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By: Alain Darbellay GGGems
© 2004 All rights reserved.


Sapphire from Maromby in a metamorphic limestone. ( Andranondambo area.)

Looking for sapphire on the ground in 1992.

Sapphires from Andranondambo, discovered in 1991. ( South-East of Madagascar )

In 1658, Flacourt, the governor of Fort-Dauphin mentions
sapphires in the south of Madagascar.
In 1808, Barthélemy Hugon writes that in the valley of
Ambolo there is a so beautiful stone and so rare that
lapidaries have not been able to recognize it and it was
above of all that is not diamond. ... In 1991, at the time of
the great dryness in the south, sapphire samples are found,
several centuries after their first discovery. The son of Mrs.
Dauphine, innkeeper in Tranomaro, main village of the
valley, was among the prospectors.
Actually, one of the most beautiful quality in the world is
just leaving ground.

The area of Tranomaro is characterized by an extreme
calcic and magnesian paragneiss abundance: gneiss with
diopside, plagioclasites, pyroxenites, wernerites,
wolastonite limestones, with varied leptynites, generally
with garnet, kinzigites, quarzites. One finds there rather
frequently syenitic gneisses or lamboanites. Gneisses
of injection are very frequent. The typomorphic minerals
are: basic diopside, scapolite, calcite, plagioclases,
wollastonite, garnet, cordierite and corundum.
East of Tranomaro, arteritic and eyesys injections assign
gneisses at leptynites. Cordierite gneiss bands are deeply
injected bed by bed, the injection has introduced magnetite
in abundance. Wollastonites form ptymatic lenses with
Marohotro, 18 km. south from Andanondambo. folds very tortured at the middle of the limestone. Note:
The sapphire on the left comes from Ambandanira, and aluminous anorthites or sakenites.
that on right-hand side from Maromby
(area of Andranondambo)

Sapphire from Behataza plateau (Andranondambo area)

Sapphires from Ilakaka. One of the various holes in sandstone forming
( South-West of Madagascar ) the deposit of Ilakaka discovered in to 1998.

Blue sapphires , pink and violet, Ilakaka area.
The white sandstones of Isalo present imposing
stratifications intersected with gravel beds and
small conglomerates.
These soft sandstones resisted to erosion and taken a
ruiniform relief because the presence of braces siliceous
The mineral-bearing deposits include : a deposit of generally
classified gravels, the richest part and larger elements
being at the base of the bed - rock.

The far-south of Madagascar, semi-desert, does not present
Polychromatic sapphires from Iankaroka discovered in 1990.
any asphalt road yet, dust and trepidations are the daily
lot of any traveller. Sunsets and the natural life of its
inhabitants offer an appreciable compensation.

Rubies from Ianavoha. (South of Madagascar.)

Ruby from Andranomilitsy (Vohitany) Syenitic-nephelinic vein of rubies in Andranomilitsy.

In Soamiakatra, rubies were sold with sunglasses.
The Mayor of Soamiakatra in 1989, (East of Antsirabe.)

Rubies from Soamiakatra in the high plateaus.

Here, rubies are always found in alluvium.



Sapphire from Analafady ( Ambondromifehy ) North.

The alluvial deposit of Ambondromifehy is exploited since
1996. It is located in a Jurassic limestone, but the origin of
sapphires is in alkaline basalts from the close volcanic zone.

Mahatsara ( Ambondromifehy)


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