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on December 1, 1997
This is another field guide. Its introductory section is brief; most of it is descriptive. The advantage of this guide are its text opposite its color photos, so you don't have to flip pages to match them; they are already together! Included also in the mineral part are crystal diagrams. Text includes name, formula, system, appearance, physical properties (for minerals), environment, occurrence, and uses (for rocks, components). There are 276 mineral entries and 101 rock entries. This may be the only common field guide with a good rocks section.
Excellent color photos and an easy to use index. This is useful as a field guide, and as such may be found very useful for the geology student in the field, especially as it contains both minerals and rocks. -DMM
0Comment132 of 133 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
For rockhounds and beginning geologists, this book is a good overview. It not only gives a very long listing of the more popular rocks and minerals, but a thorough discussion of each along with beautiful photographs. In addition, the author does give a brief overview of crystallography that will serve well the beginner and motivates further reading on the subject. This part of geology and mineralogy is fascinating but can be time-consuming to get through. Even when not out in the field I have found this book fun to read in leisure time. It is packed full of interesting information and for the price cannot be beat.
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on August 11, 1999
Of all the field guides published, this is the most completeand easiest to use. Excellent photographs & text with lots ofinformation. A good sturdy book.
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on July 10, 2004
S&S Guide to Rocks and Minerals is a very worthwhile purchase for experienced collectors. The usual Simon and Schuster system is here, but used in an excellent way. The descriptions are the best that could ever be in a Simon and Schuster guide. The gemstones and minerals pictured are beautiful and clearly photographed. There are hundreds upon hundreds of rocks and minerals listed, which makes it one of the best companions in the field. It isn't bulky, and the correct size to carry with you on a mountain trip or archaeological dig. The rarity and value is also given, including the luster, weight, and durability of a particular rock.
The two editions released on the market today do not differ noticeably, as in every edition of a Simon and Schuster guide. The "Fireside Book" press is less complete than the newly revised edition, but not in a large way. A serious collector should purchase any edition quickly along with the Audubon Society guide.
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on April 18, 2003
This book was a must have for all geology students when I started out. Everyone in first year had this book and we used it regularly right up to fourth year. It came in very handy for mineralogy, especially since we had to know 200 of the rock forming minerals. The color pictures and information about each mineral and rock (including accidentals) and the geologic environment was very helpful. This book even came in handy when we were working on a gold exploration program coring through volcanic rock. It was helpful trying to match up the pictures with the rocks we were logging. Of course I don't recommend this practise but we all did enjoy the joke in camp.
This book has also been helpful when I used to work on large scale field mapping projects or drilling programs. I still have my original copy. I definately recommend this book above all others I have seen to any rock hound, hobbist or student.
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on February 22, 2003
A Rock and Mineral competition forced me to buy a field guide on the subject. By luck, I picked up the Simon and Schuster's Guide to Rocks and Minerals, and couldn't have been happier with it. This book it helpful in identifying mineral specimens from around the word, and also provides easy-to-find and essential information about each one. The pictures are wonderful, and they portray the appearance of the most common and obscure varieties. With the long hours of studying and the help of this book, I took a state medal, and later a national medal, in the Rocks and Minerals field of the Science Olympiad competition. Best guide I've seen on the subject.
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on July 22, 2002
The information and photos are great, but it's geared more towards someone who already has a good working knowledge of the subject, especially the introduction to minerals. I would recommend this as a solid field reference, but not so good as a field guide (there's not identification key). Beginners will quickly get lost in some of the technical aspects and jargon.
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on April 9, 2002
Good book to use if you are starting out. Although I would liked to have seen some comparison pictures of certain rocks. Some rocks/minerals may be the same but look totally different in certain situations. Nice book though at decent price.
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on August 8, 2010
Although this is not meant for anyone and everyone who may look at it, if someone is at least a little interested in minerals and rocks, this is a great guide. It has many specimens that others do not, and it is set up in a very organized manner. I use this book in many geology classes, from Mineralogy to Stratigraphy! I have gotten lost just browsing the pages of this book. I love it! I recommend it to anyone who asks.
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on October 26, 2012
This book would be great if the photos were sharp. Unfortunately they are not. It makes me envious because other reviewers apparently got a better copy than I did. Looking at the book's info page, I seem to have the 21st printing. Maybe I could search out an earlier printing.

UPDATE: 30 Oct 2012. I was able to obtain a used copy of the 11th printing of the book. (This has a different cover photo.) Some of the item photos are better, some are not. Between the two copies, I think it will be possible to cull an acceptable photo of most of the specimens illustrated. I have to say though, compared to other field guides, encyclopedias, and handbooks which I have, this batch of photos is very uneven in grade, and sometimes less than marginal in quality.
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