AZGem Gems
February, 2007

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The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

Written by Carolyn Doyle for customers of
The Dorado Company
and other visitors to the website who subscribe.


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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.


Madagascar Gems



Madagascar gems have captured the attention and imagination of the gem industry. Madagascar began to produce colored gems on a commercial basis less than 30 years ago, and is now a major supplier of gems to the world.

Madagascar gems were known to exist several centuries ago... but the quality, quantity, and variety of gems is just now being realized.

In 2006 my husband and I partnered with our suppliers in Madagascar to form a new enterprise, appropriately named... Madagascar Gems. This company supplies rough gem material to the gem industry.

As you read this we are in Tucson selling our wares to the many gem traders congregating there for the world's largest gathering of gem dealers, the Tucson Gem Shows.

This year most of the 30 or so gem shows will open to buyers on or about February 1, but we're here for the exhibitor to exhibitor commerce known as the Jump Start.

We'll be here several more days to do more business and see old friends.

And now you know why I decided to tell you more about Madagascar and its gems in this issue.

Madagascar is an island nation off the coast of Africa's Mozambique. You probably know something about Madagascar's lemurs, hissing cockroaches, and pirate history. But, contrary to the movie there are no African animals (except crocodiles) or penguins.

This island nation was originally settled by Polynesian peoples from what is now Malaysia and Indonesia about 1500 years ago.

Click on the box... and have Google start putting money in your bank account!

Beginning in the 1600's Britain and France sought to conquer Madagascar. In 1896 Britain abandoned their designs on the island and Madagascar became a French colony. Independence was regained in 1960.

Madagascar is the world's forth largest island. It is just more than a half-million square kilometers, or about the size of Arizona and New Mexico combined. (I looked it up, the three larger islands are Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo.)

A tropical island, Madagascar features rain forest and plantations in the coastal lowlands. Forested mountains run north and south, forming the island's backbone. In the west and south, Madagascar is somewhat flat and arid.

Madagascar has three good roads (some people say four). In general the island is poor and underdeveloped. After centuries of isolation, colonial rule, several decades as an independent socialist country... things are beginning to improve. A capitalistic, honest government now is investing in schools and infrastructure.

A large piece of the development plan is to exploit and develop the gemstone resources to fuel improvements.

Madagascar produces an amazing array of gemstones. The gems mined here include...

    • Ruby
    • Sapphire
    • Emerald
    • Tsavorite
    • Spessartite
    • Hessonite
    • Rhodolite
    • Apatite
    • Pink (morganite), yellow (heliodore), blue (aquamarine), white (goshenite), and green beryl

Rare gems are also found here. Sphene, kornerupine, and yellow orthoclase, and others.

Perhaps the rarest of all is the world's only known blue garnet. In addition to being blue, this vanadium-containing gem is a  color change gem.

We can continue this discussion next month. There's so much to tell... traveling in the bush (pronounced boosh), Two room hotels, cowboys, and gangsters to be included.

A Google search for the keyword phrase madagascar   returns a number of listings and ads for some other information and photos.




What are the gem photos featured above (top to bottom)?

    • Ruby
    • Neon blue apatite
    • Green apatite
    • Aquamarine
    • Morganite (pink beryl)


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Gem Industry News...


Tucson Show Guide


Colored Stone Magazine's Tucson Show Guide website has been updated and the printed edition has been mailed to subscribers.

Many dealers are here in Tucson now, and thousands more will be coming and going during the next couple of weeks.

Many educational, social, and charitable events are scheduled, in addition to all of the business that is being conducted.


JCK Las Vegas

The 2007 edition of the JCK Show - Las Vegas will be held in two locations: The Sands Expo and Convention Center/The Venetian Hotel Resort & Casino and, for the first time, the Las Vegas Convention Center.

This show is for jewelry store operators, and is a huge show held in early June of each year. Maybe this year JCK will enter the 21st century and allow internet jewelry retailers to attend.

And if they don't, there are other shows held in Vegas a couple of days before. You can meet many of the same manufacturers at the other shows.



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Jewelry Dealers

wholesale jewelryAre you attending the Tucson shows? Send us an email... maybe our schedules will permit us to get together.

This is your opportunity to see what's new and what's expected to be hot in the coming year.

Are you gearing up for Valentines Day?


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Jewelry Dealers Program

Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?sapphire ring

Do you enjoy talking with friends and co-workers?

Take a look at our great Jewelry Dealers Program.


Carolyn Doyle

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The Dorado Company
P.O. Box 8232
Scottsdale, AZ 85252-8232