Title: Minerals and Gemstones of Southern Africa
Author: Bruce Cairncross
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Imprint: Struik Nature
Cape Town, South Africa 2022
ISBN 9781775847533 / ISBN 978-1-77-584753-3
Softcover, 21 x 25 cm, 320 pages, 900 specimen and locality photographs
Minerals and Gemstones of Southern Africa offers comprehensive descriptions of the more important mineral and gem localities from the six contiguous southern African countries, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa. It focuses on the beauty and variety of minerals and gemstones to be found in the region, and their localities, and is illustrated with photographs, maps and diagrams. The guide to Minerals and Gemstones of Southern Africais is well laid out and very readable, the minerals and gems being described alphabetically with brief overviews of the major mining fields of southern Africa, as well as other mines, small workings and localities where some of the finest specimens are to be found.
A series of superb photographs of crystals and/or faceted or polished specimens concludes the description of every mineral species. The age of each mineral and/or the host rock in which it occurs is also given and placed into the timescale of geological formations of southern Africa. It is of interest that the minerals and gems discussed were formed by varied processes throughout geological time, and preserved in rocks varying in age from some 3.6 billion years ago to the present. Attention is drawn to the evolutionary trend of the various mineral species over this huge time span.
A hallmark of Minerals and Gemstones of Southern Africa is undoubtedly the hundreds of magnificent colour photographs of minerals and gems, some appearing in published form for the first time. Most of the photographs have been taken by the author himself, who is a world-renowned photographer of minerals and gems. His enthusiasm and passion for the collection, photography and documentation of minerals and gems is evident throughout this book and it is a pleasure to have the subject described and illustrated in such a convenient and readable fashion.
A to Z of minerals and gemstones
References and further reading