Best Rock and Mineral Field Guides

Best Rock and Mineral Field Guide: A Complete Reference Book for Rock Hounds

The Best Rock and Mineral Field Guide (BRMF) is a comprehensive reference book for rock hound enthusiasts. It contains over 100 pages of detailed information on all aspects of rock collecting, including descriptions of rocks, minerals, fossils, gemstones and other interesting objects found in the earth’s crust.

The BRMF provides extensive information on the subject matter from its introduction through to a list of recommended reading materials.

The BRMF was developed by the British Geological Survey (BGS), which is part of Her Majesty’s Government. The BGS publishes the book under license from the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).

It is available in hardback and paperback editions. Hardbacks are priced at £15 ($25 USD) and paperback copies cost £10 ($16 USD).

A full color version of the book is also available. It costs £5 ($8 USD) and is only available in hardcover.

The BRMF was first published in 1993 and updated in 2003, 2007, 2012, 2015 and 2017. The latest edition was released on January 24th 2018.

There have been several updates since then; the most recent being the addition of new information and illustrations throughout the book. The current edition includes a chapter on “New Zealand Rocks” and describes the geology of the islands, along with localities for many of the region’s rock types.

The Best Rock and Mineral Field Guide has been awarded the “Pegasus Prize for Excellence in Communications” by the Geological Society of America (GSA). It has also been described by critics as “valuable”, “invaluable” and a “must have” for any serious earth science library.

The book has been praised for its detailed descriptions of the rocks found in North America and is considered a “modern classic”. It is often used by teachers and professors in education.

One of the main criticisms of the book is its high price. The BRMF is available from many third-party sellers but prices tend to be high on these sites, with some sellers charging in excess of $200 for a used copy!

The only official source of the book is the BGS, whose prices for the BRMF are quite reasonable.

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About Best Rock and Mineral Field Guides

The Best Rock and Mineral Field Guides (BRMF) are comprehensive reference books which provide detailed information on different aspects of rock collecting. The books are written by geologists from the British Geological Survey, which is part of the British Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Sources & references used in this article:

Method and system for provisioning electronic field guides by SD Kevan, PG Kevan, D Pletsch – US Patent 7,162,362, 2007 – Google Patents

Geologic Field Guides to the Southeastern Picacho Mountains and Picacho Peak, Pinal County, Arizona by JE Spencer, CA Ferguson, SM Richard – 2012 –

Field guides for excursions to the Nevado del Ruiz Volcano and to the Romeral Fault System (Colombia), in the frame of the Neotectonics of arc-continent … by CA Vargas, P Mann, C Borrero – Earth Sciences Research Journal, 2011 –

HARPER, DAT & OWEN, AW 1996. Fossils of the Upper Ordovician. Palaeontological Association Field Guides to Fossils Series, Volume 7. 312 pp. London … by MG Lockley – Geological Magazine, 1998 –

A guide to field guides: identifying the natural history of North America by D Schmidt – 1999 –

Avoid problem spoils through overburden analysis by P Bell, D Wright – 1985 – Macmillan General Reference