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Warning: Johannesburg Geology Museum theft: July 2013!!
  Index -> Reporting thefts and disappearances

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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Jul 17, 2013 02:14    Post subject: Warning: Johannesburg Geology Museum theft: July 2013!!  

Bruce Geller from SMMP sent this mail requesting distribution of this really bad new. Of course any help would be more than welcome.

I received this note yesterday from the SMMP listserv and wanted to distribute it to the mineral dealer community. Please be on the look out for these specimens.


Dear SMMP Members,

The post below from Bruce Cairncross just appeared on the Mindat Messageboard. I have also posted in on the SMMP website at https://www.agiweb.org/smmp/joburg.htm.

Anthony R. Kampf, Ph.D.
Curator Emeritus, Mineral Sciences
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd. , Los Angeles , CA 90007


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 katherinej(at)joburg(dot)org(dot)za

Bruce Cairncross

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PostPosted: Jul 17, 2013 03:29    Post subject: Re: Warning: Johannesburg Geology Museum theft: July 2013!!  

I will circulate within the Southeast Federation of Mineral Societies in the USA. I am the editor of the newsletter and will include the information in our next issue.


John Atwell Rasmussen, Ph.D.. AJP
Geologist and Gemologist
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Riccardo Modanesi

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PostPosted: Jul 19, 2013 11:20    Post subject: Re: Warning: Johannesburg Geology Museum theft: July 2013!!  

Hi to everybody!
As Jordi said, this is a really bad new, something we all would have never wanted to listen to. Then we all must be strongly careful to what we buy! I hope somebody has let the mineral bourses managers from all over the world see the photos! I think and hope controls are strong and careful in this sense.
With my best wishes the specimens get back to their place.
Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.

Hi! I'm a collector of minerals since 1973 and a gemmologist. On Summer I always visit mines and quarries all over Europe looking for minerals! Ok, there is time to tell you much much more! Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.
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