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Spessartine Garnet Discovery in Madagascar
Like a snake swinging among the  hills, the Besafotra river which can be very dangerous within the rainy season, carry slowly gold and spessartites from their source.
Bargaining spessartites in a hut. The garnets where found the same day. The second village of Ambohimarangitra lies in a dry savanna, perched up on a high plateau far from anything all.

A Huge transparent spessartite crystal that I purchased during my first 
trip there. It was found in Ambohimarangitra and weighted 113 grams. >
The deposit of spessartite is lying behind the hill of Ambohimarangitra.
This deposit is exploited in alluvium and is located in the geological system
called "Vohibory", composed mainly of gneiss with amphibole and of green
schists, the precious orange garnets result likely from sodolitic pegmatites.
The first quotations of spessarites in the area were made by the geologist
Henri Besairie in 1946.
The French colonists exploited gold and garnet in the Besafotra river
between Ankaboka and Ambohimarangitra, place located 25 kilometers
from the nearest village.
The spessartite remained forgotten until 1996, date on which it was
extracted from the river and the adjacent grounds to provide the
international market temporarily.

The tanety "grounds bordering the river," are also the object of the orange garnet's 

Typical rough material coming
from Ambohimarangitra.

The road to Ankaboka. Probably the source of spessartites.


In 1972 a bulldozer dug a track on 30 kilometers to Ankaboka in order to exploit 
there the spessartites to the edge of the river, at the place said Beakoho, this 
during one year.
Today, no vehicle can drive on this road, except a powerful motorcycle driven by 
un experienced pilot.

Lot of rough spessartites that
was found in alluvium.

The Besafotra river carry out spessartites on several kilometers from their source, doubtless
a sodolitic pegmatite. A walk of 25 kilometers among the mountains is necessary to reach this 
The hamlet of Ambohimarangitra located close to the Besafotra river, visible on Google Earth.
Spessartite in pegmatite, its bedrock.
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¦ Madagascar Safari ¦ Madagascar Safari 2 ¦ Ilakaka ¦ Pakistan Gem Safari ¦ Garnet Data ¦ Pyrope-Spessartite Discovery ¦
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An article of :
Your guide to GGGems
Text and images :
          ¦ Faceted Spessartite  ¦ Spessartite Cabochon  ¦  GEM ADVENTURE  (  Novel ) A. Darbellay
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