I've been looking for a couple of new books to add to my collection on rocks and gem stones. The first one I found, Collecting Rocks, Gems and Minerals, is written by a Quartzsite resident, Patti Polk. I bought the book on Amazon right before Thanksgiving and have been looking at it ever since. It is jam packed with beautiful photos of the rocks and more geological information than I will ever need. It's a great buy, with over 330 pages of information, plus two pages of additional resources and an excellent index.
Every entry includes a colored box with the Hardness factor plus a few other details such as rock group, locations where it is found, or current prices. This makes it easy to see this limited information without having to read through the description.
The descriptions are generally one paragraph and give different information that varies with each rock. For some the historical uses are listed. Others include information on the ranges of colors or designs available, it's current uses, chemical composition, etc. There's no set pattern.
My favorite part of the book is it's extensive information on agates. Over 40 pages with great pictures! I had been confused about the difference between agate and jasper. Now I know that agates are translucent and can include bands, "eyes" and other patterns. Jasper is opaque and more dense and filled with inclusions.
I buy my rocks and stones at shows and stores. However, for those who want to hunt and collect their own rocks, the book has sections on the equipment you'll need and how to find them.
For a non-geological view of rocks and minerals I found two books in my local library. The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall and Gem Stones A to Z by Diane Stein. I plan to purchase my own copy of The Crystal Bible, which is available on Amazon, along with Volumes 2 and 3.
The Crystal Bible is also filled with great photographs and colorful pop out boxes of information that makes it quick and easy to look up information. More details are found below the boxes and include the attributes and healing uses for each stone. While I would never substitute stones and gems for my doctor's prescriptions, I do find the information fascinating to read. I know some people put more emphasis on this than I do. I'm just starting to read this book, so maybe I'll become more of a believer by the end. (Probably not.)
I like that the book has a Quick Reference section so you can find limited info very quickly. There is a section on crystals and the zodiac that gives a number of different stones associated with each sign. My favorite quick section is the one on meanings. Turquoise, one of my favorite stones, means a journey is imminent. Maybe there is a connection since I love to travel.
I was especially happy to see that The Crystal Bible is filled with information about stones I use in my jewelry. Whenever I list an item for sale in my Etsy shop I like to include something interesting. Something that goes beyond the price and what I used to make it. This book will be another great resource I can use for that. I hope to go through my listings soon to add to them.
So if you're looking for a new reference book on rocks take a look at these three. If your library has one or more of them, check them out first there. For a scientific book, Collecting Rocks, Gems, and Minerals is great. Easy to read and interesting. The beautiful pictures and wide range of information made it my favorite book.
For a metaphysical approach, The Crystal Bible is tops. I was hesitant about buying it, even though it had been recommended to me by a few people. Now, after seeing it, I plan to buy it soon.