Minerals & Gemstones of East Africa

Minerals & Gemstones of East Africa covers Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
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Title: Minerals and Gemstones of East Africa
Author: Bruce Cairncross
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Imprint: Struik Nature
Cape Town, South Africa 2019
ISBN 9781775845560 / ISBN 978-1-77-584556-0
Softcover, 21 x 25 cm, 144 pages, specimen and locality photographs

About: Minerals & Gemstones of East Africa

Two of East Africa's most famous gemstones, tanzanite and tsavorite, are found in fashionable retail outlets worldwide. Both are rare gemstones, and tanzanite is at present unique to Tanzania. What is less well known is that several other varieties of gemstone occur in the region and, while perhaps not as popular, these too have established East Africa as an important source of fine gem material. Furthermore, the region has produced some desirable collector mineral and crystal specimens. Excellent examples of crystalline graphite, alabandite and diopside, to name a few, rival the best specimens globally.

Tanzania and Kenya are known to be the region's main producers of gems and mineral specimens. However, it is not commonly known that neighbouring Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are also sources of some interesting material, like the gem-quality tourmaline. The previous book on East African gems was published in 1992, and while this contained valuable information on the gems of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, many new discoveries have since been made. What has been lacking is a publication that combines gemstones and mineral specimens in one volume, and that was one of the goals of this book; it is the first to feature both.

One of the highlights of this book is that it illustrates both natural crystals of gems and minerals and, where applicable, faceted stones produced from this material. Minerals & Gemstones of East Africak begins with an overview of each of the five featured countries - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda - and introduces the reader to the general geological and economic wealth of each country. The main body of the book is an A-to-Z listing and illustrated presentation of the various gemstones and minerals that are found in the region. More than 60 gemstone and mineral species and varieties thereof are featured.

This is followed by a list of type-locality species discovered in East Africa, that is, those discovered for the first time in the region; and finally, a detailed bibliography and reference list. A large amount of research has taken place detailing the geological setting and evolution of the Neoproterozoic Metamorphic Mozambique Belt and associated mineralisation in East Africa, and has been published almost exclusively in geology, gem and jewellery journals. Most of these journals are not generally accessible outside of their subscriber base or they are read only by professional geologists, gemologists and jewellers. For this reason, an exhaustive literature survey was carried out for this book.

Content: Minerals & Gemstones of East Africa

Minerals and gemstones
Geology of East Africa
East African resources
Gemological properties
A to Z of minerals and gemstones
Type minerals
References and further reading