Campbell Bridges, the legendary Scottish geologist and International Colored Gemstone Association director, was murdered in Kenya on August 11.
Campbell Bridges, his son Bruce and four Kenyan employees were reportedly attacked by “a mob wielding knives, clubs, spears and bows and arrows” close to Tsavo National Park in southern Kenya.
Campbell’s son, Bruce, told The Times that the group was ambushed.
“My men were cut to ribbons and I took a panga to the neck,” he said.
“Police believe that the attack was prompted by a dispute over mining rights,” reported The Times.
“Mr Bridges said that miners had been illegally digging for gems on the family’s 600-hectare concession. The Bridges have been in dispute with these unlicensed miners for three years and say that they have received numerous death threats.”
The ICA and the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) have both offered their condolences to Campbell’s wife Judith, daughter Laura and Bruce.
CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri has also expressed concern about the police investigation into the crime.
“We urge the Kenyan authorities not to rest until they have brought the perpetrators to trial and convicted for this atrocious crime,” he said.
“As an organisation that seeks to advance social and corporate responsibility in the gem and jewellery industry and trade, CIBJO will continue to follow the case closely, until justice is served.”
A public funeral service for Campbell was held at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi on August 21 and the ICA hosted a wake nearby.
Campbell became famous in the world of gemmology when he discovered tsavorite, in Tanzania in 1967, and in Kenya in 1970.