Category Archives: Madagascar

A presentation of Michelle’s 3-week journey to Madagascar for a mineralogy conference and to tour some mining localities

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 Part II)

My previous post I covered the first half of our day in the Sahatany Valley. I ended at the Estatoby dig where our group split up. I chose to continue on up the mountain. We begin the long hike up … 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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Madagascar: A Gemologist’s Journey (Antsirabe)

Antsirabe, called the city of water for its thermal activity, is also the gem and mineral trading center of Madagascar. Upon our arrival we met local gem and mineral dealers having their usual street show. There were mineral specimens, cut … Continue reading

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Madagascar: A Gemologist’s Journey (Antananarivo)

Our journey began May 28th in Antananarivo. Antananarivo, also called Tana, is the capital city of Madagascar and also the largest city in Madagascar with an estimated population of 1.6 million people. I have to admit, I imagined Tana to … Continue reading

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