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“MASTERPIECES OF THE MINERAL WORLD”, by Wendell E. Wilson and Joel A. Bartsch, with Mark Mauthner, 263 pages, 13” X 9 1/2”, including 150 illustrations in full color by Jeff Scovil, cloth bound. The spectacular mineral specimens displayed in this outstanding book are from the collection of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The theme of this book is to illustrate a group of 150 exquisite mineral specimens that are part of the Houston Museum’s collection, and to educate and inform both collectors of minerals and connoisseurs of natural beauty as to what makes mineral specimens so unique and desirable. Avidly pursued by naturalists throughout the centuries, precious metals and gem crystals have a fascinating history. Stories regarding the pursuit and discovery of the fine specimens illustrated in this book, including tales of good luck and hardship, are related in these pages. Essays that explore connoisseurship in the mineral kingdom, and chronicle the history of this noble pursuit, add to the appeal of this unique volume. In the chapter “The Discerning Eye -- What Makes a Mineral Collectible?”, the authors comment on the various criteria one might apply to a mineral specimen to judge its visual, economic, and scientific value. Guidelines are given insofar as crystal form, color, transparency, luster, size, perfection, crystal orientation and grouping, aesthetics, provenance, associated species, rarity, and several other topics. Each of the color plates occupies a full page and is accompanied by complete locality data, and brief comments about the specimen. Following the color plates, there is a very informative and interesting chapter entitled “The Paths of Discovery, From the Mine to the Museum”. In this section, the authors have condensed information about the localities from which each of the minerals was recovered, accompanied by comments about the mining history of each deposit, and its current status. A small outline drawing of a world map pinpoints the area of the world where each specimen was found. The color plates and text are arranged alphabetically, from Acanthite to Zoisite (Tanzanite). Humans have probably been picking up and saving interesting bits of rock and mineral material since the Stone Age. However, it was the Renaissance period that profoundly awakened public interest in Europe, and kindled a serious desire to learn about and collect natural mineral specimens. The final chapter, covering “A Royal Passion” – A History of Aristocratic Mineral Collecting from the 16th Century to the 20th Centuries” chronicles, over the years and centuries, the prominence in society of mineral collecting as a hobby of kings, emperors, empresses, dukes and archdukes, princes, counts, and barons, as well as the rich entrepreneurs who wanted to show their mineral collections to others of the elite “rich and famous”. Royalty naturally preferred the best, and over the centuries built some incredible collections that are today natural treasures in public museums in many countries. Today, in the 21st Century, building great mineral collections continues the same scholarly and ultimately philanthropic tradition that has existed since the days of Michaelangelo and DaVinci. What is different, and what separates modern collectors from their early counterparts, is the vast mass of knowledge and literature built up over that time which is today available to any mineral collector. Thousands of books and journals have been published and are easily accessible. Millions of specimens are preserved for study in museums, and millions more are in private collections or are available for purchase from dealer stocks. The study of the history of mineral collecting serves to remind modern collectors not only of their age-old traditions, but of how fortunate people are in modern times to have so may resources that were unavailable to the pioneers of mineral collecting. Published by The Houston Museum of Natural Science and The Mineralogical Record, in association with H. N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York, 2004.
Order Item BK0367
| "MICHIGAN COPPER COUNTRY" - By M. Wilson and
S. Dyl, 8 1/2 X 11" size, 104 pages, illustrated, soft cover. Michigan's famous
Copper Country, the Keweenaw Peninsula, has a long and complex history of mining, a
fascinatingly unique geological context and, fortunately for us in the 1990's, a tradition
among miners of collecting and preserving specimens which goes back more than 100 years!
Much earlier than that, records show that the vast reserves of "red metal" in
Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula were first tapped by prehistoric Indians some 5,000 years
ago. This well researched, condensed history of mining in the district is complemented
with chapters covering the geology and mineralogy, along with descriptions and color
photographs of numerous Copper/Silver specimens, and includes data on numerous other
minerals and mineral producing localities within the area. A final chapter is devoted to
describing the Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, as
well as its important collection of Michigan Copper Country minerals. This soft cover book
was published by the Mineralogical Record, Inc., Tucson, AZ, as Vol. 23, No. 2 -- the
March-April 1992 special issue entitled "Michigan Copper Country".
Shipping weight: 2 pounds
Order Item: MR23-2
| "MINERAL BOOKS - FIVE CENTURIES OF MINERALOGICAL
LITERATURE" - Edited by Wendell E. Wilson, 8 1/2 X 11" size, 194 pages,
illustrated, soft cover. This most interesting and informative collection of historical
data on mineral books is meant to be a companion to the "Mineralogical Record"
magazine's 1994 special issue entitled "The History of Mineral Collecting",
described earlier in this listing. With the assistance of eight additional authors, each
an expert in his field, the Editor has brought together this important history of the
printing, and collection, of books on mineralogy. Topics covered include: Medieval
Mineralogy, Gem Minerals in Early Arabic Literature, A Brief History of Systematic
Mineralogies, Regional Mineralogies of the World, and information on the "Mineral
Digest". Sketches of the lives and collections of several important 18th and 19th
Century collectors are given, an introduction to historical bookplates is given, and a
short introduction to the "Mineralogical Record" magazine's reference library is
presented. Published by the Mineralogical Record, Inc., Tucson, AZ, as Volume 26, No. 4 --
the July-August 1995 special issue entitled "Mineral Books".
INDEX WITH LOCALITIES FOR THE FORMER SOVIET UNION, BASED ON WORLD OF
STONES", By William Shelton, 11” X 8 1/2”, 174 pages, spiral
bound, with very heavy gauge clear plastic covers. This extensive index,
prepared from the 12-volume set of “World of Stones” magazine, is
an important reference regarding minerals and mineral localities of the
former Soviet Union. This extensive index may help verify, and clarify
information regarding minerals from this region. For anyone interested in
collecting minerals, this resource will provide invaluable information
insofar as complete, correct locality data and the correct spelling of the
localities. In alphabetical order by mineral name, this complete list
uses proper species and occasional varietial names, and includes properly
discredited and obscure names. This compilation makes minimal changes in
spelling, and corrects obvious typographical errors and poor
transliterations. Each entry gives the volume number and page number, and
includes notations regarding whether photographs are present. The book is
in like new condition, inside and outside. Compiled for the 30th
Annual Rochester Mineralogical Symposium, Rochester, NY, 2003.
Order Item # BK-0375
Shipping weight: 2 pounds
| "MINERAL REFERENCE MANUAL, THE " - By E. H.
Nickel and M. C. Nichols, 224 pages, 6 X 9" size, illustrated with 20 line drawings,
soft cover. Especially designed for use in the field, office, or lab, the "Mineral
Reference Manual" is a portable handbook of mineralogical data for all currently
known mineral species. The encyclopedia style entries in this easy-to-use guide list
chemical formula, color (where appropriate), crystal system, related species, group name
or classification, and references. Each entry indicates whether or not the listed mineral
is recognized by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA), an important feature
for both professional and amateur mineralogists. Also included are 20 crystal drawings, a
synonym appendix, and information on type localities. Published by Van Nostrand Reinhold
Co., NY, 1991.
Shipping weight: 2 pounds
Order Item: BK0380
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