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Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals (Smithsonian Handbooks) Paperback – 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: DK ADULT (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789491060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789491060
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #137,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A COLLECTING TRIP may take you to a site a few miles away, or to the other side of the world. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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By A Customer on Sept. 6 2002
Format: Paperback
I am new to the study of geology and have found this book to be indispensable in identifying rocks and minerals in the field. It even has a few tips at the beginning about how to do tests, and each mineral suggests tests to further aid in identifying them. It has also been a great reference when reading texts about geology. I use it to look up the rocks and minerals mentioned there. Very helpful for later field study. The least I can say is: buy this book, it is EXCELLENT!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great source of information. Very well done! I would recomend this book to any one wanting to learn about Rocks & Minerals!
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By Darrel Clattenburg on Aug. 21 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As advertised
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 233 reviews
201 of 204 people found the following review helpful
Great for Identifying Rocks and Minerals! Feb. 18 2001
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I took Geology in college, I loved the course. I only had one problem. It was very difficult for me to identify rocks and minerals in the field. If I had had this pocket field guide, the course would have been a snap.
Now, I enjoy taking my children to study outcroppings, and this book will be a great addition to our investigations.
First, the photographs are stunning. In fact, any temptation I might have had to develop my own samples is set aside by having these wonderful images to use.
Second, the information is detailed and thorough. There is a lot about the crystalline structure of each mineral, the hardness, and many tests that are specific to that particular mineral. There is a very good section that describes how to apply the hardness tests (I always had trouble memorizing that area for some reason). There is plenty of good safety information for how to use the various acids that can be employed to identify minerals. Everything is nicely summarized so it is easy to find.
Third, all those subtle distinctions about various kinds of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks that used to puzzle me are very clear here. Whew!
Fourth, the book has great directions for locating good spots to examine rocks.
Fifth, you also receive a wonderful description of the equipment you need, and ways to use it safely.
Whether you think you like rocks or not, you should give this book a try. It will open up a very interesting world full of ways to locate and identify interesting rocks and understand the stories they can tell. As a result, you will have immensely more understanding of the world around you.
I also suggest that you read up on plate mechanics as well, so that you understand more about how the landscape is formed before erosion takes over. The combined knowledge of these two areas will greatly add to your understanding and appreciation of evolution.
Get in touch with the physical world around you as foundation knowledge!
59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
a must have for any rockhound or gem and crystal lover Sept. 5 2005
By J. Malnar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am more of a gem and crystal lover myself, yet I am happy to own this book. Whenever I go thru it I have a real URGE to go out hunting! Very comprehensive, quite technical, classifies rocks and minerals according to chemical formula (sulphides, oxides, halides, carbonates etc) or type of formation (sedimentary, metamorphic, igneous), and then works thru ecah subgruop alphabetically. Detailed descriptions, chemistry, hardness, tests, BEAUTIFUL photos, detailed index and glossary. Only thing I am missing is WHERE ON EARTH am I most likely to find them (especially the ones I absolutely LOVE), so I can plan my next vacation :D
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Great Picture Resource March 8 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been looking for a field guide for my 6-year-old son and could only find books for children that gave a general overview of rocks and minerals. This book is the one I have been looking for. I knew that DK would be the publisher to give me what I wanted. In DK fashion, the pages are easy to read without a lot of text clunking up the page. The rocks are organized in nice boxes with information laid out neatly and unobtrusively. Each page features two new rocks with a large full-color picture of each. This is now his favorite book. It has all of the information we have been looking for in a concise, easy-to-read format. Each profile gives the name and visual outline of crystal system; specific gravity; cleavage; fracture; chemical test to confirm identification; mineral-forming environment; main text describes mineral's identifying features; standard name of the mineral; chemical group to which the mineral belongs; chemical formula for the mineral; hardness according to the Mohs' scale; variations of the mineral shown in full-color when applicable; annotations identifying mineral's main identifying features. I LOVE this book. It is a great book for kids(who eat, sleep, and breathe rocks and minerals) and adults. I am thinking of getting another one just for me. I think this would also be an invaluable resource for classroom teachers. I will be teaching First Grade and will use this book to introduce scientific concepts.
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
GeoNewbie Sept. 6 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am new to the study of geology and have found this book to be indispensable in identifying rocks and minerals in the field. It even has a few tips at the beginning about how to do tests, and each mineral suggests tests to further aid in identifying them. It has also been a great reference when reading texts about geology. I use it to look up the rocks and minerals mentioned there. Very helpful for later field study. The least I can say is: buy this book, it is EXCELLENT!!
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Clear & Beautifully Presented June 29 2007
By Jennifer Spinner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my 7-yr. old daughter - budding rock hound and naturalist! Like other DK books, the photography is luscious and the layout is casual and very inviting - full of beautiful images.

It provides a great overview of rocks and minerals, including tools used to find them, the different characteristics and where specific types of rocks and minerals can be found. It also provides detailed "specifics" such as classification, occurence and cleavage - as appropriate.

This is a thoroughly engaging book for all ages and it is highly recommended.

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