Other important Gems from Madagascar
Spessartite is found in two places in Madagascar until now. Around the town of Maevatanana good orange colored spessartites are found in small quantities. The color can vary from intense highly saturated orange color, to more brownish orange or reddish orange color. Another producing area is near the town of Miandrivazo on the west coast of Madagascar.
Color change vanadium rich Garnet
In the very far south of Madagascar, in the Androy region a very rare garnet is found. Unknown until a few years ago, blue garnets and garnets showing a color change phenomena were unknown. Madagascar suprises once again after the astonishing discovery of a blue color change garnet. In daylight, this garnet shows a very nice slightly purplish blue color and changes in incandescent light to a slightly purplish very intense red color. Most of these gems are less then a carat after cutting but from time to time more important stones are found. The biggest loupeclean specimen that I have cut was a 8.39ct fantastic Vanadium Garnet.
In the south, near Ampanihy a Tsavorite mine produces very good colored green garnets. Unfortunately the sizes are only very small and the clarity is mostly very poor. Nevertheless, it spectacular Tsavorite happens from time to time with fantastic pure green color and very good transparency. We will see what will happen in the near future.
In the northern part of the island, near Daraina, a mainly gold producing area, some very nice sphenes are mined. They show a perfect green color but mostly shallow slices are found.
20km south of Vohemar another Sphene mine is running and there very huge crystals are found of very fine quality Sphene. The colors available from there are green, yellow and honey color. Stones with a weight upto 20ct are available at anytime.
Madagascar is producing a lots of Apatite. Most of the production is to be heat-treated to get this nice electric blue color. The Apatite from the south of the island is most of the time very small, but near the town of Manambato that can be reached by a 120km foot walk from Ambilobe in the north of Madagascar, very big Apatite prisms have been found in 2007. Now the production of this very good Apatite is almost zero but the next scoop is coming for sure.