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Minerals & Gemstones of East Africa

Last Updated: 9th Dec 2019

By Debbie Woolf

Minerals & Gemstones of East Africa by Bruce Cairncross.

This book takes a detailed look at the minerals and gemstones of the following East African countries, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Past knowledge on this area of Africa has been limited mostly to scientific or gem and jewellery journals. A previous publication by the author on three of these countries is outdated (1990's) and this latest work is not only an update it fills a big gap on mineral information for the lesser known countries.

Starting with an introduction it looks at the minerals and gemstones, the geology of East Africa, a summary of the joint resources of this area is followed by a more elaborate look at each country, the minerals, localities, geology with geographic maps. The explanation of the gemological properties finalizes the introduction.

The main body of the book is the A-Z section describing the minerals and gemstones, from 'Actinolite to Zoisite' it's packed with impressive images from several well known photographers (Jeff Scovil, John S. White, Mark Mauthner, Paul De Bondt, John Rakovan and of course Bruce Cairncross and more). The images display the mineral in its natural form with comparable cut gemstones, there are several images where there is variety of colours as in the tourmaline or spinel pages.

I found Bruce's writing style is easy to understand, factual, informative and descriptive. There are many generous sized quality photographs. The font is easy on the eye and the glossy coated paper helps keep it clean and fresh looking. With 144 pages of mostly eye-catching minerals, gems and some jewellery pieces, you just might find yourself wishing you owned one or two, for me the 'Revealing the Cosmos' is to die for!

A goal of the author and publishers has been achieved as the minerals and gemstones really compliment each other in this publication. The quality of the content is outstanding value for the price (in my book).


This book is a must for mindaters, mineral collectors, gem collectors, gemmologists, students of mineralogy and any person with an interest in the earth sciences and there is much more covered than I could express or did not want to reveal leaving some surprise.

Where to buy

It's available on Amazon.

For UK and Europe:

63-66 Hatton Garden

T: 020 74051105

email: esales@pguk.co.uk

The book can be obtained in the USA from:

Casemate Group
Casemate Publishers,
Casemate Academic
Casemate IPM, Casemate Art
1950 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083

Orders Phone: 610-853-9131

Orders Fax: 610-853-9146

Orders email: casemate@casematepublishers.com


I'd like to thank Bruce for the unique opportunity to review his book and I'm very grateful to Keith Compton for his constructive comments on the direction of this review.



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