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Gems and Minerals: Earth Treasures from the Royal Ontario Museum [Hardcover]

Kimberly Tait
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 40.00
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Book Description

Oct. 20 2011

A profusely illustrated and remarkably comprehensive guide to nature's most stunning jewels.

Under the right conditions, over millions of years, geological activity can form extremely striking and amazing minerals. Once they have formed, these rare giants can be destroyed by the very forces that created them. Few survive, and even fewer are discovered and collected undamaged. This book is a comprehensive illustrated guide to 260 outstanding examples of gems and minerals from the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum.

When Theophrastus described 16 minerals in his textbook De lapidibus, around 300 BCE, he laid the foundation for the science of mineralogy. Advances in the 20th century, particularly the use of X-ray crystallography, now allow the crystal structure of most minerals to be described at the atomic level. The informative introduction of Gems and Minerals explains some of this science, providing definitions of many of the book's technical terms. The book then describes each mineral, accompanied by a photograph. The mineral's chemical and physical properties are identified, as well as how it was formed and where it can be found.

Gems and Minerals contains more than 400 photographs and focuses on the beauty of the mineral kingdom. It contains many images of spectacular crystals and gems as well as magnificent manufactured objects made from gold, silver and gemstones. Historical background, the origin of the mineral's name and interesting lesser-known facts complete this guide to a fascinating aspect of the natural world around us.

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Product Description


A very handsome and colorful quick reference on many of the minerals and gems of the world.... With superb photographs and excellent mineral references, this text joins a host of other books on gems and minerals and is a fine addition to anyone's reference shelf or coffee table. (Bob Jones Rock and Gem 2012-04-01)

About the Author

Dr. Kimberly Tait is the associate curator of mineralogy at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. She is also assistant professor of geology (status only) at the University of Toronto.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Would have like more info on gems, particularly coloured, such as sapphires, rubies, emeralds, which are truly rare; also more info on how to determine diamond quality. Is of great interest to amateur geologists.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book; supurb pictures Oct. 14 2012
By Thomas S. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful place to start learning about minerals or a beautiful compendium of knowledge for the expert. Most of us will never own the all the minerals shown, or specimens half as beautiful as the ones illustrated. The introduction was very useful when preparing a lecture for non-scientists recently. I highly recommend this book.

Tom in Cleveland
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT July 11 2013
By Henry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great book, NEW facts on newly named minerals, beautiful pictures & prompt shipping.This book is an outstanding value and an asset to my collection.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent photos from a great collection March 21 2014
By Peter D. Tillman - Published on Amazon.com
I looked for this book after seeing a series of beautiful photos of the ROM mineral collection at Flickr (links in first comment). It's a winner, with a nice combination of flash and color (the great specimens) and a systematic survey of the world of mineralogy, also with excellent photos. Photo reproduction quality and book design are both excellent, and it's a lot of book for $30. The author is a curator of mineralogy at the ROM, and writes in a clear, direct style. This is the next best thing to visiting the museum -- which I hope to do some day.

This is the best mineral-photo coffee-table book I've seen. Highly recommended.

Happy reading and viewing --
Peter D. Tillman
Professional geologist
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great April 20 2013
By Brooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a geologist I love this book for it's great photos and info. For novices and experts alike, it is a great book and knowledge center.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prime coffee table book Feb. 6 2012
By monroe54321 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A fantasket book just for the beautiful pictures. I am a chemist with a hobby of geology.
Very empressive to every one. A big heavy book. *****FROM AMAZON*****
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