Category Archives: Gemstone Tidbits

Interesting tidbits of information about exotic gems other than gemstones.

Madagascar: A gemologist’s journey (Amboarohy corundum quarry)

Amboarohy is a famous locality for sapphire and ruby in well-formed crystals occurring in biotite metamorphic schists. The mine is located at the top of the mountain near the town of Zazafotsy. It’s a several-mile hike up to the top. … Continue reading

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Madagascar: A gemologist’s journey (Evening in Ranomafana)

Continuing on from Ambatovaky we head to Ranomafana, where we spent a day without gem mining activities to enjoy the park. Ranomafana National Park, located outside Ranomafana the town, is a gorgeous tropical rain forest comprising over 161 square miles. … Continue reading

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Madagascar: A gemolgist’s journey (Ihasofotsy)

Along the way to the quartz mine, locals in Ihasofotsy set up a mineral show. There were lots of amazing quartz pieces including quartz with fuchsite, quartz with hollandite, rock crystal clusters etc. As we shopped, locals looked on. One … Continue reading

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Madagascar A Gemologist’s Journey (Ambatonapetraka Tourmaline Locality)

Ambatonapetraka is a recently discovered weathered pegmatite zone with a very high concentration of tourmalines. Because it is such a recent discovery, the locals still have “tourmaline fever.” We are there on a Sunday, so fewer miners are busy working. … Continue reading

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Madagascar: A Gemologist’s Journey (Sahatany Valley Pegmatite Field)

Our day in the Sahatany Valley was a long one, so I’ll split it up into two consecutive posts. Sahatany Valley is of the most famous and productive pegmatite areas in Madagascar. This gorgeous valley is known for producing polychrome … Continue reading

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Madagascar: A Gemologist’s Journey (Tsaramanga Pegmatite Mine)

The journey from Mahaiza to the Tsaramanga Pegmatite was beautiful. Terraced landscapes of rice paddy fields are very common in this area. What looks like a cascading waterfall on the hillside is actually a vein of marble. All along the … Continue reading

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Madagascar: A Gemologist’s Journey (Mahaiza Market)

The market at Mahaiza was unlike anything I had ever seen. It was a busy Friday afternoon and the streets were packed with people who had come from miles around to shop at the market. Here one could buy anything … Continue reading

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