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Tellus Museum Visit, Part 1: Introduction

I made a trip earlier this year to Tellus Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, while visiting family in Atlanta. Located about an hour north of Atlanta, Tellus Museum is an impressive natural history museum with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I traveled with extended family, which included young children, and found the exhibits to be very conducive to all ages. All members of my party, ranging all ages, enjoyed their visit.


One of the highlights of the museum is their outstanding hall of minerals. Aside from the abundance of quality mineral specimens on exhibit, the displays are well-lit, spacious, and have good labels and associated reading material. The museum has an extensive collection of Georgia minerals, which is in all probability the best collection of this type on public display. Georgia cases include Graves Mountain, Jackson Crossroads Amethyst, Emerson Barites, and Georgia Gold. Many fine worldwide minerals are also represented at the museum, with different themes in each display case.


Prior to November 2007, the museum was known as the Weinman Mineral Museum. The museum closed and reopened in 2008 as Tellus Science Museum, expanding the museum beyond minerals to include additional science and technology displays, as well as hands-on features. Despite the expansion of the museum into other science areas, the original theme of minerals is still very much present and a primary attraction of the museum, along with fossils and dinosaur exhibits.


I had the privilege of meeting Jose Santamaria, the executive director of the museum, during my visit. He gave me a detailed tour of the museum and mineral hall, explaining each case and some of the minerals in detail. I had the opportunity to take many photos during this trip, which I am proud to share here on Minerals.net. The museum reports will be divided into several posts, composed of the following:

  • Georgia Display Cases
  • Individual Georgia Minerals
  • Graves Mountain Minerals
  • Worldwide Collection

The pictures in this post include general scenes of the Weinman Mineral Gallery and some highlights, as well as some of the gigantic "interest-catchers" that the museum has on exhibit.


Tellus Museum Weinman Mineral Gallery Plaques
Weinman Mineral Gallery Plaques


Entrance to the Mineral Exhibitions
Entrance to the Mineral Exhibitions


Perspective Photo of the Mineral Exhibitions
Perspective Photo of the Mineral Exhibitions


Tellus Museum Layout of the Mineral Cases. Pictorial Periodical Table is to the Left.
Layout of the Mineral Cases. Pictorial Periodical Table is to the Left.


Tellus Museum Pictorial Periodical Table of the Elements, with Examples of Each Element
Pictorial Periodical Table of the Elements, with Examples of Each Element.


Giant Brazilian Quartz geode near the Entrance of the Weinman Mineral Gallery at the Tellus Museum
Giant Brazilian Quartz geode near the Entrance of the Mineral Gallery


Giant Float Copper Boulder from the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan Tellus Museum
Giant Float Copper Boulder from the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan


Cartersville GA Meteorite that fell Nearby, on Display near the Mineral Hall Tellus Museum
Cartersville Meteorite that fell Nearby, on Display near the Mineral Hall


Cartersville <a class='more' href=Meteorite that fell Nearby, on Display near the Mineral Hall">
Zoomed into the Cartersville Meteorite

Tellus Museum Visit, Part 2: Georgia Display Cases

Continuing with the posts on Tellus Museum mineral exhibits, this article features some of the display cases of Georgia minerals. Tellus Museum has the best public collection of minerals of Georgia, represented in several different cases. Graves Mountain, the most famous mineral locality in the state, will have its own dedicated post.


Case of Georgia Gold
Case of Georgia Gold


Minerals of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont Zones of Georgia
Minerals of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont Zones of Georgia


Calcite from Georgia
Calcite from Georgia


Fluorescent Willemite and Calcite Richard Bostwick and Tema Hecht
Minerals of the Georgia Coastal Plain


The Largest Crystal Cluster of Amethyst from Georgia
The Largest Amethyst Crystal Cluster from Georgia


Amethyst Georgia
Georgia Amethyst


The Cumberland Plateau, Valley & Ridge
The Cumberland Plateau, Valley & Ridge


Barite from Georgia
Barite from Georgia


Rock Types from Georgia
Rock Types from Georgia


Tellus Museum Visit, Part 3: Individual Georgia Minerals

This next post of Tellus Museum features individual minerals from Georgia. There are many good displays of Georgia minerals at the museum, and I picked some noteworthy individual specimens to feature in this post from within those displays. I tried keeping a variety from all the different regions of the state, and as in the previous post, left the Graves Mountain minerals to get their own individual post.


Gold Nugget from Crisson Mine, Dahlonega, Lumpkin Co., GA
Gold Nugget from Crisson Mine, Dahlonega, Lumpkin Co., GA


Beryl var Aquamarine from Hogg Mine, Troup Co., GA
Beryl var Aquamarine from Hogg Mine, Troup Co., GA


Cut Aquamarine Gemstone from Hogg Mine, Troup Co., GA
Cut Aquamarine Gemstone from Hogg Mine, Troup Co., GA


Schorl Tourmaline from Daniellesville, GA
Schorl Tourmaline from Daniellesville, GA


Gold Nuggets from the Loud Placer Mine, White Pine Co., GA
Gold Nuggets from the Loud Placer Mine, White Pine Co., GA


Calcite Interesting Formation from Marble Hill, Pickens Co., GA
Calcite Interesting Formation from Marble Hill, Pickens Co., GA


Calcite Crystals from Marble Hill, Pickens Co., GA
Spiky Calcite Crystals from Marble Hill, Pickens Co., GA


Odd Chalcedony Stalactite from Girard, Burke Co., GA
Odd Chalcedony Stalactite from Girard, Burke Co., GA


Chalcedony Pseudomorph of Coral
Odd Chalcedony Pseudomorph of Coral


Color-Zoned Amethyst Crystals from Charlie'e Creek, Town Co., GA
Color-Zoned Amethyst Crystals from Charlie'e Creek, Town Co., GA


Amethyst on Quartz Crystals, from Jackson's Crossroads, Wilkes Co., GA
Amethyst on Quartz Crystals, from Jackson's Crossroads, Wilkes Co., GA


Cut Amethyst Gemstones from Various Georgia Locations
Cut Amethyst Gemstones from Various Georgia Locations


Calcite Crystals from the New York Mine, Marble Hill, Pickens Co., GA
Calcite Crystals from the New York Mine, Marble Hill, Pickens Co., GA


Large Yellow Calcite Crystals from the Florida Rock Quarry, Floyd Co., GA
Large Yellow Calcite Crystals from the Florida Rock Quarry, Floyd Co., GA


Iridescent Goethite from Bartow Co., GA
Iridescent Goethite from Bartow Co., GA


Botryoidal Romanechite Formation from Bartow Co., GA
Botryoidal Romanechite Formation from Bartow Co., GA


Quartz Box Lattice Formation from Paga Mine Road, Emerson Co., GA
Quartz Box Lattice Formation from Paga Mine Road, Emerson Co., GA


Barite Crystal formations from Emerson, Bartow Co., GA
Barite Crystal Formations from Emerson, Bartow Co., GA


More Barite Crystal formations from Emerson, Bartow Co., GA
More Barite Crystals from Emerson, Bartow Co., GA


Zoisite var. Thulite from Stone Mountain, DeKalb Co., GA
Zoisite var. Thulite from Stone Mountain, DeKalb Co., GA


Barite strange formation from Cartersville, Bartow Co., GA
Barite strange formation from Cartersville, Bartow Co., GA


Tellus Museum Visit, Part 4: Graves Mountain, GA

Graves Mountain is a small isolated mountain in eastern Georgia featuring unique geological properties. Much of the mountain has been stripped away in mining, and the area remains a vast empty open pit quarry that is no longer active. This quarry, which commercially mined Kyanite for high-temperature ceramics, closed in 1986 when it became too expensive to keep up production.

Graves Mountain has been an outstanding producer of many interesting minerals over the years. Perhaps the most famous collectors mineral that has come from the quarry is Rutile. Considered to be the best locality of this mineral in the world, Rutile from Graves Mountain forms in large, thick crystals that are highly lustrous.


Another important mineral from Graves Mountain is Lazulite, which produced some of the best examples of this mineral in large blue, opaque crystals bipyramidal in shape. Pyrophyllite is yet another mineral exceptionally represented at Graves Mountain, in interconnected radiating crystals. Rainbow-colored iridescent Hematite, often coating Quartz, is also a unique feature of this mine.


The display at Tellus Museum features a large case of minerals from Graves Mountain, with a photo of the mine in the background and a nice descriptive caption. Minerals of Graves Mountain are well represented, with a healthy representation of Rutile and Lazulite, and some other interesting or rare minerals from this mine.


Graves Mountain, Georgia, Large Display Case
Graves Mountain, Georgia, Large Display Case


Sulfur. This Mineral is Rare at Graves Mountain.
Sulfur. This Mineral is Rare at Graves Mountain.


Blue-green radiating Pyrophyllite
Blue-green radiating Pyrophyllite


Very Rare Gold from Graves Mountain
Very Rare Gold from Graves Mountain


Very Rare Gold from Graves Mountain
Three Fantastic Rutile Crystals from Graves Mountain


Very Large Matrix Rutile Crystal
Very Large Matrix Rutile Crystal


Lustrous
Lustrous Rutile in Contrasting Pyrophyllite


Exceptionally Formed Rutile Crystal
Exceptionally Formed Rutile Crystal


Case of Georgia Gold
Very Large Lazulite Crystal


Deep Blue Lazulite Crystals in Matrix
Deep Blue Lazulite Crystals in Matrix


Iridescent Hematite Coating a Quartz Crystal
Iridescent Hematite Coating a Quartz Crystal


Multicolored Iridescent Hematite
Multicolored Iridescent Hematite


Case of Georgia Gold
Golden Colored Iridescent Hematite


Large Iridescent Hematite on Quartz
Large Iridescent Hematite on Quartz

Tellus Museum Visit, Part 5: Worldwide Collection

This final post on Tellus Museum features some of the minerals in their worldwide collection. While the museum collection places a special emphasis on Georgia minerals, many other fine worldwide specimens are also on display. This post features some of outstanding or interesting specimens from their worldwide collection.


Rhodochrosite Slab from Catamarca, Argentina
Rhodochrosite Slab from Catamarca, Argentina


Fluorite Cube from the Elmwood Mine, Smith Co., Tennessee
Fluorite Cube from the Elmwood Mine, Smith Co., Tennessee


Celestine Crystals from Michigan
Celestine Crystals from Michigan


Smoky Quartz from Diamond Hill, Antreville, South Carolina
Smoky Quartz from Diamond Hill, Antreville, South Carolina


Large Selenite from Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico
Large Selenite from Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico


Calcite Twin from the Elmwood Mine, Smith Co., Tennessee
Calcite Twin from the Elmwood Mine, Smith Co., Tennessee


Elongated Quartz Crystals with Reddish Hematite Coating
Elongated Quartz Crystals with Reddish Hematite Coating


Boulangerite from Zacatecas, Mexico
Boulangerite from Zacatecas, Mexico


Galena Cubes on Matrix from Joplin, Missouri
Galena Cubes on Matrix from Joplin, Missouri


Orange Calcite from Guangxi Province, China
Orange Calcite from Guangxi Province, China


Blue Dolomite from Muzo, Boyaca, Colombia
Blue Dolomite from Muzo, Boyaca, Colombia


Prehnite from New Jersey
Prehnite from New Jersey


Rock from the Moon
Rock from the Moon