'Every person on earth uses, either directly or indirectly, ten metric tons of minerals each year.' So write Dr R. V. Dietrich and Dr Brian J. Skinner in their new book Gems, Granites, and Gravels. Minerals and mineral products are involved in all aspects of our lives; we depend on them to keep us alive and ensure the continuity of our society. As a consequence, they have been a source of fascination and study throughout human history. In this book, Drs Dietrich and Skinner consider t only the beauty of minerals and rocks, but also their utility and their roles in our everyday well-being. Gems, Granites and Gravels is a valuable introduction to mineralogy and to related specialities such as petrology (the study of rocks), crystallography (the study of crystals), and soil science. Discoveries in these fields are described in a historical context, while the authors explain what minerals and rocks are, how they are distributed around the world, how we depend on them, and where to see the most beautiful specimens of both minerals and rocks. This book will appeal to anyone interested in natural history and curious about rocks and minerals, including rock and mineral collectors, students of geology, and professional geologists.