Betafo District, Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar
Cabinet, 12.7 x 10.5 x 6.0 cm
This highly unusual topaz was recovered from a single pocket with two large crystals and a few smaller, in the end of 2014. It is a floater crystal, of intricate shape and complete all-around, 360 degrees. The aesthetics are quite unlike those of topaz from other localities, in general. Importantly, blue topaz is very rare from Madagascar and my first thought was that it might be irradiated to cause the special color. However, the inclusions of iron you can see faintly within prohibit the intense heat treatment process, and I also showed the piece to Dr. Federico Pezzotta (the expert on all gem crystals from Madagascar), who realized this was the one that "got away" in the market there, agreed that it was natural, and then sold me the second large example from this same pocket that I mentioned above. The piece is not as gemmy transparent as are some this size from Brazil, but it has a much higher luster (even without fancy cleaning) and an internal brightness to it, that combined with the geometry makes it highly appealing to the eye. Comes with custom lucite base. Joe Budd photo.