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Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz in Madagascar

When most of us think of Madagascar, we imagine azure shores offset by crisp, white sand. What most of us aren't aware of is that this is home to one of the most important mining sites of Rose Quartz on the planet. Along with Brazil, it is responsible for some of the finest quality stones in our jewellery today, making it highly desirable and, of course, strikingly beautiful to look at in any setting.

Known as the Love Stone or the Crystal of Unconditional Love, this gemstone is found in its most natural state in Madagascar, displaying a distinctively deep yet delicate pink colour straight from the rock.

As a major historic source of the world's Rose Quartz, the island of Madagascar has been a significant and fascinating place for geological studies. The coarse rock formations known as pegmatites are formed when rising magma crystallises. These are commonly packed with Rose Quartz and its pink hue and are so prominent that they're very easy to spot even above ground.

The finest quality Madagascan Rose Quartz, however, is slightly trickier to find and mine, so manual mining techniques are used to retain its quality; of course, this means that it is one of the most sought-after gemstones of the world.

The history of Rose Quartz in Madagascar

Although Rose Quartz is known to have been mined since at least 600 BC and to have had deep associations with Hinduism and Buddhism (not to mention the Ancient Romans and Egyptians), it is believed that Madagascan Rose Quartz in particular was first commercially mined early in the 20th century. This was in the central region of the island, including the Antananarivo and Vakinankaratra provinces. Deposits have been so rich there that it has gone on to become a major supplier of the Love Stone to the rest of the world.

The geologically significant location is also home to large crystal quartz stones like Lavender and Tibetan Quartz, Amethyst, Agate and Onyx - Rose Quartz is part of this same group.

What is unique about Madagascan Rose Quartz?

The pegmatites in Madagascar are responsible for the unique appearance of the crystals that form within them. They sometimes form what are known as 'asterisms' in Rose Quartz gemstones, which means that holding them under the right light (typically in a cut-and-shaped spherical form) can reveal the optical effect of a star appearing above its surface. This rarity is known as Star Rose Quartz and is a highly desirable attribute of the Madagascan variety of the pink gemstone.

The island itself is 1,000 miles long and lies 250 miles off the coast of east Africa, but its geology is markedly different to the continent and of great fascination to geologists as a result. Along with the likes of Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald, Rose Quartz remains one of the major exports there, which is in part thanks to the fact that it has formed in close proximity to blue-green Beryl, an aquamarine crystal - this has ultimately affected its colour.

The conditions in which Rose Quartz has grown in Madagascar makes it one of the most suitable gemstones to wear in everyday jewellery - it's incredibly hard and durable. It is also quite resistant to potential damage from being exposed to light, too, but as with any gemstone, we always recommend that the utmost care and attention is taken to clean it regularly and maintain its sheen.

Where else is Rose Quartz sourced?

As one of the world's major suppliers of Rose Quartz, Madagascar enjoys a great reputation as a source of fine gemstones and crystals, but it's in esteemed company around the globe, too.

The pink variety of quartz can be found in abundance in Brazil, Egypt, India, USA (South Dakota) and Namibia, but it is also common in many other countries. Brazilian Rose Quartz, in fact, is often compared to the Madagascan variety, such is the quality of its finish when cut from the rough.

No matter where it is found and mined, though, this gemstone is revered as the ultimate symbol of unconditional love - one that strengthens love and healing in all those who own it - so it is undeniably established as one of the world's most adored semi-precious gemstones and will be for centuries to come.

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