British gemstone expert killed by mob in Voi, Kenya

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Tsavorite Gem which Bridges discovered

A mob of 20 men have killed a leading British gemologist in the town of Voi in Kenya. Campbell Bridges who was born in Scotland was killed at his 600-acre property located within a national park. The attack is reported to be linked to a 3 year dispute over control of the gemstone mines owned by Mr. Bridges.

Police reported that Bridges was driving his pick-up around his land when he was ambushed by 20 men wielding homemade clubs and spears as well as bows and arrows. Bridges fought off the mob with the help of his son and four Kenyan staff. He was transported to hospital but later died. No one else was seriously injured in the attack.

Bruce Bridges, Campbell’s son spoke to reporters about his ordeal. He spoke of how he fled to the capital Nairobi with his father’s body. “As we drove towards our mining camp we found huge thorn trees blocking the road. Eight men with machetes, spears, clubs, knives, bows and arrows appeared, shouting, ‘We’re going to kill you all!’ Then more people came down the mountain like ants — 20 or 30 of them” he said.

Campbell was renowned in the gemstone business. He worked as a special consultant for jewelers Tiffany & Co. He is also credited with the discovery of tsavorite and also involved in the discovery of tanzanite.