The definitive photographic record of Southern Africa's premier mineral-producing localities
Desmond Sacco began expressing an interest in minerals in the early nineteen sixties. Now, almost forty years later, his mineral collection is one of the finest in private hands in the world. Meticulously assembled over a period of four decades, it contains over 3000 stunning specimens. Examples from southern African countries such as Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe form the core of the collection. One of the localities in Namibia, the Tsumeb mine, contributes almost two-thirds of the minerals illustrated in this book. Tsumeb is regarded as the premier site of fine mineral specimens and the ones to be seen in the Sacco collection are outstanding, and many are acknowledged to be the best in any collection. The visual aesthetics of the minerals are breathtaking, but the collection has intrinsic scientific value as well because many of the mines that produce these fabulous minerals are now closed. They are therefore no longer obtainable from the source. This assemblage of mineralogical treasures can be considered of national importance as it preserves a national heritage that would have otherwise have been lost forever.
Bruce Cairncross is professor of geology at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). He is the co-author of two books ‘The Minerals of South Africa’ and ‘The Manganese Adventure’. He has also published extensively on southern African minerals and he is an accomplished photographer of fine minerals and gemstones. His photographs have been featured in a variety of publications and he regularly presents lectures on mineralogical topics.
Professor Cairncross has an inherent interest in South Africa’s geological and mineralogical heritage and much of his research efforts are aimed at documenting and photographing important geological sites in southern Africa and promoting the preservation on South Africa’s mineralogical heritage. This is the third high-quality book to be written by Professor Cairncross and it is fitting that it should feature the Desmond Sacco collection, the finest private collection of southern African specimens in the world.