PRINT RESOURCES for Rockhounds

Although the Internet is awesome, there is nothing like a reference book on Rocks & Minerals. Reading about rocks & minerals in print is fantastic. There is nothing like having a reference book open beside you as you examine a mineral or plan a trip with a roadmap.

There are many books on rocks & minerals to choose from. Whatever book you get should have lots of coloured pictures because rocks are so beautiful to look at. To start, we suggest you get one FIELD GUIDE and at least one GENERAL REFERENCE BOOK.

Field guides are great because they tell a little bit about the hobby and a lot about specific rocks & minerals. Besides having fantastic pictures of mineral specimens, each page tells you some interesting facts. Everyone who has a collection should have at least one field guide & many people have more than one.

Obviously we are not going to list every book that has ever been written. What you will also find here is a Canadian/Ontario-centric List - books that we have & use as rockhounds who live in the GTA in Ontario.


The Eyewitness & Eye Wonder series of books are a great way to learn about anything. The Eyewitness series by DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) is one of the best on the market for general reference books for people of all ages. Each page spread is full of excellent photographs and informative captions with enough background information for any amateur enthusiast. Children as young as 6 are enthralled with the pictures and young people never tire of poring over the pages. A similar series geared towards the 7 to 11 years age range called EyeWonder also has titles on

An excellent way to learn about anything are flash cards or collector cards. Usborne has produced an excellent package of 100 common rocks & minerals that kids & amateur rockhounds will love.

FIELD GUIDES - Books to help you identify rocks & minerals

Most rockhounds start out by just looking at rocks and getting to know them. But after a while, you're going to want to know more. Field Guides are a great source of information. There are a number of other field guides available including specific guides to fossil and gemstones. Some excellent field guides are:

  • Eyewitness Handbooks Rocks & Minerals (ISBN 0-7737-2575-X), a fabulous book for the beginning rockhound.
  • Dorling Kindersley Handbooks Rocks & Minerals by Chris Pellant (ISBN 0-7513-2741-7)
  • Firefly Guide to Minerals Rocks & Fossils by A.C. Bishop (ISBN 978-1-55407-054-1)
  • Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Rocks and Minerals (ISBN 0-671-24417-5) This is our favourite field guide. This is a personal matter however & we own many.
FIELD TRIP GUIDES for Canadian / Ontario Rockhounds & Geologists
  • Mineral Collecting in Ontario
  • Roadside Geology of Ontario
  • North Shore of Lake Superior
  • Rock and Mineral Collecting in Canada Volume II Ontario and Quebec Ann Sabina
  • Rocks and Minerals of Ontario
  • Amethyst Deposits of Ontario
  • Classic Mineral Collecting Localities in Ontario and Quebec 1983
  • Ontario Rocks - Three Billion Years of Environmental Change Nick Eyles (ISBN 1-55041-619-7 )This is a super book that explains how Ontario rocks came to be and why Ontario looks the way it does.
  • Agates Inside Out Karen Brzys
  • Dictionary of Geological Terms
  • Agates Inside Out Karen Brzys
  • A Field Guide to the Identification of Pebbles
  • Everybody Needs a Rock Byrd Baylor
  • Colour Victoria Finlay
  • Jewels Victoria Finlay
  • ROCK & GEM MAGAZINE This is great magazine which has a Kids Section every month. Lots of pictures, articles on rocks & minerals.
  • NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINES have some of the best photography in the world in them. They have awesome articles about rocks, minerals, erosion, the rock cycle, volcanoes, earthquakes, mining, landscapes, fossils and how humans use our natural resources. National Geographic Magazines are also very easy to obtain. Many people have subscriptions and old copies can be bought cheaply in thrift stores. National Geographic is not just a fabulous magazine, it also has some great web sites. Check out the National Geographic KIDS site