A dazzling visual guide to precious and semiprecious stones, organic gems, and precious metals that showcases beautiful, specially commissioned images as well as science, natural history, mythology, and true stories of adventure and discovery.
From diamonds and sapphires to emeralds and obsidian, Gem profiles all the key gemstones and other precious materials. Its stunning images show the jewels in their different cuts, colors, and uses. See the exquisite jewelry pieces of royalty around the world, high-society women, and Native American traditions. Visit the Russian Amber Room, study the details of a Faberg egg, and find out what characteristics are needed for a record-breaking gem.
The stories, myths, and legends that surround the most celebrated gems and jewel-laden artifacts from around the world are revealed, from their journeys in the company of royalty, film stars, and thieves to the curse of the Hope Diamond. Follow the history of the world's most famous jewelry houses and their designers, including Cartier, Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., and more.
For additional information about the world's natural treasures, an 80-page reference section at the back of the book highlights a variety of other rocks and minerals, and a color guide directory groups gems according to their main color.
Created in association with the Smithsonian Institution and featuring a foreword by New York Times-bestselling author Aja Raden, Gem combines lavish photographs with expert knowledge, making it perfect for gift-giving.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning view of the continent, across the fortieth parallel and down through 4.6 billion years
Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with. The structure of the book never changed, but its breadth caused him to complete it in stages, under the overall title Annals of the Former World.
Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a multilayered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it. As clearly and succinctly written as it is profoundly informed, this is our finest popular survey of geology and a masterpiece of modern nonfiction.
Annals of the Former World is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.
Beach stones, abundant and free for the taking, are objects of contemplation, beauty, and sentiment. They come in many colours, shapes and patterns, are fun to collect and even have sensuous qualities. This book helps you understand the life of beach stones. It also brings us the stories of such stones.
- A magnificent collection of 66 pieces of petrified wood mainly from the Western United States, specially photographed to show the artistic beauty hidden in Nature's masterpieces - All the images are unpublished and were specifically shot for this book - Authoritative text by the Curator of Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History This stunning book documents a collection of 66 extraordinary pieces of petrified wood, mainly from Western United States (Arizona, Oregon, Washington). Specially photographed they are shown in their entirety and in magnificent details. Petrified wood is formed from fallen trees that in the absence of oxygen and microbes, and with water containing minerals, through a replacement process called permineralization, slowly transform into visually spectacular fossils. But Nature often uses a paintbrush in its preservation magic, splashing the wooden canvas with an array of colors and hues before fixing it in a matrix of hard durable quartz, thereby creating splendid works of art. Petrified wood has been found throughout the world, but actual petrified forests are truly noteworthy in the United States, the most famous being the Chinle Formation forest of Arizona.
Become a whiz at finding Lake Superior agates
Keep this tabbed booklet close at hand on your next rock-hunting adventure. Based on Jim Magnuson's Agate Hunting Made Easy and featuring the professional rock photography of Carol Wood, this guide helps to turn agate hunts into successful ones. You'll learn to pick up on those clues valuable to beginners and experts alike: Learn the common agate features to look for, see what rough agates look like in the field, recognize the different varieties of Lake Superior agates, and identify the agate imposters that might fool you. The easy-to-use format means you'll quickly find what you need to know. Plus, the quick guide is much easier to use than laminated foldouts, and the tear-resistant pages help to make the book durable in the field.
In 1793, a canal digger named William Smith made a startling discovery. He found that by tracing the placement of fossils, which he uncovered in his excavations, one could follow layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell -- clear across England and, indeed, clear across the world -- making it possible, for the first time ever, to draw a chart of the hidden underside of the earth. Determined to expose what he realized was the landscape's secret fourth dimension, Smith spent twenty-two years piecing together the fragments of this unseen universe to create an epochal and remarkably beautiful hand-painted map. But instead of receiving accolades and honors, he ended up in debtors' prison, the victim of plagiarism, and virtually homeless for ten years more. Finally, in 1831, this quiet genius -- now known as the father of modern geology -- received the Geological Society of London's highest award and King William IV offered him a lifetime pension.
The Map That Changed the World is a very human tale of endurance and achievement, of one man's dedication in the face of ruin. With a keen eye and thoughtful detail, Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world-changing discovery.
Tiny pieces of space rock called micrometeorites are everywhere on Earth. In Search of Stardust shows you how to find them and keep them safe.
The solar system is a dusty place. Every day approximately 100 metric tons of cosmic dust collides with Earth, mainly in the form of micrometeorites. Most of these mineral particles (iron, nickel, etc.) are smaller than grains of sand, and they are falling down on us all the time and all over the globe. Still, little is known about these exotic extraterrestrials.
In Search of Stardust is the first comprehensive popular science book about micrometeorites. It's also a photo documentary comprising more than 1,500 previously unpublished images: the first atlas of micrometeorites, hundreds of which are depicted here in high-resolution color microscopic photography and in scanning electron microscope imagery.
Author Jon Larsen shows readers how and where to look for micrometeorites, explains the history of micrometeoritics, and offers chapters about micrometeorite formation, classification, and analysis. Thanks to Larsen's work, for the first time it is now possible for anyone to find these amazing tiny stones from space.
For more than a century it was believed these incredible space objects could be found only in pristine, unsullied environs like Antarctica and ocean floors. Larsen became the first to break the code and find micrometeorites in populated areas -- in fact, they can be found in the nearest rain gutter. In the book Larsen explains how anyone with a bit of inexpensive equipment can find their own micrometeorites.
It was recently discovered that King Tut's dagger was forged from a chunk of a meteorite. What else is made of extraterrestrial rock? Join the hunt
An illustrated, concise reference to the Earth's mountains.
This comprehensive and compact resource begins with an exploration of the powerful geological and other natural forces that create and shape mountains. Environmental sensitivity and unique weather conditions like snow and ice, avalanches and glaciers have lasting effects on mountains, and many diverse societies and economies exist in mountainous regions.
This easy-to-use guidebook features an atlas of the world's major mountain regions that shows topography with detailed descriptions and informative tables of key facts and figures.
Guide to Mountains is an ideal and handy quick-reference book that naturalists, mountain climbers, skiers, hikers, and travelers of all ages will enjoy and find useful.
Around 30 years ago, two things happened that were to revolutionize the understanding of our home planet. First, geologists realized that the continents themselves were drifting across the surface of the globe and that oceans were being created and destroyed. Secondly, pictures of the entire planet were returned from space. Suddenly, the Earth began to be viewed as a single entity; a dynamic, interacting whole, controlled by complex processes we scarcely understood.
This Introduction explores emerging geological research and explains how new advances in the understanding of plate tectonics, seismology, and satellite imagery have enabled us to begin to see the Earth as it actually is: dynamic and ever changing.