Customer Review

55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic useful to beginners and experts alike., November 16, 1997
This review is from: A Field Guide To Rocks & Minerals, 5th edition (Hardcover)
This Field Guide has been, and still is, The classic and useful Field Guide. Despite its title, this is mainly oriented toward minerals. Well organized and interestingly written, this is one of the few mineralogy texts which is both readable for enjoyment, and useful to both the beginner and the expert.
Part I includes an introduction on the philosophy and adjuncts of the collecting and study of minerals, briefly reviews geology and its rocks, discusses the physical properties of minerals (such as may be used to help distinguish the various species), introduces crystallography, a chemical classification of minerals written for the layman, and finally Tests, Techniques, and Tips, with many useful down-to-earth hints.
Part II is Mineral Descriptions, each one with name, formula, crystal system, and visual aids in the plates which include both diagrams and photographs. Several headings in each description are in boldface: Environment, Crystal description, Physical properties, Composition, Tests, Distinguishing characteristics, Occurrence, and Interesting Facts.
Also includes glossary, bibliography, index. Well organized and accurate, this little book has been used by some amateur mineralogists who, although using several more technical books during years of study, still find this one useful. Although another well-known text is the most commonly used one for college mineralogy courses, I have recommended that students also get a copy of the Field Guide. For the amateur exercising a bit of Emersonian self-reliance in the testing of his own specimens, this Field Guide is one of the very few remaining guides including good Tests (which have actually been tried before including them) under each species. Appeals to collectors to first try a few tests on extra material before turning specimens over to others such as over-burdened professionals. Also appeals to study some phase of the subject for ones' own edification and enjoyment, as one will get as much out of it as he or she puts into it. This Field Guide shows you how.
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