HOW TO UNDERSTAND ROCKS

Or Why Should I Obtain/Collect Books on Rocks?

From previous blogs I would like to return to a couple of my main mantras.

First; “ I have never met a rock I didn’t like” from there we can move on to the category called “ Leaverites” For those of you who have never heard of this term before, it usually comes from a well meaning friend , geologist, etc. questioning your choice of beautify stones which you plan on taking home.. Leave ‘er right there, Ignore these people, they are no fun. This also means you can never have too many rocks, minerals, and/or gems. An axiom to this is, you can never have too many rock, mineral, or gem books. We will return to this thought.

Second; “Most rocks we like to collect are Quartz with an impurity that something strange has happened to them”, usually through heat, pressure, and time. Pure Quartz is Silicon Dioxide or SiO2. You will eventually purchase a rock, mineral, gem book that includes their molecular formulas. Starts noticing how many rocks, minerals and gemstones have Silicon dioxide SiO2 within their formulas. Then we can look at how things are organized or classified in these books.

Third; Collect any rock book that crosses your path. No one book has everything nor do they cover all subjects in a clear or concise language. Besides rocks themselves, books and equipment need to be in your budget. Ode to Mrs. Smith, “When studying any subject, get as many reference books as possible, open the books to the concept/subject you would like to understand and by the time you have read it from at least three sources, the “concept/subject” will make sense or at least begin to.

Where is all of this going? We need to look at the different ways books are organized. Some books have everything alphabetized. Some are organized by crystal structure and color. Some are organized by classification. Things to look for in good books to have on your shelf: Table of Contents,, a section usually titled How to use this book, a directory or index, a glossary for terms and meanings, a section for further reading and useful addresses, finally the alphabetical index.

We will get into and explain further the system of classification especially how it relates to the Silicates or the rocks, minerals, and gems that contain Silicon dioxide.