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Mineral Treasures of the Ozarks

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Mineral Treasures of the Ozarks
By Bruce L. Stinchcomb
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. (2014)
ISBN: 978-0-7643-4715-3

Reviewed by Harry S. Chou - June 15, 2015

Looking for a destination for your next rock hounding adventure? Look no farther than the Ozarks! In Bruce L. Stinchcomb's book, Mineral Treasures of the Ozarks, you will discover a wealth of information about the Ozarks and the myriad of rocks and minerals that you can find in the area. Filled with more than 500 images, this book serves a multitude of purposes including a guide for the archaic traveler, a text for those seeking to learn about the mineralogy heritage of the Ozarks, and as a guide book for those planning on an expedition to the region.

The bulk of this book is geared to studying - and discovering - the various minerals that can be found along the waterways of the Ozark Highlands, covering southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

Stinchcomb is a retired geologist and author. In this interesting book, he provides an overview of the geological history of the Ozark Highlands, and the economic history related to the geological resources located there. The minerals that he details in this book focus almost exclusively on collectible Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) minerals that are found primarily along the watershed of the Mississippi River. Along the way he also discusses collecting mineral specimens in the region, as well as providing insights into their chemistry, habitat, and throughout he provides a general pricing guide for many of the minerals covered in this book.

The bulk of the information in this book is organized thematically with topics covering specific ranges of minerals including: Stinchcomb also includes information on MVT minerals found in other areas of the United States, and around the world.

A unique aspect of this guide is that in addition to all the historic and mineralogical information provided, the author also gives insights into canoeing though the Ozark waterways, and the sights you can see along the way as you retrace historic routes used to transport minerals that had been mined in the area in the not so distant past. Another key point to this book is that Stinchcomb writes in an easy to understand, friendly narrative style that feels a lot like taking to a knowledgeable friend who is passionate about the subject you are discussing.

Most of the chapters in Mineral Treasures of the Ozarks ends with a short glossary explaining any unusual terms used in the chapter. When relevant, lists of resources are also included at the end of many chapters. These lists can be used as reading guides for further study. In short, this is not only an informative book, but one that is truly enjoyable to read! Best of all, this book can do double duty as a coffee table book, that visitors (at least if they are rock and mineral geeks) will enjoy browsing through.


Related Reviews:

Collector's Guide to the Zeolite Group, by Robert J. Lauf.
Filled with more than 200 stunning color photographs, this book provides a survey of 62 zeolite mineral series. It also provides information on what zeolites are, how they are formed, and where they can be found.

The Modern Rockhounding and Prospecting Handbook, by Garret Romaine.
A fun to read, and use, guidebook on the ins-and-outs of rock, fossil, and meteorite collecting, as well as offering insights into prospecting for gold. This handy guide also offers tips on getting outfitted for your rock collecting expeditions, and displaying your new treasures once you get them home.


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