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Geoscientist Online

Photo Atlas of Mineral Psuedomorphism

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Traditionally mineralogy books, like those of Sowerby, Rashleigh and Haüy utilized pen and ink or watercolour images to illustrate minerals. Kirkaldy in his famous introduction book, that for several generations of geologists was possibly the first introduction to minerals, used hand specimen photographs generally a little blurred! 

However, the trend in 'serious' mineral text books has been to shy away from photographs as though they were a little vulgar.  So, it is with pleasure I read this recent Atlas of Mineral Psuedomorphism. Yes, there are excellent photographs of beautiful minerals, geological eye-candy, but the introduction text is a scholarly discussion of pseudomorphs in the mineral kingdom.

Mineral pseudomorphs have been subject to several historical studies but only a few scattered publications from the mid-20th Century onwards.  The combination of a university academic and an international mineral dealer has been successful and produced a book that both entertains and educates.

The volume is not perfect. The introduction section is the educational thesis and a little confusing in its organization although well written and edited.  However I think the following sections that are the Atlas could have benefited from text discussing the nature of pseudomorphs specific to each of those discussed. A nice feature of the atlas, is that mineral photograph of the mineral doing the pseudomorph and the one replaced are shown alongside the pseudomorph. Several important pseudomorphs are missing, for example native gold after calaverite from Cripple Creek, Boulder and Kalgoorlie.

But these small omissions aside this is an excellent first edition and I am sure will be reproduced as it should prove a popular book and perhaps even simulate new research on this interesting mineral phenomenon.

Reviewed by Rob Bowell

PHOTO ATLAS OF MINERAL PSEUDOMORPHISM  by KLOPROGGE JT AND LAVINSKY R, 2018 Elsevier Press 290pp hbk Hardcover ISBN: 9780128036747  List price: £75.00. W: https://www.elsevier.com/books/photo-atlas-of-mineral-pseudomorphism/kloprogge/978-0-12-803674-7