Educational Presentations

Julian Gray presents a wide variety of lectures, presentations, workshops, and keynotes on geology, mineral collecting, and photography, specifically rock and mineral photograph and photomicrography. To bring Julian Gray to your next event, conference, class, or symposium, please use our contact form.

How to Dispose of your Collection

Many hobbyists amass huge collections over their many active years. When it comes time to part with some or all of your collection, how will you share this collection with others? If you were to die, will you leave your family or friends with a garage, basement, and/or shed full of rocks? In this talk you will learn about the reasons for disposing of all or part of your collection, considerations of selling versus donating, and how to get an appraisal for tax purposes. This presentation is for all hobbies, not jut mineral collecting.

Minerals of Georgia

In 2015, Auburn professor Robert Cook, Jose Santamaria, and I published Minerals of Georgia, an update of Dr. Cook’s book originally published in 1978. This presentations covers an overview of the geology of Georgia and how that affects where what minerals can be found. Most of Georgia’s best mineral localities are lavishly illustrated with high quality photographs in this presentation.

Gold in Georgia

gold nugget

Gold nugget from the Etowah River, Lumpkin County, Georgia. 1 cm high, Travis Paris collection. Credit: Jeff Scovil photo.

In the 1820s, the discovery of gold in the southeast, especially in North Carolina and Georgia set off America’s first gold rush.

Julian Gray covers the geology of gold in the Southeastern US, the history of its discovery rush, establishment of the Charlotte, N.C. and Dahlonega, Georgia, mints. Many examples of Georgia gold in private collections as well as collections of Tellus Science Museum, former Georgia Capital Museum, and the Dahlonega Gold Museum are featured in this talk.

American Mineral Treasures

In 2008 the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show theme featured the best of dozens of American Mineral Localities. This was the brainchild of a group of the United State’s greatest mineral collectors and featured the finest minerals this country has produced. A companion coffee table book, American Mineral Treasures was published by Lithographie LTD. In this talk I go behind the scenes from the shows inception to the final exhibition at the 2008 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

Tucson! The world’s greatest mineral show

What began as a rock show for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society in a Quonset hut in 1946 became not only the largest mineral show in the world, but the largest event in the world. As the show increased in popularity and notoriety, the club show grew and satellite shows began springing up all over Tucson. Beginning in mid-January and lasting through mid-February every year, Tucson, Arizona is now the focus of the mineral collecting world. If it came out of the ground, it can be seen there in the first two weeks of February; from two tons amethyst geodes to $2 million meteorites to 10,000 carat gemstones to dinosaurs. There are now as many as 50 shows over the two week period simply known among collectors and rockhounds as – Tucson!

Graves Mountain, Georgia

Since the early 1800s, Graves Mountain in East-Central Georgia has been that state’s most noteworthy collecting site. Collectors extracted some of the World’s finest lazulite and rutile crystals in the early days of collecting there. From the 1960s to 1980s, Graves Mountain was operated as a kyanite mine. Mining exposed hundreds of incredible rutile, lazulite, and iridescent hematite specimens that made their way into museums and collections around the world. Dedicated groups of micromineral collectors have discovered many rare and beautiful phosphate minerals there.


Many of the nearly 6,000 known mineral species occur as microscopic minerals; many of which were discovered by micromounters. Micromounting is a subset of mineral collecting that specializes in the study of micro-minerals, minerals that require magnification to be fully appreciated. A micromount is a mineral specimen that is trimmed and attractively mounted in a tiny box (7/8″ x 7/8″) and properly labeled. This is a rewarding and fascinating area of mineral collecting. This presentation can be tailored to either a history of micromounting or an overview of the micromounting hobby.

Sand Collecting