San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature Connection[BRCC San Diego Natural History Museum: Mineralogy Department]


Field Guide


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Recommended Books: Mineralogy
See also Recommended Geology Books

Children and Families | The Serious Amateur

For children and families

Beattie, Laura C.
Discover Rocks and Minerals: A Carnegie Activity Book
Carnegie Museum of Natural History (1994) Paperback
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Available from

Parker, Steve, et. al.
Rocks and Minerals (Eyewitness Explorers)
Dorling Kinders (1997) Paperback - 64 pages
Excellent children's reference and activity book.
Amazon synopsis: A geology expert explains how to tell rocks from minerals and then shares secrets of spotting sulfides, chromates, igneous and metamorphic rocks, and more.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Available from

[Rocks and Minerals (National Audubon Society First Field Guides)] Ricciuti, Edward R.
Rocks and Minerals (National Audubon Society First Field Guides)
Scholastic Trade (1998) Paperback - 160 pages
Amazon review: This book is part of a series of guides designed for adolescents interested in natural history and nature. The books are an excellent introduction to the Rocks and Minerals, Birds, Wildflowers, and Insects for children aged 8-18... Each field guide features 50 common specimens with photos and brief descriptions of many more regionally occurring rocks and minerals.
Available from

Zim, Herbert S. and Paul R. Shaffer
Minerals: A Guide to Familiar Minerals, Gems, Ores and Rocks
Golden Press
Everyone's first field book for mineral collecting.
Out of Print


For the serious amateur

Busbey, Arthur Bresnahan (Editor), Robert R. Coenraads, David Roots, Paul M. Willis
Rocks & Fossils (Nature Company Guide)
Time-Life (1996) Hardcover
Available from

Chesterman, Charles Wesley
Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals
Knopf (1979) Hardcover - 850 pages
Available from

Holden, Martin
The Encyclopedia of Gemstones and Minerals
British Museum of Natural History
Out of Print

[Simon and Schuster's Guide to Rocks and Minerals] Mottana, Annibale, Rodolfo Crespi, and Giuseppe Liborio
Simon and Schuster's Guide to Rocks and Minerals
Simon & Schuster (1978) Paperback - 607 pages
Available from

Pemberton, H. Earl
Minerals of California
Chapman & Hall (1992) Hardcover
A very useful, complete list of mineral occurrences in each California county.
Available from

[A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals (Peterson Field Guides)] Pough, Frederick H.
A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals (Peterson Field Guides)
Chapters Publishing Ltd. (1998) Paperback 6th edition
Available from

Schumann, Walter, K.A.G., Dr. Mills, R. Bradshaw (Translator)
Handbook of Rocks, Minerals, and Gemstones
Houghton Mifflin Company (1993) Paperback - 380 pages
Available from

Sinkankas, John
Field Collecting Gemstones and Minerals
Geoscience Press (1995) Paperback - 415 pages
Available from

Sinkankas, John
Mineralogy for Amateurs
Van Nostrand Reinhold Company
Out of Print

Sinkankas, John
Prospecting for Gemstones and Minerals
Van Nostrand Reinhold Company
Formerly titled Gemstones and Minerals: How and Where to Find Them
Out of Print

Sorrell, Charles A.
Field Guide and Introduction to the Geology and Chemistry of Rocks and Minerals
Ill. by George F. Sandstrom
Golden Books (1978) Paperback
A complete guide to minerals, this illustrated field guide has been used in our museum's mineralogy classes.
Available from

Woodward, Christine, Dr. Roger Harding (Contributor)
Sterling Publications (1988) Paperback
Available from

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