Tools for mineral identification include hand lenses (lower left), a penny for testing hardness (center), a streak plate (lower right), and an identification guidebook (top).
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Windows to the Universe

Books to Help You Identify Minerals and Rocks!

Are you going out to search for rocks and minerals?

How will you know what types you have found?

Identification guidebooks for rocks and minerals can be very helpful. Pick one that has nice color pictures and language you can understand. Look for the titles below at a bookstore or library near you!

There are many books that are good for overall identification of rocks and minerals including:

  • National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals by Charles Wesley Chesterman
  • Handbook of Rocks, Minerals and Gemstones by Walter Schumann
  • Rocks and Minerals (Smithsonian Handbooks) by Chris Pellant and others.

There are rock and mineral identification books for kids such as:

  • Peterson First Guide to Rocks and Minerals by Frederick Pough
  • Rocks and minerals of the world by Michael O'Donoghue and others
Last modified April 18, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

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