For mineralogists, petrologists and geochemists everywhere, the appearance of a new volume in Deer, Howie and Zussman’s Rock-forming Minerals series is an outstanding publishing event. Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about this volume is that the first edition came out in 1963 (when this reviewer was an eager PhD student) and nearly 40 years later (now a tribal silverback fast approaching retirement) the same stalwart team is producing the same admirable, encyclopaedic, invaluable books. To borrow a catch-phrase from a car advertisement, if only everything in life was as reliable as DHZ!

The 1963 edition dealt with all types of...

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