Tellus’ Mineral Symposium returns Saturday
by Marie Nesmith
Aug 14, 2014 | 766 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the Mineral Symposium set for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Tellus Science Museum’s staff believes the annual event will be an opportunity for the public to broaden their geological knowledge. The offering will feature three presentations, one of which will be delivered by Tellus Executive Director Jose Santamaria.

“I’ll be discussing the mineral history of Graves Mountain, which is a site in east Georgia, but it’s the most famous mineral locality in Georgia,” Santamaria said. “It’s been famous for more than 150 years. If you’re into minerals and mineral collecting, you will know about this place. It’s been collected for over 50 minerals for about 150 years, and there’s specimens there, [such as a] titanium mineral called rutile.

“That’s in the collection in every major museum in the world. ... There’s museums in Russia and Australia and Europe that have specimens from that site. So that’s kind of interesting and [another] interesting thing is people can go there and collect right now. [What I enjoy most about the Mineral Symposium is] I always love talking about rocks, but I also love being part of the audience and just learning something new. I always learn something new.”

Santamaria’s 10 a.m. discussion titled “Mineral History of Graves Mountain” will be followed by two presentations: “Beryl” and a book signing by Robert J. Lauf at 11 a.m.; and “The Colors of Natural Garnets — Every Color Now Available?” by Dion Stewart at 2 p.m.

“Tellus used to be the Weinman Mineral Museum, so keeping with that theme we have the Mineral Symposium,” Tellus Curator Sarah Timm said. “It typically brings local collectors, members of local geology clubs and mineral clubs — anyone who has an interest. But it’s open to the general public. It [will cover] a wide range [of topics].”

Opened in January 2009, Tellus — an expansion of the former Weinman Mineral Museum — became a Smithsonian affiliate during its debut year. Encompassing 120,000 square feet at 100 Tellus Drive in Cartersville, the museum is comprised of four main galleries — The Weinman Mineral Gallery, The Fossil Gallery, Science in Motion and The Collins Family My Big Backyard hands-on science gallery — a 120-seat digital planetarium and an observatory. The museum welcomed its millionth visitor March 27.

The upcoming event will be included in regular admission to Tellus for non-members and free for museum members. For more information about the museum and its events and programs, call 770-606-5700 or visit