HomeMajor Colored StonesRubies and SapphiresRubies from Madagascar

Known in olden times as the "Beryl Island," Madagascar was long considered mineralogical nirvana. And today, it is equally known for its gem wealth.

Prior to this year, Madagascar produced mainly fine blue sapphires and pinks. But now two important ruby deposits have been discovered. The first is about 10–30 km. inland from the coastal town of Vatomandry, while the second is roughly 45–70 km. from the town of Andilamena. Vatomandry is said to produce the better-quality stone, being lighter and brighter (more reminiscent of Burma), while the Andilamena stone is somewhat darker and not as clean. Rutile silk seen in some pieces suggests that star stones may be forthcoming. Much of the material from both deposits is heat-treated.

Madagascar also produced some gem ruby earlier in the decade. Interestingly, the ruby from these two locales were distinctly different. The stones from Vatomandy looked like light Burma rubies. The Andilamena gemstones look like Thai rubies. Mining problems have kept production down.

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