Madagascar!


I visited Madagascar again in November/ December of 2017, and my shipment of specimens finally arrived last week. Madagascar has always been a place that never changes-- the same food vendors in the same spots, the same employees at the same businesses, even the same beggars on the same corners. However, the mineral market has started to shift-- mineral collectors and gem merchants are picky bunch-- one chip or fracture, and a miner's two weeks of digging can become worthless.  As the Chinese demand for industrial material (rose quartz, massive jasper, etc) grows, more and more workers are shifting their efforts to the relatively stable pay provided by mining those materials.  Security has also gotten a bit worse-- I was cautioned by  friends about the new dangers around some of the mining areas, and just shrugged it off.  Then one morning en route to one of the usual villages, we came across someone who merely hours before had been shot, had his hands amputated, and dumped mere feet from the roadside-- apparently the bandits, or dahalo who begun decades earlier as cattle rustlers in the vast, lawless expanses of the country's south had morphed into a network of well-armed criminals and started to move north. This unfortunate man was just the latest victim of their increasing violence, and due to increased fears over such incidents, production has declined. But, it isn't all bleak-- despite the decreased production, after several trips to the country, I was able to turn to various  friends and contacts to chase down specimens, and by venturing further away from the beaten path, I ended up bringing back more material than on any previous trip.  The following are some of my favorites.    

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18MA01 Andradite Garnet var Demantoid
Antetezambato, Ambanja Dist., Diana Region, Antsiranana Prov., Madagascar
13.7x 4.5x 5.5 cm
$1850

A rich cabinet sized specimen of green demantiod garnet from the northern tip of Madagascar.  This one has numerous lustrous, bright green crystals in a vug. 

The story varies, but the most common one holds that the initial discovery was made by a couple fishermen who noticed some small green rocks in a tidal mangrove swamp sometime around 2009.  Whatever the case, the find quickly led to thousands of people rushing to the swamp, hoping to strike it rich.  Workings would have to be abandoned daily when the tide came in, only to resume once the water left again.  Needless to say, the mangroves were ruined. 

Please note, the color will vary with light-- best in sunlight and light bulbs that mimic it, and progressively worse under fluorescent and incandescent lighting.









18MA02 Quartz (Japan Law Twin)
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
8.3x 8.1x 2.1 cm
$650

A large, showy, and very beautiful Japan law twin quartz, from the area around Mahaiza.  This one has a number of other crystals attached that are positioned in such a way as to greatly improve its appearance over that of a plain twin.

 This area produces massive amounts of industrial quartz and small crystals, but good twins are not particularly common.  I had the good fortune of comping into contact with a miner who had been setting aside oddities from the local production-- this one was of his best pieces.











18MA03 Fluorite
Fianarantsoa Province, Madagascar
8.4x 7.2x 4.9 cm
$485

A rather exceptional (for Madagascar) fluorite specimen from a recent find. On a previous trip I had seen only a couple very beaten up examples.  This time there was more available, but only a couple were undamaged enough to buy.  This one is not perfect (it does have some edge chipping) but was orders of magnitude better than others I saw.

These are a bit UV reactive-- not to the same extent as Rogerly specimens, but the color is certainly best under sunlight (or daylight equivalent lighting.)









18MA04 Grandidierite
Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary District, Anosy Region, Tuléar Province, Madagascar
3.8x 3.2x 1.4 cm
$1350

In 2016 there was a rather spectacular find of this blue-green borosilicate mineral in southern Madagascar, long considered to be among the world's rarest gems.  I has seen some available on my previous trip, but the quality was horrible-- they were basically formless shards, and few if any had crystal faces much less a termination.

There was a little bit more available this time around, but once again, the majority were shards.  Still, I looked through them and was able to obtain a small number of pieces that had visible crystal faces, and even a few with terminations.  This one has both-- the main crystal is terminated, as are a couple of the secondary ones.  

I understand this looks a bit messy, but if you saw the messy shards or broken, tightly packed jumbles that comprise the average specimen, this one would stand out instantly.  It really is *very* good for what it is.....











18MA05 Beryl var. Aquamarine
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
5.4x 1.8x 1.8 cm
$700

A very sharp, somewhat gem green beryl crystal, purportedly from somewhere around Mahaiza.  I had never seen beryl from this area before, but the man I purchased it from is a mine runner who specializes in the deposits around the area, and he was adamant that the piece was local.

Whatever the case, it's a very good miniature example of beryl from Madagascar, at (what I would consider) to be a very reasonable price.  One end is terminated, the other seems to be etched, or at least contacted and rehealed.  There is a very hallow chip on the termination, though it is nearly invisible unless you angle the crystal so that light is reflecting off the top face.









18MA07 Hambergite
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
4.9x 1.4x 0.8 cm
$695

A miniature specimen of this rare hydrous beryllium borate that is about as good as you can find from Madagascar (or from anywhere else, for that matter.)  It is fairly sizable for the species, and lacks the etching or thinness that you would typically seen in Asian specimens from the Himalayas or Burma.  What is more: the crystal is a floater, doubly terminated, and TWINNED.

Again, it really is a spectacular miniature sized example of the species.









RESERVED
18MA08 Liddicoatite Tourmaline with Quartz
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
4.0x 1.2x 0.45 cm

A very beautiful little "toenail" sized specimen, with a water-clear, doubly terminated quartz crytal perched on a terminated, multicolored liddicoatite crystal.  The indent on top of the quartz is not damage, it's growth seems to have been interrupted at that point by a bit of mica.  All the same, it's an extremely beautiful and delicate combination specimen. 









18MA09 Phenacite
Anjanabonoina pegmatites, Ambohimanambola Commune, Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
4.4x 1.1x 1.05 cm
$395

A terminated example of phenacite from the Anjanabonoina pegmatites, approximately 3 days walk from the nearest village (Ambohimanambola) and even reaching that village in a 4x4 from the highway is quite a crazy ride....  This pegmatite is better known for producing the material that is turned into the highest quality tourmaline slices. This is a reasonably large crystal for the locality, most are usually well under 1.5 cm.









18MA10 Phenacite
Anjanabonoina pegmatites, Ambohimanambola Commune, Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
3.6x 0.9x 0.9 cm
$200

A terminated example of phenacite from the Anjanabonoina pegmatites, approximately 3 days walk from the nearest village (Ambohimanambola). This is a reasonably large crystal for the locality, most are usually well under 1.5 cm.







18MA11 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Manapa pegmatite Field, Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
4.2x 4.1x 3.2 cm
$650

An exceptional tourmaline example from the Manapa pegmatite field.  Tourmalines from this area have distinctive purplish-red color, though are typically only seen as crystal sections frozen in matrix (often associated with rhodizite.) This is a rather hefty crystal that is also well terminated, and the specimen is balanced pretty well over all.  

On my previous trip I was able to get a several good examples of smaller crystals, this time I got a couple larger ones.  This is certainly one of the best I have seen from the area, and this area produces a very distinct style of tourmaline that is not found anywhere else in the world.









18MA12 Andradite Garnet var Demantoid
Antetezambato, Ambanja Dist., Diana Region, Antsiranana Prov., Madagascar
5.8x 5.6x 3.3 cm
$485

A beautiful specimen of green demantiod garnet from the northern tip of Madagascar.  This one has several distinct, bright green crystals positioned front-and-center on their matrix.

The story varies, but the most common one holds that the initial discovery was made by a couple fishermen who noticed some small green rocks in a tidal mangrove swamp sometime around 2009.  Whatever the case, the find quickly led to thousands of people rushing to the swamp, hoping to strike it rich.  Workings would have to be abandoned daily when the tide came in, only to resume once the water left again.  Needless to say, the mangroves were ruined. 

Please note, the color will vary with light-- best in sunlight and light bulbs that mimic it, and progressively worse under fluorescent and incandescent lighting.







18MA13 Andradite Garnet var Demantoid
Antetezambato, Ambanja Dist., Diana Region, Antsiranana Prov., Madagascar
6.7x 6.1x 3.8 cm
$580

A rich cabinet sized specimen of green demantiod garnet from the northern tip of Madagascar.  This one has numerous lustrous, bright green crystals nicely positioned on matrix.

The story varies, but the most common one holds that the initial discovery was made by a couple fishermen who noticed some small green rocks in a tidal mangrove swamp sometime around 2009.  Whatever the case, the find quickly led to thousands of people rushing to the swamp, hoping to strike it rich.  Workings would have to be abandoned daily when the tide came in, only to resume once the water left again.  Needless to say, the mangroves were ruined. 

Please note, the color will vary with light-- best in sunlight and light bulbs that mimic it, and progressively worse under fluorescent and incandescent lighting.









18MA14 Andradite Garnet var Demantoid
Antetezambato, Ambanja Dist., Diana Region, Antsiranana Prov., Madagascar
6.6x 4.7x 4.8 cm
$495

A rich cabinet sized specimen of green demantiod garnet from the northern tip of Madagascar.  This one has numerous lustrous, bright green crystals in a vug. 

The story varies, but the most common one holds that the initial discovery was made by a couple fishermen who noticed some small green rocks in a tidal mangrove swamp sometime around 2009.  Whatever the case, the find quickly led to thousands of people rushing to the swamp, hoping to strike it rich.  Workings would have to be abandoned daily when the tide came in, only to resume once the water left again.  Needless to say, the mangroves were ruined. 

Please note, the color will vary with light-- best in sunlight and light bulbs that mimic it, and progressively worse under fluorescent and incandescent lighting.









18MA15 Andradite Garnet var Demantoid
Antetezambato, Ambanja Dist., Diana Region, Antsiranana Prov., Madagascar
5.8x 3.6x 2.8 cm
$395

A rich cabinet sized specimen of green demantiod garnet from the northern tip of Madagascar.  This one has several lustrous, bright green crystals nicely positioned on matrix.  There is some peripheral damage.

The story varies, but the most common one holds that the initial discovery was made by a couple fishermen who noticed some small green rocks in a tidal mangrove swamp sometime around 2009.  Whatever the case, the find quickly led to thousands of people rushing to the swamp, hoping to strike it rich.  Workings would have to be abandoned daily when the tide came in, only to resume once the water left again.  Needless to say, the mangroves were ruined. 

Please note, the color will vary with light-- best in sunlight and light bulbs that mimic it, and progressively worse under fluorescent and incandescent lighting.







18MA16 Barite
Vakinankaratra Region, Madagascar
6.0x 4.9x 2.8 cm
$200

This was one of the oddities that turned up on this trip-- barite! I have never seen the mineral for sale in the markets there, but I saw about 4 specimens this time.  The others were too beaten up to buy, but this one actually had a decent overall form. Its somewhere between a reference piece and a  good specimen..... still, you don't see greenish barite from many other locations, and you don't see this species in general from Madagascar. 









18MA17 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
5.4x 1.1x 1.05 cm
$435

A reasonably large (compared to the usual) bicolored tourmaline crystal from Mt. Ibity-- this one has a pinkish termination and a dark green base.











18MA18 Monazite
Ambatofotsikely pegmatite, Fidirana Commune, Betafo Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
7.0x 4.2x 2.8 cm
$400

A large monazite crystal showing good faces, contacted on the back.  Monazite is a rare-earth bearing phosphate.

**If you are a researcher looking for more monazite, shoot me an e-mail-- I came back with quite a bit more of the stuff that will not be posted on the website.)







18MA19 Fluorite
Fianarantsoa Province, Madagascar
6.0x 4.2x 3.8 cm
$195

A decent sample (for Madagascar) of fluoritefrom a recent find. On a previous trip I had seen only a couple very beaten up examples.  This time there was more available, but only a couple were undamaged enough to buy.  This one is not perfect, but was considerably better than most others that I saw, and it does decent over all crystal form. 

**The 6.0 cm dimension is the diagonal**

These are a bit UV reactive-- not to the same extent as Rogerly specimens, but the color is certainly best under sunlight (or daylight equivalent lighting.)







18MA20 Quartz var. Amethyst
Vakinankaratra Region, Madagascar
6.7x 2.9x 2.3 cm
$175

A nice quartz scepter with smoky/ amethystine phantoms.  It looks almost like something from Namibia.











18MA21 Topaz
Vakinankaratra Region, Madagascar
4.5x 4.2x 2.5 cm
$525

An etched, floater crystal of gem topaz with much of its prismatic form still visible.  Topaz is something of a rarity  from Madagascar, despite the vast quantities of gem material it produces.  









18MA22 Topaz
Vakinankaratra Region, Central Madagascar
5.1x 4.7x 3.0 cm
$400

An rather sculpturally etched, floater crystal of gem topaz.  Topaz is something of a rarity  from Madagascar, despite the vast quantities of gem material it produces.  









18MA23 Topaz
Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Madagascar
4.1x 2.8x 1.8 cm
$135

An rather sculpturally etched, floater crystal of gem topaz.  Topaz is something of a rarity  from Madagascar, despite the vast quantities of gem material it produces.  









18MA24 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Manapa pegmatite Field, Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
5.0x 2.7x 1.9 cm
$400

An excellent tourmaline example from the Manapa pegmatite field.  Tourmalines from this area have a distinctive purplish-red color, though are typically only seen as crystal sections frozen in matrix (often associated with rhodizite.) This one is unusually rich and the crystals are actually freestanding, making for an unusually good example from the locality

On my previous trip I was able to get a several good examples of smaller crystals, but nothing quite this rich.  This is certainly one of the better examples that I have seen from the area, and this area produces a very distinct style of tourmaline that is not found anywhere else in the world.







18MA25 Zircon
Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Madagascar
5.3x 3.2x 1.4 cm
$400

A very unusual (and rather large) zircon crystal from a find made approximately 2-3 years ago, the crystal has been distorted by the presence of trace elements (likely thorium or uranium) into this odd tappered form.  Contacted on the reverse.







18MA26 Zircon var. Malacon
Ambatofotsikely pegmatite, Fidirana Commune, Betafo Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
9.x 8.5x 5.1 cm
$800

A large cluster of the rare hydrated variety of zircon called malacon.  These were recently dug by a miner searching for monazite at Abatofotsikely, there were a few smaller ones and then this was the best large example available.  It is quite rich, though somewhat ugly.  Contacted on the reverse.







18MA27 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
9.0x 4.0x 3.6 cm
$485

A vivid pink spray of liddicoatite tourmaline crystals on a matrix of quartz crystals.  There is a bit of damage (as is the case with virtually all of these) but it is an excellent matrix example of this unusual tourmaline habit-- and the color is excellent!









18MA28 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Manapa pegmatite Field, Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
6.6x 3.5x 3.6 cm
$450

An good tourmaline example from the Manapa pegmatite field.  Tourmalines from this area have distinctive purplish-red color, though are typically only seen as crystal sections frozen in matrix (often associated with rhodizite.) This piece has a rather hefty crystal that is also well terminated, in addition to a couple side crystals.  

On my previous trip I was able to get a several good examples of smaller crystals, this time I got a couple larger ones.  











18MA29 Grandidierite
Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary District, Anosy Region, Tuléar Province, Madagascar
4.0x 2.0x 1.4 cm
$600

In 2016 there was a rather spectacular find of this very rare blue-green borosilicate mineral in southern Madagascar.  I has seen some available on my previous trip, but the quality was horrible-- they were basically formless shards, and few if any had crystal faces.

There was a little bit more available this time around, but once again, the majority were shards.  Still, I looked through them and was able to obtain a small number of pieces that had visible crystal faces-- this one is quite exceptional, as it is composed of a few diverging crystals with very clear and sharp faces (though it's contacted on the reverse.)

It really is quite good for what it is.









18MA30 Grandidierite
Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary District, Anosy Region, Tuléar Province, Madagascar
2.1x 2.0x 1.8 cm
$1000

Simply put, this is an exceptional crystal of grnadidierite, and a killer thumbnail of the species.  It is **actually terminated** and not just a thin crystal but rather has some blockiness.  The faces of the top are a bit etched, though when a bit of light reflects off the top, you can clearly see the completeness of the crystal.  Even the translucency of this crystal is better than most-- this is the material that gets used for cabbing, those are almost exclusively broken shards of gem rough.  This is not cheap, nor is it perfect (there is a chip on the top edge) but you would have a very hard time finding a larger, more complete or translucent example of the species... this thing was expensive even in Madagascar.

In 2016 there was a rather spectacular find of this very rare blue-green borosilicate mineral in southern Madagascar.  I has seen some available on my previous trip, but the quality was horrible-- they were basically formless shards, and few if any had crystal faces much less a termination.

There was a little bit more available this time around, but once again, the majority were shards.  Still, I looked through them and was able to obtain a small number of pieces that had visible crystal faces, and even a few with terminations.  This one has both.

It really is *very* good for what it is.....











18MA31 Grandidierite
Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary District, Anosy Region, Tuléar Province, Madagascar
2.9x 0.85x 0.35 cm
$430

An excellent thumbnail specimen of **terminated** grandidierite.  It is nearly impossible to find examples with visible terminations.

In 2016 there was a rather spectacular find of this very rare blue-green borosilicate mineral in southern Madagascar.  I has seen some available on my previous trip, but the quality was horrible-- they were basically formless shards, and few if any had crystal faces.

There was a little bit more available this time around, but once again, the majority were shards.  Still, I looked through them and was able to obtain a small number of pieces that had visible crystal faces, or even a termination-- this one has both and is quite exceptional.  This is probably one of the top two thumbnail sized examples of this material that I am offering.










18MA32 Grandidierite
Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary District, Anosy Region, Tuléar Province, Madagascar
2.0x 1.6x 0.6 cm
$275

An excellent thumbnail specimen of grandidierite with a **terminated** main crystal.  It is nearly impossible to find examples with visible terminations.

In 2016 there was a rather spectacular find of this very rare blue-green borosilicate mineral in southern Madagascar.  I has seen some available on my previous trip, but the quality was horrible-- they were basically formless shards, and few if any had crystal faces.

There was a little bit more available this time around, but once again, the majority were shards.  Still, I looked through them and was able to obtain a small number of pieces that had visible crystal faces, or even a termination-- this one has both and is quite exceptional.  This is probably one of the top two thumbnail sized examples of this material that I am offering.







18MA33 Grandidierite
Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary District, Anosy Region, Tuléar Province, Madagascar
2.1x 1.5x 0.8 cm
$280

A good thumbnail sized example of grandidierite, this one is a crystal section that shows good crystal faces, though is not terminated.  The color and translucency of this piece are considered higher grade, and this would have likely been transformed into some sort of cabochon.

In 2016 there was a rather spectacular find of this very rare blue-green borosilicate mineral in southern Madagascar.  I has seen some available on my previous trip, but the quality was horrible-- they were basically formless shards, and few if any had crystal faces.

There was a little bit more available this time around, but once again, the majority were shards.  Still, I looked through them and was able to obtain a small number of pieces that had visible crystal faces.







18MA34 Grandidierite
Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary District, Anosy Region, Tuléar Province, Madagascar
1.8x 1.3x 1.1 cm
$185

A good thumbnail sized example of grandidierite, this one is a partial crystal that shows good crystal faces and possibly a termination.

In 2016 there was a rather spectacular find of this very rare blue-green borosilicate mineral in southern Madagascar.  I has seen some available on my previous trip, but the quality was horrible-- they were basically formless shards, and few if any had crystal faces.

There was a little bit more available this time around, but once again, the majority were shards.  Still, I looked through them and was able to obtain a small number of pieces that had visible crystal faces.







18MA35 Grandidierite
Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary District, Anosy Region, Tuléar Province, Madagascar
3.2x 2.1x 0.75 cm
$335

A good example of grandidierite, this one is a crystal section that shows good crystal faces, though is not terminated.  

In 2016 there was a rather spectacular find of this very rare blue-green borosilicate mineral in southern Madagascar.  I has seen some available on my previous trip, but the quality was horrible-- they were basically formless shards, and few if any had crystal faces.

There was a little bit more available this time around, but once again, the majority were shards.  Still, I looked through them and was able to obtain a small number of pieces that had visible crystal faces.







18MA36 Grandidierite
Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary District, Anosy Region, Tuléar Province, Madagascar
2.7x 2.1x 1.3 cm
$375

A good xample of grandidierite, this one is a crystal section that shows good crystal faces, though is not terminated.  

In 2016 there was a rather spectacular find of this very rare blue-green borosilicate mineral in southern Madagascar.  I has seen some available on my previous trip, but the quality was horrible-- they were basically formless shards, and few if any had crystal faces.

There was a little bit more available this time around, but once again, the majority were shards.  Still, I looked through them and was able to obtain a small number of pieces that had visible crystal faces.









18MA37 Grandidierite
Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary District, Anosy Region, Tuléar Province, Madagascar
3.3x 2.3x 1.4 cm
$265

A good example of grandidierite, this one is a crystal section that shows good crystal faces, though is not terminated.  

In 2016 there was a rather spectacular find of this very rare blue-green borosilicate mineral in southern Madagascar.  I has seen some available on my previous trip, but the quality was horrible-- they were basically formless shards, and few if any had crystal faces.

There was a little bit more available this time around, but once again, the majority were shards.  Still, I looked through them and was able to obtain a small number of pieces that had visible crystal faces.









18MA38 Grandidierite
Tranomaro Commune, Amboasary District, Anosy Region, Tuléar Province, Madagascar
4.5x 1.4x 1.3 cm
$465

A good example of grandidierite, this one is a cluster of prisms that show good crystal faces, though are not terminated.  

In 2016 there was a rather spectacular find of this very rare blue-green borosilicate mineral in southern Madagascar.  I has seen some available on my previous trip, but the quality was horrible-- they were basically formless shards, and few if any had crystal faces.

There was a little bit more available this time around, but once again, the majority were shards.  Still, I looked through them and was able to obtain a small number of pieces that had visible crystal faces.









18MA39 Hambergite
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
3.5x 1.75x 0.3 cm
$300

A great miniature specimen of this rare hydrous beryllium borate from Madagascar.  It is doubly terminated, and even has a tiny pink liddicoatite clinging to the top edge.

It is from the same pocket as specimen 18MA07.







18MA40 Quartz incl. Actinolite
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
10.5x 2.4x 2.3 cm
$185

This is the usual quartz included with actinolite and iron oxides that is found around the Mahaiza area, though with a twist-- the spectacular etching that is visible all around the crystal.  This piece has excellent transparency and is doubly terminated, but the etched faces are really what make it unique.  There was one small lot of this material available, this was the best example.









18MA41 Quartz var. Amethyst
Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Madagascar
4.8x 4.6x 3.3 cm
$125

A nice cluster of smokey amethyst crystals from Madagascar.







18MA42 Columbite
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
4.7x 2.0x 2.2 cm
$165

A nice doubly terminated, compound crystal of columbite from one of the pegmatites around Mahiza.








18MA43 Monazite
Ambatofotsikely pegmatite, Fidirana Commune, Betafo Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
3.7x 3.0x 1.35
$175

A well formed monazite crystal, with slightly rough faces.







18MA44 Zircon var. Malacon
Ambatofotsikely pegmatite, Fidirana Commune, Betafo Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
3.4x 3.1x 1.6 cm
$95

A nice "toenail" sized sample of the very rare (and rather ugly) hydrated variety of zircon.







18MA45 Zircon var. Malacon
Ambatofotsikely pegmatite, Fidirana Commune, Betafo Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
2.6x 2.2x 2.0 cm
$85

A nice thumbnail sized example of the very rare (and rather ugly) hydrated variety of zircon, malacon form recent diggings at Ambatofotsikely.







18MA46 Zircon var. Malacon
Ambatofotsikely pegmatite, Fidirana Commune, Betafo Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
2.5x 2.0x 1.7 cm
$85

A nice thumbnail sized example of the very rare (and rather ugly) hydrated variety of zircon, malacon form recent diggings at Ambatofotsikely.







18MA47 Garnet
Ialamitana, Antsirabe 2 District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
5.5x 4.0x 4.4 cm
$145

A nice example of well formed garnet crystals, nicely perched on matrix.  There is some contacting on the reverse.











18MA48 Garnet
Ialamitana, Antsirabe 2 District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
4.0x 3.1x 2.3 cm
$85

A nice example of well formed garnet crystals, nicely perched on matrix.  There is some contacting on the reverse.







18MA49 Columbite
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
5.4x 3.5x 3.0 cm
$185

An interesting alluvial columbite sample from the Mahaiza area. The pegmatites in the area produce quite a bit of columbite, and the miners in the area extract it both directly from the pegmatite, as well as from the streams and rivers-- int he past I've seen potato sacks full of rounded columbite pebbles.  This one has not been in the river quite as long-- while the edges are clearly rounded, it still retains some of its original crystal from. 







RESERVED
18MA50 Struverite
Ialamitana, Antsirabe 2 District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
3.3x 2.5x 1.6 cm

A rather large, terminated (though with somewhat rough surfaces) struverite crystal from central Madagascar.  Struverite is the tantalum/ iron rich variety of rutile.









18MA51 Quartz var. Amethyst
Alaotra-Mangoro Region, Toamasina Prov., Madagascar
4.2x 2.4x 2.2 cm
$120

A nicely formed amethyst scepter from Madgascar. 









18MA52 Apatite
Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Madagascar
2.9x 2.6x 1.7 cm
$85

A nice example of bluish green apatite from central Madagascar. 









RESERVED
18MA53 Manandonite
Antandrokomby pegmatite, Manandona Valley, Sahatany Pegmatite Field, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
5.6x 3.5x 3.7 cm

A rare sample of manandonite, a rare lithium aluminum phyllosilicate known from only two localities world wide (this is from the type locality.)







RESERVED
18MA54 Manandonite
Antandrokomby pegmatite, Manandona Valley, Sahatany Pegmatite Field, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
4.8x 3.3x 3.4 cm

A rare sample of manandonite, a rare lithium aluminum phyllosilicate known from only two localities world wide (this is from the type locality.)







18MA55 Quartz incl. Iron Oxide
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
12.5x 7.6x 3.4 cm
$275

A sharp and rather beautiful cluster of quartz crystals colored orangeish-brown by iron oxide inclusions.  This piece has a very nice sharpness and is unusually damage free-- when you've seen how they dig these out, then thrown them around and carry them in baskets (with no padding), it's something of a miracle to find one this clean. 









18MA56 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
3.1x 2.5x 1.8 cm
$145

A nice radiating spray of tourmaline from central Madagascar.  The color is a really dark, nearly opaque green-- but the form is quite good (and unusual for this area.) 







18MA57 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Anjanabonoina pegmatites, Ambohimanambola Commune, Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
10.1x 6.8x 6.5 cm
$450

A very large, black liddicoatite tourmaline from the Anjanabonoina pegmatites.  This one is just solid black, but this is the locality that is famous for producing the best Malagasy tourmaline slices.  This crystal shows the very steep termination and form typical of liddicoaties from this locality. There are some chips, but it's a very good reference from the locality.

The pegmatites are actually a 3 day walk from the nearest village (Ambohimanambola) and even reaching that village from the highway in a 4x4 is quite a ride.  I've bee there a few times, though every time I am greeted by curious stares, especially from the little kids-- most have never seen a non-Malagasy person before.











18MA58 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Anjanabonoina pegmatites, Ambohimanambola Commune, Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
7.8x 6.2x 4.9 cm
$395

A very large, black liddicoatite tourmaline from the Anjanabonoina pegmatites.  This one is just solid black, but this is the locality that is famous for producing the best Malagasy tourmaline slices.  This crystal shows the very steep termination and form typical of liddicoaties from this locality. There are some chips, but it's a very good reference from the locality.

The pegmatites are actually a 3 day walk from the nearest village (Ambohimanambola) and even reaching that village from the highway in a 4x4 is quite a ride.  I've bee there a few times, though every time I am greeted by curious stares, especially from the little kids-- most have never seen a non-Malagasy person before.











18MA59 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
3.5x 1.0x 0.6 cm
$185

A very beautiful, zoned tourmaline crystal from Madagascar.  This one has dark phantoms and a pink cap.









18MA60 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
2.1x 1.8x 1.8 cm
$185

A very beautiful tourmaline crystal from Madagascar.  This one is a purplish-pinkish-yellow. Contacted on the bottom and some on the back.









18MA61 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
2.2x 1.9x 2.05 cm
$170

A very beautiful, zoned tourmaline crystal from Madagascar.  This one is a purplish-pinkish-green color, though it needs strong lighting (as in the pictures) to be fully appreciated







18MA62 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
2.8x 1.9x 1.4 cm
$195

A very beautiful, zoned tourmaline crystal from Madagascar.  This one is somewhat interesting, it has a yellow cap (a somewhat rare color for tourmaline) with a purplish-pink midsection and a darker base.  There is some contacting on the back.  It needs strong lighting to be fully appreciated.







18MA63 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
2.9x 1.1x 1.0 cm
$185

A nice bicolored tourmaline with green and pink zones.  As with all of these, the more lighting, the better the color.







RESERVED
18MA65 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Anjanabonoina pegmatites, Ambohimanambola Commune, Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
2.1x 1.0x 0.9 cm

A beautiful, terminated (and rather gemmy) liddicoatite tourmaline with excellent color from Anjanabonoina.







18MA69 Hambergite
Mt. Ibity, Antsirabe 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
2.0x 1.6x 0.6 cm
$165

A nice thumbnail sized specimen of gemmy (unusually so, for Madagascar) hambergite.  The bottom is a mixture of etching and crystal faces, not a break or contact.







18MA70 Liddicoatite Tourmaline
Anjanabonoina pegmatites, Ambohimanambola Commune, Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascara
1.16x 0.84x 0.59 cm
$395

A 5.20 ct bicolored tourmaline from Anjanabonoina.  While it has some obvious internal clarity issues, I immediately noticed it because of the insanely sharp boundary between the color zones.  Most bicolored tourmalines cut from Brazilian or Nigerian material are cut along the C axis (the length of the crystal) resulting in a longer finished stone-- and a color gradient that shifts gradually, as is usually the case with rough from those locations.  In this case, I strongly suspect the crystal was cut perpendicular to the length of the crystal--Anjanabonoina is famous for its tourmaline slices, these derive their color contrast from successive generations of outward tourmaline growth.  Most of that material is far too fractured to turn into a faceted stone (so it is sliced) but this bit of rough (while still somewhat included) was much cleaner than usual-- clean enough to produce a decent finished product.  In any case, I found the sharp contrast fascinating, and it's a really interesting piece.  It measures 11.6x 8.4x 5.9 mm. 







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