Minerals: Their Constitution and Origin is an introduction to mineralogy for undergraduate students and graduate students in all fields of geology, materials science, and environmental sciences, and for those with a general interest in the subject. As a background, the reader is assumed to be familiar with general principles of physics and chemistry at the high school level. In this text we introduce principles of crystallographic and structural features of minerals, as well as the physical property characteristics used to identify them. We also provide a survey of the most important minerals (about 250 and details for about 100) and their geological occurrence. The basic types of mineral deposit, both those of scientific and those of economic importance, are discussed, often in conjunction with the systematic treatment of the mineral classes most closely associated with particular deposits. The book concludes with a series of chapters on applied mineralogy, including a survey of the main industrial uses of minerals.
There are many excellent mineralogy textbooks, ranging from the early Niggli (1920) monograph (which still contains much of the information which is needed), to modern books such as Putnis (1992), Blackburn and Dennen (1994), Perkins (1998), Nesse (2000), Hibbard (2002) and Klein (2002). Why do we add a new book to an already seemingly saturated market?
To answer this question, we need to look at how mineralogy courses have evolved. The modern earth science curriculum, particularly at American universities, is very different from that taught 25 years ago.