The 1017th meeting of 

The Mineralogical Society


Southern California


The Famous Silver Mines of Kongsberg, Sweden

presented by Nathalie Brandes

Friday, September 8, 2023 at  7:30 pm.

See program notes below

Visitors are always welcome

About us…

The MSSC is a member of the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies and is dedicated to the dissemination of general knowledge of the mineralogical and related earth sciences through the study of mineral specimens.  We are a scientific non-profit organization that actively supports those endeavors through public outreach, field study and related programs.

For more information

Official MSSC Hats available now.  You can buy one at the picnic on August 26, for $25.  If you want one mailed to you, please click on the link in the sidebar.

Notice of July 29, 2023 regarding Mojave Trails National Monument.  Reprinted with permission from San Diego Mineral & Gem Society.  Great commentary in the notice by its author, Lisbet Thorensen, SDMG’s Public Lands Representative.  Thank You, SDMG and Lisbet.  Angie Guzman, MSSC President.Please click here to read article and commentary.

Program Notes: Friday, September 8, 2023 at 7:30, join us for a talk by Nathalie Brandes on “The Famous Silver Mines of Kongsberg, Sweden” 

Here’s a short introduction to the Kongsberg talk: In the summer of 1623, the children of two farmers were tending livestock in rural Norway when they discovered silver-bearing rocks. Later that year, the Silver Works at Kongsberg were established and for the next 335 years were an important part of Norway’s economy and for much of that time was the largest mining operation in the country. Kongsberg is best known for spectacular specimens of wire silver that were once used as diplomatic gifts from the king to other dignitaries. This lecture will include information about the geology of the silver ore deposit, the history of mining, and lots of examples of the beautiful minerals of Kongsberg.

Nathalie Brandes grew up studying geology from a very early age traveling around the world with her geologist father. She earned her BS and MS in geology at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech). While in New Mexico, her research focused on the Rio Grande Rift. After working at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, she pursued her doctoral studies at Michigan Technological University. Her teaching career began at Michigan Tech, where she taught various geology courses, including the Teachers’ Earth Science Institute, which was a special teacher education program funded by the National Science Foundation that utilized mineral science and mineral processing to enhance the teaching of science in middle and high schools. For her efforts in making this program a success, Nathalie was presented a Distinguished Service Award. She was a Visiting Associate Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Geology Instructor and Graduate Studies Director for the College of Science at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, before accepting a position as Professor of Geosciences at Lonestar College- Montgomery, a community college in Texas, where she has been teaching for the past eighteen years. In 2019, she was presented the Faculty Excellence Award in recognition of outstanding teaching methods and dedication to student success in the classroom and beyond.

Nathalie’s current research focuses on ancient mining techniques as well as the history and geology of classic mineral localities. She frequently presents the results of this research at the New Mexico Mineral Symposium in Socorro, New Mexico and occasionally writes short articles. She has won writing awards from the American Federation of Mineral Societies and South Central Federation of Mineral Societies for the articles “A goat named Kåre and a millennium of mining at Falu Gruve, Sweden”, “Legendary Leadville, Colorado”, and “The Famous Silver Mines of Kongsberg, Norway”.

Nathalie is a member of the Management Team for, as well as on the Board of Directors for the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy. She is an active member of the Geological Society of America, the Geological Association of Canada, the British Micromount Society, the New Mexico Geological Society, The Russell Society, and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration.

Her hobbies include travel, reading, and writing; her latest book, New Mexico Rocks, A Guide to Geologic Sites in The Land of Enchantment, was published in October 2021.


Effective April, 21, 2021, paid MSSC members will be automatically on the invite list each month.

For Non Members, you must request to attend the MSSC zoom meeting every month. See below for details.

Participants who want to do this must respond to our Programs chair, Rudy Lopez at  no later than the Thursday before the scheduled meeting   Please include “ZOOM Meeting” in the subject line of your response. This response date will allow time for us to send you the information needed to participate in the ZOOM meeting.

Upcoming Events (all events, except field trips are via  ZOOM until further notice)

  • October 13, 2023: Virgil Lueth  TBA
  • November 10, 2023: Scott Braley: Herkimer Diamonds and Collecting Radioactive Minerals
  • December 8, 2023: Evan Jones: Wulfenite
  • Board Meeting, October 1, 2023, 1:00 pm. 

The MSSC is pleased to offer the updated 2022 edition of Bob Pedersen’s X- Dana 

X-Dana Mineral Spreadsheet