Crystal Mountains book launch


Smoky quartz from the head of Loch Avon (Photo: R. Starkey)

A book launch event, to which members of the society are invited, is being held in Edinburgh on the evening of Thursday 25th September. The book is written by Roy Starkey, and is  titled “Crystal Mountains – Minerals of the Cairngorms”. It will be of the same format as Minerals of Cornwall and Devon, Minerals of the English Lake District – Caldbeck Fells, and Minerals of Northern England (page size 276mm x 218mm). Running to 184 pages, the book is illustrated with 230 colour photos; 4 colour maps ; 2 colour diagrams and 20 monochrome photos and diagrams.

Crystal Mountains traces the story of Cairngorm minerals from the 1700s though to the present day, and includes chapters on the history of the subject, geology, minerals, the “diggers” or miners, royal connections, collectors and collecting, and concludes with a look at the lapidaries and jewellers who provided the impetus for the “industry” in the first place, and a look at the little known story of the search for quartz as part of the war effort in the 1940s. An extensive list of some 300 references is included, together with a comprehensive index.

The book is aimed at both the earth science enthusiast, and visitors to the Cairngorms National Park, and should also appeal to those interested in the social history of the region and members of the antique and jewellery trade (and collectors). Further details of the book, and the minerals of the Cairngorms, can be found here.

At the launch event, the author expects to have some displays of specimens from both National Museums Scotland and the Hunterian Museum (University of Glasgow), together with items from various private collections.

If you would like to attend the launch, please contact Roy Starkey at You will then receive a formal invitation with full details of the event.