend, during the annual GEMBOREE.
Some of the major projects which FOSAGAMS is involved in on an ongoing basis are the following:
- Publication of the 'Southern African Gems and Minerals' magazine (formerly 'The South African Lapidary Magazine'), three issues per annum.
- On a roster, Clubs are involved in organising the annual Easter GEMBOREE in different parts of Southern Africa. This GEMBOREE brings together members of Clubs from all corners of Southern Africa, to partake in field trips and social events.
- In the past, National Gem and Mineral Shows have been held at annual and bi-annual intervals, also being organised by specific Clubs in the major centers. In the late nineties, organisational problems were encountered which has somewhat curtailed this activity.
- “Extended Rockhound Tours“ have been held at irregular intervals, lasting anything from two to five weeks, with up to 66 participants on one tour. Today the number of participants is limited to between 24 and 40.
- Closer co-operation between neighbouring Clubs as far as combined programmes and field trips are concerned e.g. inter-club field trips.
- Assistance and encouragement by the larger Clubs towards the smaller Clubs, by means of programmes, outings and shows.
- The Federation has a small audio-visual library, from which slide programmes and videos can be hired at a nominal cost.
- Acts as a voice of the fraternity in relations with Government Departments and local councils.