Mineral Symposium 2016 – Pegmatites

Beryl-Aquamarine Scovil 2011

Aquamarine, Hunza Valley, Pakistan, Tellus Mineral Collection

Saturday, April 2, 2016
10 AM – 5 PM*


Registration required; discount for early registration.

Pegmatites are rocks that can produce large crystals and are the source of some of the world’s most fascinating gem and mineral specimens. Tellus has assembled some of the foremost experts in the field to share their research and experiences in the subject: Dr. Mike Wise of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Joe Dorris of the famous Smoky Hawk Claim in Colorado, Dr. Sam Swanson of University of Georgia, Dr. David London of University of Oklahoma, and Dr. Robert B. Cook, professor emeritus at Auburn University.

Prepaid registration is required and includes all lectures, breakfast, and lunch. A dinner in the Great Hall with event hosts and speakers can be added for $25.

This scientific mineral symposium is recommended for those with a geologic background and mineral knowledge.

**If you do not have a geologic background but think this may interest you please come to the Lunch and Learn on March 23, 2016 where Dion Stewart will discuss why pegmatites are so neat and how they create such precious minerals!**

Registration ends March 22, 2016. To register, call (770) 606-5700 ext 417.






*The add-on dinner option includes a planetarium show, drinks, dinner, and dessert with event hosts and speakers. We will also feature a special presentation by previous Tellus Curator Julian Gray. He will speak on pegmatite mineral specimens housed at the Rice Museum, where he is now the Executive Director. This option is from 5 – 8 PM.

Dr. David London – University of Oklahoma

Dr. London’s research couples field studies with geochemical experiments to understand the properties of felsic silicate melts and how those melts crystallize to generate the complex textures and zoning that are the hallmarks of granitic pegmatites. In his presentation, he will outline some of the key features of pegmatites and he will offer answers toward those ends based largely on his experimental programs.

Dr. London is the author of Pegmatites, a pegmatite reference book. He will be available to sign copies of his book from 1 – 1:30 PM. Copies will also be available to purchase.

Joe Dorris – Pinnacle 5 Minerals & Television Show “Prospectors”

Joe Dorris has been collecting and studying pegmatites, particularly NYF amazonite producing ones for over 40 years. He has discovered some of the world’s best amazonite and smoky quartz specimens, including the Smoky Hawk King, the world’s largest amazonite and smoky quartz plate discovered.

Joe Dorris is the author of the Idaho Sheepeater series including his newest addition Salmon River Kid. He will be available to sign copies of his books from 1 – 1:30 PM. Copies will also be available to purchase.

Dr. Mike Wise – Smithsonian Institution Department of Mineral Sciences

Pegmatite research in the Department of Mineral Sciences focuses on three broad, but closely linked disciplines necessary for a full understanding of the pegmatite-generating process:  crystal chemistry and crystal structures of pegmatite minerals, petrology and geochemistry of pegmatites, and evolution of granite-pegmatite systems. In his presentation, Dr. Wise will build from these to discuss classification of granite-pegmatite systems based on their composition and history of evolution.

Dr. Robert B. Book at Tellus Mineral SymposiumDr. Robert B. Cook – University of Auburn

Currently, Dr. Cook is working on sinkhole remediation near carbonate quarries; rare Earth exploration; and petrography of American Indian pottery. In addition to his diverse research, he is also a go-to authority on Georgia minerals, and in his presentation he will be discussing the history and importance of Georgia pegmatite deposits.

Dr. Cook is co-author of Minerals of Georgia, a new reference book that will be coming out early February 2016. He will be available to sign copies of Minerals of Georgia from 1 – 1:30 PM. Copies will also be available to purchase.

Dr. Sam Swanson at Tellus Mineral SymposiumDr. Sam Swanson – University of Georgia

Experimental studies of feldspar and quartz crystallization kinetics by Dr. Swanson and colleagues during their graduate studies at Stanford University promoted a rethinking of the development of large crystals in granitic systems. Crystal growth was rapid with or without the presence of a distinct vapor phase.  Crystal nucleation was the defining parameter in the development of pegmatitc texture. Dr. David London, through a series of elegant experiments, expanded on this idea and promoted his kinetic model for pegmatite crystallization.

Dr. Swanson has studied the mineralogy of pegmatitic systems in Alaska (tin granites of the Seward Peninsula), Georgia (Stone Mountain, Elberton) and North Carolina (Spruce Pine and Kings Mountain). The Spruce Pine pegmatites are important historically for their mineral resource and their influence on early pegmatite studies by Jahns, Cameron, and others. Spruce Pine is a deep pegmatite system that lacks the crystal-lined open cavities of shallow gem pegmatites. Dr. Swanson’s talk will review the mineralogy of the Spruce Pine pegmatites and present a model for the development of pegmatitc texture in mid-crustal granitic rocks.

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