I purchased a fantastic book on rocks and minerals called simply 'Rock and Gem'. The book comes from Dorling Kindersley, who have a name for superbly clear and beautiful photography; this book is no exception. It is a sumptuously illustrated and satisfyingly comprehensive 'coffee table' book on rocks & gems.
The author is a much respected figure in the world of crystal healing, Ronald Louis Bonewitz. Having attended a lecture by him I can testify this guy really knows what he's talking about! Although this book doesn't cover the metaphysical properties of crystals it does supply all kinds of useful information for anyone wanting to learn crystal healing, or needing a good reference book for crystallography.
I've recommended it to all of my students as we've been searching for a book that gives the chemical composition, crystalline structure, hardness and geological information in an accessible format. I'm delighted to have found a reference text at last that pulls all this together in such an enjoyable way.
Each type of rock or gem is written about in an engaging manner and clearly photographed. Gorgeous double page special features are included throughout the book, including a look at 'Megagems', fluorescent minerals and Chinese burial suits made of jade.
My only gripe is with a display box inserted into the middle of the book that pours scorn on the New Age belief that crystals have healing properties. Frankly this is baffling as Ron himself is a crystal healer and has written books on crystal healing! I can only think that it was inserted by the publisher to distance themselves from the 'weird stuff'. Don't let that spoil the book for you.
This is a book that will wow anyone who admires the beauty of crystals and those who are interested in rocks and gems at any level. It made the TES (Times Educational Supplement) Book of the Week and justly so. I haven't been so thrilled with a crystal book in a very long time!