A stunning photographic book with some 92 illustrations, 32 of them in color, introducing the hobbyist or the scientist to something of the magic world of minerals and rocks. While the photographic emphasis is on the aesthetic qualities, the text provides something of the scientific aspects. Definition, classification, features to assess (shape, transparency, hardness, color, etc.), what they are and how they are formed --all this comes out in the somewhat brief text. Minerals and rocks have played their part in successive stages of man's early cultural development, in his social development, in his aesthetic development, and while the early scientists had changing ideals on the subject of mineralogy, practical scientists today are still seeking out the scope and the uses to which they can be put. This book, however, appeals chiefly on the aesthetic side, and unless the hobbyists are a larger class than one assumes, the sale will be selective.