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Chrome tourmaline         from Tsaniria.


In 1989, Mr.Tombomana finds stones, green emerald color by moving large stones to build a tomb. A little bit later he leaves his area of Andrambali, the discovery is forgotten.

In 1992, I see a chrome tourmaline of big size in the hand of an Indian tradesman of Amboasary, 150 kilometers far from there.


Tombomana is back home in 1994, he takes advantage of beginning tourmalines research again. In October 1995, the young man is in Ampamata, -190 kilometers far from there- where he practices his job as a teacher. It is there that we meet him and it is at this period that the Tsaniria deposit is exploited. It will produce small  chrome tourmalines quantities during two years.

                 The Tsaniria occurrence in 1995.

                           Antandroy tomb.
The Antandroy tribe living in southern Madagascar,
is devoted mainly to the animals breeding,
especially zebus. One of its ancestral
habits drive them build houses increasingly smaller
than those of the preceding generation. On the
other hand, when a zebus owner die, the herd
is entirely sacrificed, the horns of the animals will be
used to decorate his luxurious and last residence.

                     The spessartite garnet.



Exploitation of spessartite garnet in tanety (grounds bordering the river) in Ambohimarangitra

The first quotations of spessarites in the area were made by the geologist Henri Besairie in 1946.
The French colonists exploited gold and garnet in the Besafotra river between Ankaboka and Ambohimarangitra, place located 25 kilometers from the nearest village.
In 1972 a bulldozer dug a track on 30 kilometers to Ankaboka in order to exploit there the spessartites to the edge of the river, at the place said Beakoho, this during one year.
Then, the spessartite remained forgotten until 1996, date on which it was extracted from the river and the adjacent grounds to provide the international market temporarily.
Spessartite from
   The deposit of spessartite is lying behind 
   the hill of Ambohimarangitra located at the 
   center of the picture on the line of horizon. 
   (At the foreground, the Besafotra river.) This 
   deposit is exploited in alluvium and is located in 
   the geological system called "Vohibory", 
   composed mainly of gneiss with amphibole and of 
   green schists, the precious orange garnets result 
   likely from sodolitic pegmatites.
 Liddicoatite tourmaline. Rubellite, Anjanabonoina. Workers in Anjanabonoina.



The Mine of Anjanabonoina, located in the highlands,
and exploited in an eluvial deposit, produced
rubellites, green tourmalines, brown-orange, pink,
blue-sky, purple, and a variety of rare stones.
The deposit was discovered by Emile Gautier in 1894.
               Yellow orthoclase from Itrongay.  The deposit of Itrongay in the south was known for a
Found in eluvium, but comes from a pegmatite with  long time to have been the single yellow orthoclase
diopside of a very special type, which presents the single  producer in the world. It is into 1988 that two new
characteristic to be made of transparent minerals only.  deposits were discovered in the vicinity.


       Malaya garnets found in leptynite in 1996.

This stone shows an exceptional capacity to restore the light, thanks in particular to its high refractive index, especially under not very enlightened condition.


This day of July 1996, the leptynite, bedrock of the malaya, was so hard, that hand work appeared unreasonable to its discoverers, some samples nevertheless were extracted.
It is in September 1998 that an eluvial deposit was found approximately one kilometer far from the first one. The gold rush did not last, because the thickness of the ground containing the stones was modest and the deposit became quickly exhausted. In addition, the simultaneous discovery of Ilakaka sapphires attracted there people coming from all over the island at the end of 1998, the deposit was thus almost abandoned.
Malaya Garnet Discovery


Malaya's chemical composition is a mixture of many general Garnet types, including Grossular, Spessartine, Almandine and Pyrope. ( Mn3Al2(SiO4)3, Manganese Aluminum Silicate.)           RI: 1.76 - 1.78

 Malaya garnet has been found under dry bushes and cactus.
Malaya garnet occurrence visible on Google Earth.
On the road to the Malaya.


  Sphene or Titanite.
      In Madagascar, we find gem quality sphene in
the North East, and Center Northwest.
Brown and opaque minerals are associated 
with scapolite in Southeast.
Of distinctly dichroic color,
Its refractive index is beyond
the scale of the refractometer.
Regional geology and metamorphism.
Since 1920, the hypothesis of a" ancient 
volcanic series" was then formulated with 
its major arguments
Some consecutive reports within the 
fifties brought a good description of the 
main petrographic facies.
The series includes acid rock and 
intermediate or basic rocks, usually shale. 
The most common acid facies is 
feldspar sericite schist often pyriteous.
There are also benches of microgranites
with big euhedral orthoclase which
are probably relics of the original
formations, volcanic rocks or eruptive


Emeralds from Morafeno and Ambodibakoly (East)
The emerald occurrence from the East coast, provided 
   quality stones since 1975 until 1993. Their professional
exploitation began in the middle of the eighties.
The first listed discovery was reported in 1911 by the
geologist Levat. Then, during the colony, a settler called
Bourgeois discreetly exploited the green stones which
with the statement of the Madagascans made his
fortune. At the time of their departure, the  settlers who
worked emerald mines in the area, warned the natives
The emeralds of this area are located in the geological against the bad spirits which could be in the holes. Thus,
group called Ampasary. (silico - aluminous and calco - the gems slept within 15 years.
magnesian series) note the abundance of gneisses and
mica schists, heterogeneous migmatisation of épibolite
The bed rock of the emeralds is a biotite mica schist  The area of Kianjavato, village located near 
crossed by talc and chloritoschist, metamorphized the emerald mines, is in what it remains of the 
by the contact of a close mass of granite containing rain forest of the East coast.
These hyperacides intrusions gave beryllium oxide,
alumina and silica thus source of beryllium, they are
located near ultrabasic rocks in particular the
serpentine ones, green biotic schists, source of the 
necessary chromium contribution. The calco -
magnesian serie results in gneisses more or less 
migmatic, with diopside, garnet, calcite, sphene, and
sometimes scapolite, more rarely by pyroxenites
wernerites and limestone.
The silico - aluminous serie is presented in the form
of quarzites at sillimanite, with or without graphite.
This serie is located preferably at the base of the
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Alain Darbellay
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     Text written by Alain Darbellay.
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