Minerals of the World by Walter Schumann

2nd edition at time of going to press, available from bookstores at £8.99

Famed in stone circles for Gemstones of the World now in its 4th edition, Walter Schumann also produced a lesser known title Minerals of the World currently in its 2nd edition.

The initial 30 pages help to explain the guide and really unless experienced you should read them prior to diving into the main book because the information will certainly help you understand and gain the most from the supplied information. This section includes shapes, crystal systems and even 'twinning' examples in crystals. With explanations on the three methods of testing the book is based around, surface colour and light effects and a final paragraph warning you about synthesised and imitation material.

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Uniquely the guide lists over 500 minerals categorised by three measurable properties the streak test, Mohs' hardness scale & a minerals specific gravity. Listed unobtrusively and by streak colour down the left page edge as an at a glance reference, the remainder of that page contains text, reiterating the three properties and providing comprehensive descriptions of the mineral, crystal structure, locality, level of radioactivity and information about the picture sample on the opposite page. The pictures have been carefully chosen to show the mineral and enlarged when necessary the scale of the enlargement is also provided along with the locality of the picture sample. If a mineral displays similar results in the tests to another a link is provided at the bottom of the page referencing the other mineral(s).

So this 232 page hardback reference book is not just another mineral reference but handy field identification guide and mineral dealer accompaniment. With the images being of common mineral examples rather than rarer unique prized pieces the author has ensured the book is an everyday reference source.

Definitely a must for students, collectors and dealers alike.

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