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by Chris Pellant
Paperback (Flex Edit.) 256 pages
Dimensions (inches): 8.5 x 5.8 x .7
Published by Dorling Kindersley in 1992
Publisher’s Synopsis: This handbook is designed for beginners and experienced collectors alike. It is packed with 600 vivid full-color photos of more than 500 specimens, including 275 minerals. First, the introduction explains how and where to find rocks and minerals. Using photographs which are right next to the associated narrative, it highlights the specific properties that help identify minerals, then gathers that information into one convenient table listing the properties of each mineral in the book. To help in the initial stages of rock identification, a clear visual key illustrates the differences between igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, then guides the reader to the correct rock entry. Each rock and mineral entry offers precise description with annotated photographs to clarify characteristics and distinguishing features. Accompanying color-coded bands provide at-a-glance facts for quick reference. In addition, each mineral entry features an illustration showing the crystal system to which the mineral belongs. Finally, a concise glossary provides instant understanding of technical and scientific terms.
Our favorite book for its user-friendliness and all-around fine quality and content. This "flex" edition is easy to page through, it is very well organized, with mineral photos immediately next to the narrative on that mineral. The photos themselves are also not necessarily of museum quality like the Peterson, Schumann, and Audubon guides, but more comparable to what we would find or collect ourselves. This book also provides a very thorough guide on the identification of rocks.
The only criticism we have of this guide is its absence of data altogether on mineral locales.
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