Madagascar: A gemologist’s journey (Placer gold locality)

About an hour outside of Ambositra in the country is a gold placer mining locality. In this placer gold locality miners use very primitive methods. It is said they find on average only .30 gram per day among all of them, but it is enough to make their efforts worthwhile.

I really enjoyed this location. The woman panning gold with her child was working hard using a wooden pan that had a large crack in it. I watched and wondered how effective that pan could really be with such a large crack in it. Enjoy the video below, be sure to allow enough time for it to load.

Further down the road on our journey to Ranomafana National park, We stopped and visited a metalsmithing village, Ambatovaky Village. I was amazed at the precise timing the men had pounding the shovel spade into shape. While the men were busy making tools, women ground corn and children begged or played a simple game.

In my next post, we arrive at Ranomafana Park!

Author: Michelle M. Rahm is a GIA-trained Graduate Gemologist and is President of Colorado’s Mile High Chapter of the GIA Alumni Association. She has been selling gemstones and jewelry online since 1997. Visit her websites and

About mrahm

Michelle holds a Graduate Gemologist Diploma, Graduate Diamonds Diploma and Graduate Colored Stones Diploma through the Gemological Institute of America's distance education program. Michelle currently serves as President of the Mile High GIA Alumni Association. She also serves on the board of the Rocky Mountain Jeweler's Association and is a member of the American Gem Trade Association.
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