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Luis Leite Remembered

Content image: Luis Leite Remembered

This leiteite specimen from the Uerpmann collection recently posted on Facebook brought back fond memories of the man who's name was given to the mineral back in 1977.

Leiteite was named to honour Luis Antonio Bravo Teixeira-Leite (1942–1999), Portuguese-South African amateur mineralogist of Pretoria, South Africa, who noted the first specimen during the heyday of Tsumeb production.

When he saw my picture, Facebook friend David Minster from Gauteng, South Africa expressed these fond words about Leite.

"Luis Leite was a friend of mine, in fact I bought my first mineral specimens from him when he, and his late wife Mara, used to run a rock shop on the third floor of Central House building in the Pretoria CBD in the very early 1970s.

I saw my first, and so far, best papagoite in quartz specimen there. They used to visit every year after he left South Africa for the States, then Portugal. I still have some of the specimens I bought from him.

He was a walking mineral encyclopedia, a very shrewd businessman and, a really nice guy, if you knew him well enough and long enough.

He passed away at his display room at the Tuscon Gem and Mineral show in 1999, it was quite a shock as he was around my age now, mid 60's."

Great memories and reading these really puts something personal behind the mineral name, and someone many of us have never meet.

There is another link to an article by António Manuel Ináçio Martins (Homage to a Friend) posted below.

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