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Zircons from Madagascar
  
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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Feb 01, 2009 14:55    Post subject: Zircons from Madagascar  

Hi!

Is anyone out there with some knowledge about Madagascar localities?

Since the sixties I've owned a couple of zircons that were purchased as being from Madagascar, but the exact locality was not provided. I searched several times Mindat.org and Google but never was able to get any clue about it. Attached are two pictures of them.

Any info would be welcome.

Thanks,
__________
Carles Millan



8136M-zircon.jpg
 Description:
45 mm x 20 mm, unknown locality in Madagascar
 Viewed:  24757 Time(s)

8136M-zircon.jpg



8137M-zircon.jpg
 Description:
41 mm x 22 mm, unknown locality in Madagascar
 Viewed:  24787 Time(s)

8137M-zircon.jpg


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Gail




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PostPosted: Feb 01, 2009 21:42    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

I usually ask Laurent Thomas about Madagascar minerals as he lives there most of the time.
Would you like for me to send him this thread and see if he might know?

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Carles Curto




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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2009 02:37    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

This kind of crystals are (were?) relatively common on Betroka district (Toliary Province). When I visit Madagascar in 1986 there was (well known) a single locality providing this kind of crystals: Ambatomivahy (or Ambatomivany).
They were usually doubly terminated crystals with a single prism and a dypiramid, sometimes on Calcite matrix. Crystal size was between less than one cm to three or four (rarely) cm.
Occasionally few incomplete larger crystals were found.
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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2009 04:30    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

Dear Gail:

Of course, I'd like you to ask Laurent about it. I hope he will know.

Thank you very much!

____________
Carles Millan
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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2009 04:38    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

Hi Carles Curto!

As you can see, my zircon crystals are not biterminated, their size exceeds 4 cm, and they lack a matrix. But I take note of Ambatomivahy until getting more details.

Many thanks,
____________
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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2009 04:54    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

Of course not all the crystals from Ambatomivahy are doubli terminated and, of course they are not all in (on) matrix).
In fact, being long in relation to their thickness, they are frequently broken and being included (into) a crystalline matrix most of them easily "bring" fron the matrix when it is broken.
I note Ambatomivahy because it was the known locality in 1986 but another small localities near this village can produce Zircon crystals (the rock formation where they are is quite extense).
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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2009 05:21    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

Hi!

Okay, let's consider Ambatomivahy as a provisional locality for both specimens. Unfortunately back in the sixties many pieces in the market were labeled "Brazil", "Madagascar", "Sweden" and so on. The exact locality was often omitted (and sometimes even forged). Do you remember Palaus i Soler, at Plaça Reial in Barcelona?

Moltes gràcies, Carles.
____________
Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2009 08:21    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

Of course I remember Palaus. In fact I was a loyal client of the shop in the number 8 of the Plaça Reial, in Barcelona. The name of the shop was Antigua Casa Luis Soler Pujol and the owner at those years was Josep Palau Seigí.
I beguine to go to the shop at the late 50’s when I was a child of 7-10 years and until the beginning of the 70’s, when the shop suffered a decay and Palaus had no more samples of my interests.
Palaus had, at this time, a curious mess of zoological specimens (I remember specially a big naturalized gorilla) and Spanish (more or less good) and international mineralogical samples, some of them well documented, especially a collection of minerals of central Europe (basically miniatures, but I remember a very good Kermesite from Hungary) and, at the same time minerals with a very poor or vague indications.
The material from Madagascar he had, at the end of the 60`s, probably was proceeding from the Compagnie des Mines de Madagascar, in Paris, then in this case Zircon it is quite surely from Betroka district and, in this case, Ambatomivahy can be the locality.
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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2009 09:14    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

Hi Carles!

In fact, those Madagascar zircons were not really purchased from the gorilla shop but from Francesc Coma i Molist, who run a small mineral business named "Scheelita-Daco" in Gràcia (carrer del Torrent de l'Olla), Barcelona, Catalonia, in 1966, just at the same place where Jordi Figueres had had his "Geos" shop between 1963 and 1965. Long, long time ago!! Most readers of the forum even were not born yet...
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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2009 10:49    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

We can ask to Jordi Figueras Calsina (I have the telephon). He was personally attending in the shop. I know the shop very well because it was very near to my home (just four minutes walking!). I remember they had some minerals from Madagascar, especially very good floaters of Monazite-(Ce). I conserve a piece I bought there, but the best are in Folch and Cervelló collections (this one actually in the Museum of Barcelona).
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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2009 14:15    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

Hi Carles!

Jordi Figueres had nothing to do with that. The dealer who actually sold the zircons and the owner of the business was Francesc Coma Molist, and at the time he didn't know the exact locality, so I'm sure that 43 years later he will know still less.

Thanks,
____________
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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2009 17:34    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

Hi Carles!

A bit more about that. I have in file that Francesc Coma purchased both pieces not from Jordi Figueres, the previous owner of the shop, but from a mining engineer based in Tolosa / Toulouse (Occitania, France) who had brought them from Madagascar. So I believe Jordi had never seen them.

Following your kind suggestion I've labeled both specimens as being from Ambatomivahy, with a question sign. I hope our fellow Gail Spann will get more details from Laurent Thomas soon.

Many thanks for your opinions.
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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2009 18:58    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

I have written to Laurent, and not sure if he is traveling to Tucson or not...but I am hoping he will be able to help. I sent him the URL for this thread.
He has been really helpful to us in the past and I admire his expertise.
Will let you know as soon as I hear anything.

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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2009 06:03    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

Hi Gail!

I'm waiting for you news. You're vey kind.

Again many thanks for your help.
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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2009 17:08    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

Hi, I have Laurent Thomas here, and he kindly will give to us his opinion:

Hi Gail, Jordi told me about that forum concerning this Malagasy zircon. My internet connection at the InnSuites doesn't work anymore since three days, so I am writing you back from Jordi's computer. About that piece I have two suggestions. First I think the piece could have been found near the town of Tranomaro, north of Tolagnaro ( also named Fort Dauphin), or the second possibility ( but I prefer the first one) could be near the town of Ikalamavony, central highlands, where I know one pegmatite which gave that kind of zircon crystals, in shape and color. I hope it helps. See you soon in Tucson.

Laurent Thomas
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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2009 17:40    Post subject: Re: Zircons from Madagascar  

Hi Jordi!

Please give my best thanks to Laurent Thomas for his help whenever you see him again. I'll take good note of his details in my records.

My gratitude goes also to our kind fellow Gail Spann for her intervention.
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