Philip's Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils

A library for geologists…

Philip’s Guide to Minerals, Rocks & Fossils

A.C. Bishop, A.R. Woolley, W.R. Hamilton

Have you ever picked up a rock, rolled it through the fingers, felt its weight and roughness and wondered just what it was, where it had come from, how old it was, what it was made of. Then ignored the weight and stuffed it into your pack to sit later on your desk as a record of that trip. Then this book may help provide answers to some of those questions.

Rocks and other found objects sit on the bookshelves of Three Points of the Compass, each prompts a memory

Rocks and other found objects sit on the bookshelves of Three Points of the Compass, each prompts a memory

The 336 page Philip’s Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils is a classic handbook describing and illustrating over 600 specimens of rocks, minerals and fossils. It is up to date with current thinking and classification regarding mineral names, meteorites and tektites, more recent advances in geological sciences are also reflected. Brian Rosen from the Natural History Museum has helped update the section on fossils, building on the work of Roger Hamilton who had prepared that section for the first edition but who subsequently died in 1979.

The opening pages from Philip's Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils that covers Igneous rocks, beginning with Granite

The opening pages from Philip’s Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils that cover Igneous rocks, beginning with Granite

Reasonably priced as the Philip’s guide is, there have been many reprints and several foreign language reprints since the guide was first published in 1974 when it was titled The Hamlyn Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils. If you are only after the basic information, can face up to some lack of more current scientific knowledge or interpretation, then a cheaper, earlier edition will more than suffice if you happen across one. My 1980 edition that sits on my shelf beside the more recent version has very obvious similarities. This is to take nothing away from the Philip’s update which contains 17 new plates and improved drawings.

The opening pages in the Hamlyn Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils that deal with Igneous rocks

The opening pages in the Hamlyn Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils that deal with Igneous rocks

The Hamlyn Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils. First published 1974, this is the 1980 reprint. 320pp

The Hamlyn Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils. First published in 1974, this is the 1980 reprint. 320pp

Book in featured image:

Philip’s Guide to Minerals, Rocks & Fossils. A.C. Bishop, A.R. Woolley, W.R. Hamilton. (Philip’s) Octopus Publishing Group, revised 2003 reprint of 2001 print. ISBN 0 540 07429 2

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