The majority of Grandidierite is mined in Madagascar’s remote Anosy mountains 60km away from the cliffs of Andrahomana, where Grandidierite was first discovered. Other areas such as Sri Lanka, New Zealand and other parts of Africa produce a tiny amount of lower grade Grandidierite which is often none crystallized material.
In 2016 the first ever primary deposit of Grandidierite was discovered just outside the small town of Tranomaro, close to the original discovery of just a handful of Grandidierite crystals over a century ago.
The mines are extremely difficult to access and the deposits of Grandidierite are extremely limited. Found very sporadically, the mining process usually involves a team of 10-20 local miners using spades and pickaxes to dig up holes which are 15-20 meters in depth. The crystals are carefully removed from the mines by hand to avoid damaging the rough.
Up until this discovery it would be safe to say that crystallised faceted grade Grandidierite weighing more than one third of a carat was nearly non existent. This new recent discovery of Grandidierite therefore confirms that this was the only deposit that has ever produced Grandidierite that possesses this level of crystallisation and clarity to ever have been found or possibly to ever be found.
Since Grandidierite deposits are irregular, distributed in many discontinuous veins, are fairly close to the surface (15 meters down ) and extremely limited, local miners use spades and pickaxes as their mining equipments. Needless to say, these factors play a part in why the prices of crystallised grandidierite are extremely high. Around 800 kgs of rough Grandidierite has been produced from the deposit and due to its rarity and market value the entire 800kg was gone in a blink of an eye. However, of that 800kgs produced only 50-60 grams are crystal and only the top 1-2 percent of these crystallised gems are worthy of being the center stone in jewelry pieces which explains the reason why it exceeds prices of the most expensive gemstones in the market such as Black Opals, Paraiba Tourmalines, Alexandrites and even D flawless diamonds. According to Forbes magazine, Grandidierite is ranked number 3 on the list of the most expensive gemstones in the world at $20,000 dollars per carat.