The Guides I use:
Simon and Schuster's Guide to Rocks and Minerals
Peterson's Field Guide, Rocks and Minerals
National Audubon Society Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals.
The audubon guide is my favorite of the three, it has an appropriate selection from the official list, Has excellent photos, and is well organized. Simon and schusters is a close second for me. It has an incredible range of diversity of minerals, however much of it is unnecessary. Also, the minerals are sporadically located, making it hard to organize. The Plus side is the pictures are incredibly detailed, more so than the audubon society. Last on my list is the Peterson guide. It has a wealth of written information in it, though there are very few pictures located in the center of the book, and it is very textual. If you learn by reading, this would be a good one for you.
When making tests, I use all three, because some of the information(like crystalline structure, and chemical composition) comes from one guide, while another may have common usage information, and still another may provide basic hardness and cleavage information, for example. If you had to pick a guide to bring to the comp, I would definitely choose the audubon society, in my opinion.
"I am a dwarf, and I'm digging a Hole! Diggy Diggy Hole!"
"It's not about Why, It's about why not!"- Cave Johnson
Bishop Kelly HS class of 09
Boise State University class of 2013