Warren Taylor was born in South Africa and studied chemical engineering in Durban. His engineering studies included a course in geology which provided an opportunity to learn more formally about rocks and minerals - a subject that had fascinated him since the age of 9 when in 1959, with his parents, they undertook an exciting trip by Landrover into the high Maluti Mountains of Lesotho (formerly Basutoland) to visit the recently opened alluvial diamond diggings at Letseng-La-Terai up at a height of 2,600m above sea level.
In the early years after qualifying in 1972, his engineering work took him to the copper, lead and zinc mine at Tsumeb in Namibia which has produced arguably the world finest mineral specimens, many of which have established world benchmarks for specimen perfection.
He also worked with De Beers at their diamond mines on the remote and desert-like ‘Sperrgebiet’ area of the southern coast of Namibia with its fabulous wealth of gem diamonds.
His father was always interested in geology and it was he, who in the early 1960’s, started collecting the first gems and rough material from southern Africa that would grow to become the Rainbow of Africa Collection. Today, with over 360 specimens this is considered one of the world’s leading collections of gemstones that is focussed on Africa.