New publications : Mineral and gem deposits of eastern Brazilian pegmatites (tomes 1 & 2)

Jacques Cassedanne in collaboration with Simon Philippo, 2015. – Mineral and gem deposits of the eastern Brazilian pegmatites, Volume 1, Publication du Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg, ISBN 978-2-919877-20-1. 

Jacques Cassedanne in collaboration with Simon Philippo, 2015. – Mineral and gem deposits of the eastern Brazilian pegmatites, Volume 2, Publication du Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg, ISBN 978-2-919877-21-8.

cassedanne 1 et 2

The National Museum of Natural History Luxembourg has celebrated in 2014 its 160 years of existence. Throughout this history, interactions with Brazil are numerous. During the 19th century, waves of immigration to Brazil are frequent. We notice, during this period, the foundation of the town of ‘Luxemburgo’ in the region of Espirito Santo. In 1872, a man named Lambert Picard, doctor and naturalist traveler, who is the brother of Amelie Picard, well known author in Luxembourg, offers to the museum, a beautiful gold specimen from Cacapava in the Rio Grande do Sul.

In the twentieth century, a large number of people, trained by Arbed, go to work for its subsidiary in Brazil, ‘Companhia Siderúrgica Belgo-Mineira’ and participate in the development of the steel industry in the region Itabira and Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais). The travel story of the Luxembourg naturalist, Edouard Luja, published in 1953 and entitled ‘Voyages et séjour au Brésil, Etat de Minas Geraes (1921-1924)’ again underlines the link between our museum and Brazil. This travel story brings us a lot of information on plants and animals encountered. It also gives us many details on the iron ore named ‘itabirite’; on historical sites of exploration, especially for gold; it describes places of discovery of rare minerals such as phenacite and is giving us evidence about the history of famous brazilian diamonds. This travel story shows us the interest of this famous scientist from Luxembourg for the natural history of this country. The museum’s collections contain many specimens offered by people who lived in Brazil as Jules Saur, Edouard Luja and J. Isambert.

F. Hatert, S. Philippo and J. Cassedanne, 2008

F. Hatert, S. Philippo and J. Cassedanne

The meeting with Jacques Cassedanne (professor emeritus at the Rio University and the author of over 280 publications) reactivated the link at the beginning of XXI century. Many field surveys have brought very good samples for our collec-tions. These are studied, particularly in the context of PhD thesis in partnership with the University of Liège; and it also allowed the research team to discover a new species for science in 2009, the Qingheiite-(Fe2+).

Five field trips with Jacques Cassesanne, thousands of kilometers together, many deposits visited and revisited, the shared passion of mineralogy, created a true friendship relation between Cassedanne and co-author Simon Philippo, the curator of the mineralogy department  at the National Museum of Natural History Luxembourg.

Jacques Cassedanne knows pegmatites of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Nordeste as no other. He collected and analyzed thousands of samples, described mineral deposits and followed the advancements of the works at each visit … and published his observations in many articles. He was accepted by the ‘garimpeiros’ for his humility and his disinterest of the lucrative aspects and has never been stingy with informations to help them in the prospect exploitation of the deposits. All this knowledge makes him a reference scientist in this particular eld, and the ideal author for this book.

The publication of these two books was really long … the communication between two continents without internet, only by the mail post, is one of the reasons … moreover our objective was to produce books as perfect as possible and both authors gave their best attention to this expectation.

The two tomes are available at the shop at ‘natur musée’.

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