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Simon & Schuster's Guide to Rocks and Minerals Paperback – Nov 15 1978


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 607 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (Nov. 15 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671244175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671244170
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 3 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

1 COPPER

NATIVE ELEMENTS

Cu (Copper)

System Isometric.

Appearance Tetrahexahedral or octahedral crystals, Usually twinned, rare. Generally occurs in compact masses, sometimes of considerable size, or in dendritic and filiform masses. Characteristic copper-red color on fresh surfaces, more often with a greenish film of malachite or a blackish or iridescent film. Sometimes occurs as a pseudomorph after calcite, aragonite or cuprite.

Physical properties Fairly soft (2.5-3), very heavy, ductile, malleable, no cleavage, hackly fracture. Opaque with metallic luster. Very thin sheets are translucent, letting through weak, greenish light. Excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Dissolves easily in nitric acid, staining the solution pale-blue when excess ammonia is added. Fuses at 1082°C (1980°F).

Environment A typical mineral formed by chemical processes in reducing conditions in the oxidation zone of sulfide deposits. Also occurs in cavities of basalts and conglomerates, sometimes in considerable quantities. Often found in old mines subject to periodic flooding by water containing copper sulfates, appearing as crusts on iron objects or replacing fibers of wooden supports.

Occurrence The finest crystals of native copper, measuring up to 3 cm (1.18 in), come from the Keweenaw Peninsula (Lake Superior, USA) where masses weighing up to 400 metric tons and natural alloys of copper and silver known as "halfbreeds" have also been found. There are other deposits with fine crystals of native copper in Germany, and Bisbee, Arizona (USA) and in the manganese skarns of Långban (Sweden) and Franklin, New Jersey (USA). Dendrites and masses are very common in many deposits (USSR, Zambia, Chile). In Europe, small deposits are found near Pisa and Florence (Italy).

Uses Native copper rarely occurs in large enough quantities to be worth exploiting commercially. The metal has been important in human history, second only to iron. Nowadays its chief use is in electrical engineering (electric cables and wires) and for alloys (brass, bronze and a new alloy with 3 percent beryllium which is particularly vibration resistant).

2 SILVER

NATIVE ELEMENTS

Ag (Silver)

System Isometrio.

Appearance Rare, cube-shaped or octahedral crystals, always small, usually displaying stepped faces. Compact masses, dendrites and wire-like forms of a silvery, gray-white color. Arborescent aggregates with small individual branches at right angles or star-shaped aggregates are common.

Physical properties Fairly soft (2.5-3), very heavy, ductile and malleable. Opaque with bright metallic luster, though almost always dulled by a blackish film caused by surface chemical alteration. Fuses at a low temperature (960°C; 1760°F). Soluble in nitric acid. Tarnishes if exposed to fumes of hydrogen sulfide. The best known conductor of heat and electricity.

Environment Formed by reduction of sulfides in the lower part of lead, zinc and silver deposits. Sometimes also a primary mineral, either in low-temperature hydrothermal veins associated with calcite or in high-temperature veins associated with nickel or cobalt sulfides and uraninite. Frequently associated with copper.

Occurrence The finest dendritic and wirelike crystals come from Köngsberg (Norway). Other famous localities are Freiberg (DDR) and San Luis Potosi (Mexico). Large amounts of silver, though not fine crystals, are found at Chanarcillo (Chile), Cobalt, Ontario (Canada), Broken Hill (Australia) and Redbeds, Colorado (USA). The largest blocks are from Aspen, Colorado (USA), where one weighing 380 kg (844 lb) was mined. However, the highest level of production has been from the Guanajuato mine (Mexico), about 500 billion kilos (460,000,000 tons) from the year 1500 to the present day. Found in southern Europe on the island of Sardinia.

Uses An excellent ore of the metal silver, but rare. Silver is used in photography, chemistry, jewelry and in electronics because of its very high conductivity. In the USA and some other countries it is still used as currency, generally in some form of alloy.

3 GOLD

NATIVE ELEMENTS

Au (Gold)

System Isometric.

Appearance Very rare, small, octahedral, cubic and dodecahedral crystals. Normally occurs in very small, shapeless grains, sheets and flakes Dendrites rare. In placers (alluvial or glacial deposits) nuggets are common Yellow color, varying in brightness depending on the impurities present.

Physical properties Fairly soft (2.5-3), very heavy, ductile and malleable Opaque with bright metallic luster Very thin sheets let through feeble, greenish light. Medium fusion point (1061°C; 1942°F) An excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Its insolubility in acids (except aqua regia) and its specific gravity distinguish it from yellow sulfides and from the small altered plates of biotite often found in sands, where it is associated with pyrite arsenopyrite and pyrrhotite and with tellurides and selenides of gold. Also occurs in various volcanic rocks and tuffs, associated with chalcedony and manganese minerals Large concentrations known as bonanzas are formed by the erosion and redeposition of gold-bearing lavas.

Environment Occurs primarily in high-temperature hydrothermal quartz veins in extrusive rocks Frequently found as a natural alloy with silver (electrum) and less often with palladium (porpezite) and rhodium (rhodite). However, most gold is obtained from concentrations of sedimentary origin (placers). both recent (river sand) and fossil deposits (conglomerate matrix), where it is accompanied by other heavy minerals Gold flakes are also found in the cementation zones of sulfide, selenide and telluride deposits, formed at high temperature under hydrothermal conditions

Occurrence The mare gold-bearing districts are the Witwatersrand (South Africa), the Mother Lode (California, USA). the Yukon (Alaska, USA), Porcupine (Northwest Territory, Canada) and the USSR. Formerly mined in a small district near Monte Rosa (Italy). The mare source of the commercial metal, used mainly as a monetary standard, in jewelry, in dentistry and for scientific and electronic instruments.

Copyright © 1977, 1978 by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A., Milan

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Minerals are normally defined as solid crystalline substances, formed by natural and usually inorganic processes. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Connor on July 10 2004
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By VM on April 18 2003
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Dec 1 1997
Format: Paperback
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
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elaine P. on Sept. 24 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Received item 1 day earlier than expected. However, the corners of several pages are still connected because excess papers were flipped inward hidden in between the pages. We had to cut out the excess papers at the corners to open up the pages.
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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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