May 23, 2017


This is the eighth in a series on the gemstones of Namibia. Dispersion is a measure of a gem’s property of separating light into its constituent colours, as a prism does, and is frequently referred to as the ‘fire’ of the gem. Demantoid ranks high among gemstones for dispersion; in fact, even higher than a diamond.
May 26, 2017


This is the ninth in a series about Namibian gemstones. Specific Gravity (SG) is a measure of the relative density of a gem, which varies in its chemical composition and crystal construction. By comparing the weight of the gem in air with its weight suspended in water, an SG value is established. Specific Gravity values are useful in identifying an unknown gem, or in determining the size of a new gem to be fitted into an old setting.
May 29, 2017

Rose quartz

This is the tenth in a series about Namibian gemstones. Brittleness is one factor to be considered when buying and mounting a gem; it is not uncommon for a relatively hard stone to be brittle, particularly along facet cuts. To minimise damage, brittle stones are frequently used for necklace beads, pendants, or small ornamental sculptures. A relatively brittle stone, rose quartz has been cherished as a symbol of romantic love through the ages, and polished stones shaped like a heart are commonly presented as gifts to loved ones
August 6, 2019

Land Art: A Celebration of Water

How did it come about that a scrambled note written on a serviette in a Starbucks Café in Washington, D.C., in 2013 ended up as, well, a message about water conservation written in the sand at Namtib Biosphere Reserve in 2016? In May 2019 Anni Snyman, PC Janse van Rensburg and a team of volunteers from the Site-Specific land art collective fine-tuned the last lines of the giant earth drawing of a desert horse at Klein Aus Vista. This message of intent recently evolved into yet another possible new chapter – as I made my way down a secluded gravel road to a breathtakingly beautiful house in the middle of the desert: an artist’s retreat in the making at Wolwedans. But more about the other outcomes later: drawings of a wild horse – and the realm of “dancing wolves”.