The discovery of the first and likely only deposit of crystallised Grandidierite in existence.
Alfred Grandidier, a French nationalist and explorer visited the Island of Madagascar in the year 1865 for the first time and fell in love with the island, he became very devoted to the study of the island as he crossed the world’s 3rd largest island over 3 times travelling 3000 kilometers in the interior and 2500 km along the coast of the island, discovering multiple new species of snakes, lizards and many other species of animals. He then decided to travel to the southern coast of madagascar which was where he ran into cape Andrahomana as he discovered what would be his greatest discovery. As he observed the cape he spotted what was at that time a translucent light neon blue green mineral that has never been seen before and this was then how the mineral Grandidierite was given its name. However a major deposit of the gem was to not be found again for over 100 years when it was again discovered in what was the world’s first discovery of crystallised transparent Grandidierite in Sri Lanka. However, the biggest crystallised piece from this deposit only weighed only 0.29 carats, although when compared to any other gemstones on the planet that would be considered a very insignificant amount but since it was the world’s top 10 rarest gemstone, it was valued at an extremely significantly high price due to the fact that it was the only piece in the world which as considered the purest specimen of Grandidierite.
However, in the year 2014, a local miner from a small town of Tranamaro, located in the southern coast of madagascar near where Grandidierite was first discovered, ran into what would be the only deposit that has ever produced crystallised Grandidierite that weighed over ⅓ of a carat and has that level of purity and clarity to ever have been found or possibly to ever be found.
Since Grandidierite deposits in Tranamaro 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 only 800 kgs of rough Grandidierite was 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 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.