Andradite Var. Demantoid Garnet
Antetezambato, Ambanja District, Diana Region, Antsiranana Province, Madagascar
Large Cabinet, 16.0 x 8.0 x 8.0 cm
Ex. Dr. Federico Pezzotta
Demantoid garnet is among the most rare of the group, particularly in large display specimens. The few pieces recovered from Italy go for fantastic prices, and only a few have been available of a high level, in any case. They also tend not to be nearly so gemmy as those from amazing new finds of 2009-2010. This piece features glassy and gemmy, richly green, demantoid crystals to NEARLY AN INCH (2.3 cm across). The crystals run nicely across the middle of the matrix for a dramatic display. They are particularly gemmy, even for this find. Although most crystals are around 1 cm, plus some insignificant druses of smaller, that big crystal in the middle is nearly an INCH, making it one of the largest single crystals on matrix I have personally seen amidst seeing much of the top production from here. This piece came from Dr. Federico Pezzotta, a well known exploration and research mineralogist who does much work in Madagascar. He helped advise miners and was early on the scene to bring this material to market, handling most of the best pieces (perhaps, all the best). This is a significant, large, museum piece. The white matrix was actually limestone which has been, amazingly, metamorphosed (metasomatized) into garnet in ancient geological time. Incredible origins for a matrix garnet specimen, and yet another reason to value this new deposit so highly. It is not certain at the moment that much more can come out of here, for various reasons. Joe Budd Photos