Minerals and Gemstones of Southern Africa, by Bruce Cairncross
Minerals and Gemstones of Southern Africa, by Bruce Cairncross is not only the most up-to-date publication on the minerals of the region, but also the first to showcase the gemstones of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
The minerals and gemstones of southern Africa have been featured in many publications and on numerous online resources. In almost all instances, these publications have concentrated on specific mineral occurrences, mineral regions, geological formations associated with specific deposits, individual countries or even regions within a single country, rather than the southern African region as a whole. An early exception is Mclver (1966), Gems, Minerals and Rocks of Southern Africa, a book now long out of print and somewhat outdated, and the more recent Cairncross (2004a), Field Guide to Rocks & Minerals of Southern Africa. The latter publication was in field guide format and is now superseded by this larger format edition, Minerals and Gemstones of Southern Africa, which features fully updated text and more than 900 specimen and locality photographs, most of which are new. This book is not only the most up-to-date publication on the interesting, collectable and economically relevant minerals of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but also the first to feature the region's gemstones. These gemstones do not only include diamonds, but also fancy faceted stones of unusual and often rare minerals, most of which were in the 'Rainbow of Africa' collection amassed over many years by Warren Taylor. Most of these have not been seen before. Each year, new mineral species are discovered, even though over 5,700 are already known to exist. Southern Africa, in particular Namibia and South Africa, has provided numerous type-locality species. Most times, these discoveries are microscopic and esoteric, with very few examples. Occasionally there are exceptions, and in early 2000, the new species olmiite was found in the N'Chwaning mine in South Africa. Thousands of specimens have since been collected, yet the species remains, to date, unique to the locality, a somewhat unusual situation for such a plentiful mineral. During the past two decades, some southern African localities have impacted on the international mineral market by producing world-class specimens. Examples include the Erongo Mountains in Namibia, from which outstanding aquamarine, schorl tourmaline and jeremejevite have been collected, and the remote Kaokoveld in northern Namibia, which has been a source of excellent gem-quality spessartine garnet, dioptase and shattuckite. All of these are featured in this book, together with recent discoveries from other well-established mineral localities. A book of this nature cannot present or document every mineral species in the region. Some minerals are mundane, while others exist only as microscopic minerals imbedded in rock or economic ore samples. Discretion (and possibly an element of personal bias) was used to select which minerals to include in this publication. A complete list of minerals for each country can be found on Mindat.org, the most comprehensive online source of mineral occurrences.
Bruce Cairncross is Emeritus Professor of Geology at the University of Johannesburg. He is an acknowledged authority on southern African minerals and gemstones and has published many books and journal articles on the subject. An accomplished photographer, his photos of minerals, gemstones and geological scenes have appeared in numerous books, articles, calendars and websites. He is the author or co-author of a number of books, including 'Minerals & Crystals: Morphology - Properties - Identification and Minerals & Gemstones of East Africa.
This is an excerpt from Minerals and Gemstones of Southern Africa, by Bruce Cairncross.
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
Cairncross, Bruce im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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