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Tools for mineral identification include hand lenses (lower left), a penny for testing hardness (center), a streak plate (lower right), and an identification guidebook (top).
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Windows to the Universe

Books to Help You Identify Minerals and Rocks!

Are you going out to search for rocks and minerals?

How will you know what types you have found?

Identification guidebooks for rocks and minerals can be very helpful. Pick one that has nice color pictures and language you can understand. Look for the titles below at a bookstore or library near you!

There are rock and mineral identification books for kids such as:

  • Peterson First Guide to Rocks and Minerals by Frederick Pough
  • Rocks and minerals of the world by Michael O'Donoghue and others
  • Crystal and Gem, Eyewitness Books, by R.F. Symes and R.R. Harding

There are also great picture book stories about rocks and minerals!

  • Letís Go Rock Collecting, By Roma Gans
  • The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth, by Joanna Cole
  • How Mountains Are Made, by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
Last modified April 18, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

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The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF