Mahaiza Quartz

While in a village about 30 km outside of Antsirabe, I had the good fortune of coming into contact with a miner/dealer who specialized in the local quartz, and had an amazing eye for unusual pieces.  This area produces literally tones of quartz— so much so, that every week there are Chinese buyers loading burlap sacks full of crystals into pickup trucks.  This group of specimens represents a number of careful selections from several months of production, by someone who was constantly at the mining sites and in the local market seeing specimens as they were produced.  

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18MA06 Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
13.8x 6.3x 3.5 cm
$485

A very dramatic cluster of quartz crystals, with a the main crystal doubly terminated, and its upper  termination backed (or I supposed "crowned" would be a more embellishing term) by a cluster of quartz additional crystals.

It could probably be cleaned more, I'm leaving it as is.  It really is quite beautiful and certainly stands out from the hundreds of thousands if not millions) of "regular" quartz points and clusters that this area produces. 









QMAD01 Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
8.1x 7.8x 2.4 cm
$320

While quartz from other locations seems to form clusters of mostly parallel crystals, the specimens from Mahaiza can be a bit more wacky.  This one has 3 main crystals, with one positioned as a sort of bridge in between to two furthest to the left and right.  More interesting still, the central crystal has a smaller, doubly terminated crystal that is halfway embedded in it-- one of its terminations is actually included in the larger crystal.  

With pieces from other localities, it is often somewhat easy to figure out which crystals were part of a certain generation of growth, though with those from here it is a bit trickier.









QMAD03 Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
8.0x 3.1x 2.2 cm
$130

An unusual quart crystal from Mahaiza, is one has a doubly terminated secondary crystal that is half way embedded near the termination of the main crystal.









QMAD04 Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
6.9x 2.3x 3.6 cm
$130

An interesting quartz crystal from Mahaiza, this one has a doubt terminated crystal that seems like it was dropped on the main crystal, just as its growth was nearing completion.  As a result, the termination of the main crystal has been split into two separate terminations.











QMAD05 Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
7.0x 4.0x 1.6 cm
$120

A very odd quartz growth from Mahaiza, it looks like some sort of Japanese law twin with additional crystals stacked on top, except its not--- just a very strange cluster that happens to have some right angles.







QMAD06 Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
7.2x 4.1 x 2.3 cm
$145

A quartz specimen with a thinner secondary crystal running clean through a larger one, and emerging on the other side.  Because of the clarity of the main crystal, you can see the length of the smaller one inside it.  There is a bit of damage, though it's still a very interesting example and in much better condition that the majority of specimens from the area, especially considering how they are extracted and transported. 









QMAD07 Quartz (Japan Law Twin)
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
11.2x 4.7x 1.6 cm
$300

A very large, rather odd Japan law twinned quartz from Mahaiza.  To begin with, Japan law twins are somewhat rare from this locality-- this one is shaped rather oddly to boot.  It is almost as if it decided to become a twin at the very last second, with a smaller growth at 90 degrees to the main crystal and on the same plane occurring a bit further up from the base than the usual, making for more of a "Y" appearance than the classic "V."  Nor perfect, but again, in interesting reference sample both for the species and the locality.  Not entirely perfect, but exactly as shown.  The only thing thats a bit hard to see from the photographs is that there is an indent on the back where it was inter grown with another crystal that is no longer there.









QMAD08 Quartz (Japan Law Twin)
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
8.7x 4.0x 1.2 cm
$285

A very large, rather odd Japan law twinned quartz from Mahaiza.  To begin with, Japan law twins are somewhat rare from this locality-- this one is shaped rather oddly to boot.  It is almost as if it decided to become a twin at the very last second, with a smaller growth at 90 degrees to the main crystal and on the same plane occurring a bit further up from the base than the usual, making for more of a "Y" appearance than the classic "V."  Nor perfect, but again, in interesting reference sample both for the species and the locality.  







QMAD09 Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
8.1x .6x 3.1 cm
$85

A nice cluster of quartz crystals fro Mahaiza-- noting particularly unusual about this one, I just liked it.







QMAD10 Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
9.4x 5.6x 2.1 cm
$135

A beautiful pair of doubly terminated quartz crystals, with the smaller one backing the main one at a slight angle.  Not 100% perfect, there is some edge wear.









QMAD11 Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
10.1x 6.4x 3.0 cm
$125

Another interesting quartz crystal from Mahaiza-- this one has a thinner secondary crystal running through a thicker one-- the thinner one was obviously there first though, then the "main crystal" (as far the as specimen is concerned visually) grew around it resulting in this oddity.  The clarity of the thicker crystal makes it possible to see the included length of the crystal running through it. No 100% perfect, but just a very interesting piece.











QMAD12 Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
6.4x 4.9x 2.0 cm
$85

A nice cluster of quartz crystals from Mahaiza-- this one isn't particularly odd, but I just liked the arrangement.







QMAD13 Quartz (Phantom)
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
14.0x 3.6x 2.6 cm
$95

A decently sized quartz prism, with a phantom about 1/2 of the way up.









QMAD14 Quartz inc.l Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
9.0x 2.3x 2.2 cm
$100

A cluster of doubly terminated quartz crystals, but not arranged in the usual way.  Where as at most localities, the various crystals seem to grow more or less at the same time, there seems to have been a significant lag between the growths of crystals at this location.  The end result is crystals enveloping other crystals-- usually what you would see at other locations are crystals somewhat intersecting or crisscrossing-- in this case it seems the smaller crystal formed completely, before being enveloped by the larger crystal as it grew later on.  About 20% of the smaller doubly terminated crystal is sticking out of the larger crystal, and you can see the other termination contained within it.  









QMAD15 Quartz incl Japan law Twin
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
7.0x 3.7x 2.4 cm
$90

So this is a somewhat beaten up crystal, but it contains what has to be one of the strangest inclusions I have ever seen-- what appears to be a Japan law twinned quartz.  The top tip of the left lobe of the included twin unfortunately seems to have gotten caught in the contact, but you can still see the overall form well enough.  I have no idea how this formed, but it's certainly one of the more unusual things from the trip.







QMAD16 Quartz incl. Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
6.8x 3.1x 3.9 cm
$65

An interesting example of one quartz crystal running through another. The larger crystal is quite clear, allowing the length of the crystal passing through it to be very easily seen.  A bit beaten up on the back, but a decent reference example of the unusual formations from this locality.









QMAD17 Quartz incl. Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
5.3x 2.8x 1.4 cm
$45

A beautiful pair of highly transparent, flattened quartz crystals.  I just thought it was a pretty cluster.







QMAD18 Quartz (Japan Law Twin) incl. Quartz
Mahaiza Area, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
7.2x 5.8x 2.4 cm
$130

Another unusual quartz from Mahaiza-- this one is a Japan law twin (and there is damage near the terminations) but I'm posting it here because it's included with 2 other quartz crystals-- I've never seen that before.  Only the very tip of one of the crystals penetrates the twin, but the second prism is almost entirely included in it.  It is as if there were already quartz prisms present in the area where the twin started to grow, then it just persisted and eventually enveloped those that were in its way.  Again, not perfect, but it's the first time I've seen a quartz included Japanese law twin. 





SVP14 Quartz
Mahaiza Commune, Betafo Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
14.2x 14.0x 8.8 cm
$200

A nice cluster of quartz from Mahaiza; I can't see any significant damage, and anything that looks like a broken or malformed crystal seems to be etching (in particular, these are the crystals positioned from 3:00 to 6:00 in the picture directly to the right of this description.)

  This area produces quartz by the ton, and because the way it is handled, almost all of it gets heavily damaged.  I had locals show me pristine examples, then after I had turned them down for one reason or another, saw them drop the specimens onto a pile or others. Clearly, damage is not high on their list of concerns, and considering that broken points are sold by the sack-load (accounting for the bulk of their revenue) I doubt it will be any time soon.

Whatever the case, this is a nice example in good condition.









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