The purpose is to provide to the citizens of Torrance and nearby cities a fully equipped lapidary workshop with experienced instruction to assist participants of all skill levels from beginner to advanced.
The workshop is believed to have begun around 1972 in the Torrance Historical Museum. In the 1980's, the late Harry Bedford, a member of the Palos Verdes Gem and Mineral Society, was instrumental in greatly expanding the workshop by arranging long term loans of Society owned and privately owned lapidary equipment to the City of Torrance. Much of the equipment came from a large estate bequest to the Palos Verdes Gem & Mineral Society. In the 1980's, the workshop moved from the Torrance Historical Museum to Greenwood Park and finally to the rebuilt Bartlett Senior Center. In 1991, the Palos Verdes Gem and Mineral Society made a $1000 donation establishing a bank account for the sole purpose of providing operating funds to maintain the equipment. By agreement with the City of Torrance, the Palos Verdes Gem and Mineral Society retained ownership of the equipment, maintained it and upgraded it as needed, and provided workshop instruction by Society members. The City of Torrance provided building space, furniture, publicity, and other support for the activity. In December 2015 the Palos Verdes Gem & Mineral Society donated all equipment and material to the City of Torrance.