Madagascar Precious stones

Madagascar Precious stones.

By Property-Madagascar.

Madagascar Precious stones.

The island of Madagascar profited from nature generosities. The country abounds in huge natural wealths, of which in particular precious stones of various varieties. A precious stone is a rare transparent gem found in the rock and coming from mixture of translucent minerals. The formation process of the precious stones starts with tens of kilometer of the ground depth and lastes for the hundreds of million years.

In a pure state, these stones are colourless. Their colouring is, in fact, due to the impurities and metals which they contain.

The precious stones of Madagascar, generally, are classified in three categories.

The precious stones, there exist four types of gems considered as precious :

the diamond (white, black, yellow, blue),
the emerald (green),
the sapphire (various colors except the red) and
the ruby (red).

Fine stones: the aquamarine, the citrine, the peridot and the amethyst.

Decorative stones: the cornelian, the turquoise, the malachite, the azurite and the lapis lazuli.

We find, on the Big Island, most precious stones of planet except the Lapis lazuli, the turquoise, the jade and the eye of tiger which were not discovered yet there.

Exploitation and marketing

The exploitation of the precious stones in Madagascar is and remains to 80% abstract. Indeed, the extraction is mainly carried out in an artisanal way by individuals. However the Malagasy State tries to exert a control on this sector.

The regulations in force imposes any minor to obligatorily hold a register of extraction and to issue a certificate, which accompanies each extracted stone that he sells. However this regulation is not respected by the minors because of their illiteracy and the failed inspection by the competent authorities.

Most of the Malagasy production of precious stones is intended for export. Once the stones extracted, the minors sell them to small collectors (generally present on the place of extraction) who in their turn resell them to big collectors (Malagasy for the majority). And it is starting from these last that really take shape the two principal distribution chains.

These last can sell the stones either to the lapidaries, whose task is to cut them in order to deliver them to the local jewelleries. It should be stressed that the best lapidaries are, for the majority, concentrate in Diego Suarez.

The second tour consists, for the collectors, to sell their acquisitions to the foreign collectors for export towards the countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka.

Regarding price, the cost of a precious stone is dependent on a certain number of criteria in particular the size, quality (purity, the color) and the scarcity.

Difficulties related on the exploitation and marketing

The sector of the stones encounters many difficulties. Initially, there exists a real problem of extraction, which makes that the industrial exploitation is almost made impossible, giving way to the artisanal exploitation.

In second place, there exist many networks of illicit trade, which make lose important receipts to the Malagasy State. Lastly, for these last years, we have noted a certain abandonment of the precious stones extraction to the profit of gold research whose cost is increasingly attractive.

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