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Rockhunters
Invincible
Joan Johnston.
Don Mills, Ont. : Mira, c2010.
A "New York Times"- and "USA Today"-bestselling author delivers the first book in a new five-part series that takes readers into the lives of the Benedict family, and the five precious gems that has a history believed to foretell the owner's destiny.
     
Collecting rocks, gems and minerals : identification, values, lapidary uses
[Patti Polk].
Iola, Wis. : Krause, 2010.
Appealing to everyday ?rockhounds? and world-class mineral collectors alike, this title is the first guide on the market to include values and lapidary (cutting and polishing rocks and gemstones for jewelry). Unlike the dry and clinical books often found on the subject, author Patti Polk captivates with concise, easy-to-understand descriptions with interesting supplementary information (granite is typically used for gravestones and garnet for sandpaper). In addition, the book is organized by visual characteristics in a user-friendly format. Large, beautiful color photographs help you see minute details and characteristics, furthering your enjoyment in this wonderful hobby.
     
The Tavernier stones : a novel
by Stephen Parrish.
Woodbury, MN : Midnight Ink, c2010.
When the well-preserved body of seventeenth-century mapmaker Johannes Cellarius floats to the surface of a bog in northern Germany, a 57-carat ruby clutched in his fist, the grisly discovery attracts the attention of criminals, crooks, and thugs across the globe. It ignites a deadly international treasure hunt to find the fabled Tavernier Stones, a stash that reputedly contains some of the world's most notorious missing jewels, including the 280-carat Great Mogul Diamond and the 242-carat Great Table Diamond. Scrupulously honest Amish-born cartographer John Graf teams up with outlaw prospector and gemologist David Freeman in a ferocious race to be the first to find the treasure and solve the centuries-old Tavernier Stones mystery. In close pursuit of the mismatched amateur sleuths are cutthroats and desperados who'll stop at nothing to possess the legendary jewels - not even murder.
     
The treasures of Venice
Loucinda McGary.
Naperville, Ill. : Sourcebooks Casablanca, c2009.
When American librarian Samantha Lewis and Irish rogue Keirnan Fitzgerald set off to find priceless jewels, they become embroiled in a 500-year-old love story that eerily prefigures their own... In 15th century Venice, beautiful and wealthy Serafina falls in love with Nino, a young Florentine sculptor. They decide to flee to Padua, and to fund the trip, Nino copies a set of jewels that then disappear. In modern-day Venice, Keirnan needs Samantha's help to locate the jewels so he can pay his sister's ransom. Samantha must decide whether the man she's so drawn to is her soul mate from a previous life...or are they merely pawns in a relentless quest for a priceless treasure?
     

Would you enjoy climbing over large rocks in an empty quarry and discovering a huge smoky quartz crystal. Or, splitting open an geode and finding a treasured agate crystal? Both of these experiences could occur, perhaps regularly, if you were a member of a gem club. It is an interest you could turn into a career.

Careers for rockhounds

Geologist
Gemologist
Teacher
Mineralogist
Metallrugist
Environmental Scientist
Geochemist

Minerals and gems grow in a rainbow of colors, shapes, and sizes. Searching for them is a great hobby. It is a hobby that can be enjoyed both solitary, or with enthusiastic family and friends.

Neither rain, nor shine, slows down the persistent rock collector. Avid gem club members will show up regardless of the weather for a weekend of rock collecting. Some minerals are easier to discover when they are wet.

Color photographs, topographic maps, and written explanations of minerals and gems are helpful for the novice mineral and gem collector. They can point the collector to geographic locations where specific gems can be found. For instance, with Arkansas' reputation as the only diamond-producing state in the U.S., visitors can locate places like Crater of Diamonds State Park where they can dig for diamonds. For the adventuresome rockhunter, maps could chart the best path through miles of rugged jungle terrain to discover more exotic minerals and gems.

To get stared, consider joining a local mineralogical, lapidary, fossil, or rock club and learn how to unearth clues leading you to gem and mineral deposits. Be a detective and gather facts about rocks, gems, and minerals!

Alfred Wegener : creator of the continental drift theory
Lisa Yount.
New York : Chelsea House Publishers, c2009.
Makers of Modern Science is a 10-volume set that profiles the lives and achievements of scientists who made notable contributions to the advancement of science and society. Each volume covers a scientist whose work has had a major impact on a particular field. The scientist's accomplishments are discussed, including the scientific principles and personal struggles underlying his or her work. Employing an array of primary sources-diaries, memoirs, letters, and contemporary news accounts-as well as secondary sources, the set depicts the human drama of scientific work, the challenge of research, and the exhilaration and rewards of discovery.
     
King of the 40th parallel : discovery in the American West
James Gregory Moore.
Stanford, CA. : Stanford General Books, 2006.
An emeritus geologist with the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, Moore describes the work of Clarence King (1842-1901), the first director of the Survey, during the Geological Survey of the Fortieth Parallel, which over six years of active fieldwork extended from Nevada to Wyoming. Among the important innovations of the project was the coupling of topographic and geological mapping. Annotation #169;2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
     
The explorer King : adventure, science, and the great diamond hoax, Clarence King in the Old West
Robert Wilson.
New York : Scribner, c2006.
"In this biography, Robert Wilson paints a portrait of Clarence King - a scientist-explorer whose mountain-scaling, desert-crossing, river-fording, blizzard-surviving adventures helped create the new West of the nineteenth century." "A sort of Howard Hughes of the 1800s, Clarence King in his youth was an icon of the new America: a man of both action and intellect, who combined science and adventure with romanticism and charm. The Explorer King vividly depicts King's amazing feats and also uncovers the reasons for the shocking decline he suffered after his days on the American frontier." "The Yale-educated King went west in 1863 at age twenty-one as a geologist-explorer. During the next decade he scaled the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada, published a popular book now considered a classic of adventure literature, initiated a groundbreaking land survey of the American West, and ultimately uncovered one of the greatest frauds of the century - the Great Diamond Hoax, a discovery that made him an international celebrity at a time when they were few and far between." "Through King's own rollicking tales, some true, some embroidered, of scaling previously unclimbed mountain peaks, of surviving a monster blizzard near Yosemite, of escaping ambush and capture by Indians, of being chased on horseback for two days by angry bandits, Robert Wilson offers a combination of adventure, history, and nature writing. He also provides the bigger picture of the West at this time, showing the ways in which the terrain of the western United States was measured and charted and mastered, and how science, politics, and business began to intersect and influence one another during this era. Ultimately, King himself would come to symbolize the collision of science and business, possibly the source of his downfall."--BOOK JACKET.
     
The man who found time : James Hutton and the discovery of the earth's antiquity
Jack Repcheck.
Cambridge, MA : Perseus, c2003.
"There are four men whose contributions helped free science from the straightjacket of theology. Three of the four - Nicholas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Charles Darwin - are widely known and heralded for their breakthroughs. The fourth, James Hutton, has never received the same recognition, yet he profoundly changed our understanding of the earth and its dynamic forces. Hutton proved that the earth was likely millions of years old rather than the biblically determined six thousand, and that it was continuously being shaped and re-shaped by myriad everyday forces rather than just one cataclysmic event." "In this narrative, Jack Repcheck tells the remarkable story of this Scottish gentleman farmer, and how his simple observations on a small tract of land led him to a controversial - some would say heretical - theory. Yet it was Hutton's work that ultimately made Darwin's theory of evolution possible: Man simply could not have evolved from apes, or apes from more distant ancestors, in a mere six thousand years." "The Man Who Found Time is also the story of Scotland and the Scottish Enlightenment, which brought together some of the greatest thinkers of the age - from David Hume and Adam Smith to James Watt and Erasmus Darwin. Through an intricate network of informal salons and social clubs, these "natural philosophers" created a rich intellectual milieu that served as an incubator for Hutton's nascent ideas, helping transform them into a robust and coherent theory." "Finally, this is a story about the power of the written words. Jack Repcheck, himself a champion of books, argues that Hutton's work was almost lost to history because he was unable to describe his findings in graceful and readable prose: Unlike Darwin's Origin of the Species, Hutton's one and only book was impenetrable."--BOOK JACKET.
     
The map that changed the world : William Smith and the birth of modern geology
Simon Winchester.
Rockland, MA : Wheeler Pub., c2001.
Winchester tells the fascinating story of an Oxfordshire blacksmith's orphaned son who discovered an unmistakable pattern in the rocks. From this, William Smith developed the first true geographical map following fossils and rock patterns, earning him a place in history as the father of modern geology. Line drawings. Maps throughout, 2 in color. Copyright #169; Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
     

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff