Andradite Var. Topazolite Garnet
Antetezambato, Ambanja, Ambanja District, Diana Region, Antsiranana Province, Madagascar
Small Cabinet, 8.5 x 8.0 x 5.0 cm
Over 2 years of mining here, there was been only one pocket to my knowledge, showing any pieces with a rich calcite association. Presented here are several pieces from that pocket (found sometime in early 2010), which had been held back til now. No more has been found since, of this quality or style. Brilliantly lustrous crystals of the rare variety of garnet, topazolite, are starkly contrasted on this calcite matrix. The crystals reach 1.6 cm in size and they are like little jewels'incredibly bright and flashy, almost metallic in their reflections. They are razor sharp, very 3-dimensional compared to the usual more flat style found in the majority of topazolite garnets worldwide. The color varies in reflected light, but is basically an olive-green with slight tinges of yellows and other green hues. The piece is large, dramatic, and very flashy in person. Again, the garnets look almost metallic when you see them at first. Further production here declined in 2010 and I expect to continue at only a modest pace compared to the easier pickings of the first year. For more information and location photos, see our update from 2010, here: http://www.irocks.com/Demantoid_Garnet_Topazolite_Garnet_Madagascar_Garnet.html. Joe Budd photos