Giftology and giftophysics

Geologists are not difficult to buy gifts for. In fact, you could do worse than just filling a shoe box with rocks from your garden. But if you want to, you can excite and inspire a geologist with some new kit, a nice map, or a piece of meteorite.

Geophysicists might be slightly trickier to please. A book on Fortran? A couple of ki's of dynamite? Best thing is to accidentally on purpose treat them like a geologist. After all, it's the thought that counts!


Features to look for include clinometer, declination adjustment, and a sighting mirror. A bubble level and a scale bar are nice to have. Seasoned field geologists will already have a favourite, so steer clear unless you know what they need.

  1. Good — Silva Expedition 15TDCL, about $60
  2. Better — Suunto Tandem with declination adjustment, about $220
  3. Best — Brunton GEO Pocket Transit, about $820

Hand lenses

Features to look for include German manufacturer, metal housing, glass lenses, triple lens configuration, no chromatic aberration (this property is sometimes called achromatic), no spherical aberration (aplanatic). The 'gold standard', as it were, is the Bausch & Lomb Hastings Triplet, which usually sells for about $40 to $50 (for example, here). But there are others out there, like these:

  1. Good — BelOMO Triplet Loupe, about $35
  2. Better — Celestron LED illuminated loupe, about $40
  3. Best — Harald Schneider triplet loupe, about $280

Random stuff

You can't go wrong with any of these excellent gifts. 

For the geologist who has everything

These gifts speak for themselves. Joy guaranteed.

  1. Awesome — UGOBE PLEOrb robot dinosaur, about $470
  2. Awesomer — Andy Paiko glass seismograph, about $5000
  3. Awesomest — Triceratops horridus skull, about $70 000