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Lost and Stolen SpecimensJohannesburg Geology Museum theft: July 2013

15th Jul 2013 08:12 BSTBruce Cairncross Expert

I unfortunately have to report on the theft of specimens from the Johannesburg Geological Museum as I am currently Chairman of the Geological Museum Assocation (GMA), a volunteer group that assists the Museum and its staff with promoting the collection and fund raising.

The museum suffered two thefts recently and both involved theft of gemstones, both rough and polished. There are very few photos of the stolen gems. The material stolen in the first theft in May consisted of opal, aquamarine, ruby corundum and tiger's eye. The recent theft in July saw the removal of all the gem quality tourmaline, both rough and polished. In addition, four mineral specimens were stolen, two Kalahari manganese field rhodochrosite (see pictures) and two silver specimens, one from Mexico and one from Canada. There was no forced entry as access doors to the collection's display cases were still locked. I don't have a very good photo of the gemstones stolen other than the attached picture cropped from a general view of the display case. I have also attached two pictures of the rhodochrosites - they are cabinet sized specimens.

We are in the process of lobbying with the Joburg City Council (who own and manage the collection) and with industry partners to upgrade security at the museum.

Anyone with any information should contact the Johannesburg Geological Museum curator, Kate James at tel (+27) 11-833-5624 ext 252 or

Bruce Cairncross

15th Jul 2013 20:16 BSTGail Spann Manager

That is horrible. Thanks for posting, will keep an eye out.

15th Sep 2013 01:38 BSTKC Dalby

This certainly is not a timely reply, unless already done so, you also may want to contact the Mineralogical Record magazine and have them record your stolen specimens and even print an insert in the November/December 2013 issue.

KC Dalby
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