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Global Heritage Stone: Worldwide Examples of Heritage Stones

16 November 2022

As the editors point out in their introductory paper, this volume follows on from Special Publication 407 (2015). The two volumes are almost twins, with the newer volume being somewhat longer (354 pages versus 275 pages) and with a slightly darker red binding. Sixteen papers following the aforementioned introductory paper are concerned with nominating particular rocks as Global Heritage Stone Resources (GHSR). Four more papers comprise generic regional reviews and the final paper discusses the pros and cons of extending heritage status to gemstones, ornamental stones, and stones of archaeological significance, such as flints and obsidians. The nominating papers share a common format, as demanded by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) International Commission on Geoheritage. This necessity somewhat distracts from the readability of the work. That said, like the previous volume, there are some well-known ‘old friends’ (Rapakivi granite, Solnhofener Plattenkalk, charnockite) as well as a wide variety of other interesting examples from across the world. All these papers contain snippets of information that will surely interest and entertain all geologists that love rocks.

The Special Publications series has established a reputation for quality content and for physical presentation, unfortunately, this volume falls short in some aspects of the latter. Some of the photographs lack contrast, whilst many are just too small (though this may be a function of my aging eyesight). Occasional pixelation and grain indicate the use of images of insufficient quality (surely an unforgivable sin in this day and age), resulting in some figures being difficult to read. Another source of irritation is the ‘check for updates’ icon on the first page of every article. A legacy of the online version, any such update would lurk behind the Lyell Collection’s paywall. I am assured by the Publishing House that such amendments are rare but, if you purchase via the Publishing House, you would receive a link via email to download any future updates.

The IUGS list of designated GHSR can be accessed via https://iugs-geoheritage.org/designations-stones (as of 6 November 2022), while the link given in the text (http://globalheritagestone.com) appears defunct.

On a closing note, I wonder how often a branch of McDonald’s (now, presumably, a Vkusno i Tochka branch) has been cited or otherwise mentioned in the annals of the Society? The reference is on page 73, if you’re interested.

Reviewed by Trevor F. Emmett



BY: J.T. Hannibal, S. Kramar, & B.J. Cooper (eds.) (2020). Geological Society of London Special Publication No 486. 354 pp. (hbk)

ISBN: 9781786204080

PRICE: £120.00 www.geolsoc.org.uk