Landscape Madagascar

An island of natural wonders

“Madagascar is a curious wonderland. It’s an unrepeatable experiment, a set of animals and plants evolving in isolation for over 60 million years. We’re still trying to unravel its mysteries.”
Sir David Attenborough

Hidden next to the African continent in the southern hemisphere, unique diversity is found, a marvellous display of our planet’s wonders.
– And home to the most amazing sapphires on Earth.

Landscape Madagascar

Madagascar and its unique journey from Ancient Ocean to Enchanting Island

The creation of this magical place dates back to Gondwanaland, ancient times when all continents were connected. Madagascar was a vast lake bridging East Africa, India and Sri Lanka. All the areas where the most sapphire deposits are found today. As the continents drifted apart, Madagascar emerged from the depths, giving rise to the unique island we know today.

Being unconnected from other land masses, Madagascar developed its own fauna and flaura. 80% of Madagascar’s animals and plants are found nowhere else on Earth. This is the unique home of lemurs and types of baobab trees which are endemic to the country.

Once covered by lush rainforests, Madagascar has unfortunately suffered extensive deforestation due to poverty. To learn more about our efforts in addressing this issue, please refer to our Eden Forest Projects.

The unique biodiversity of the island is also reflected in its gemstones deposits.

madagaslar mapy2



Our favourite deposit in Madagascar is Ilakaka. It’s a small village on the main road between the capital Antananarivo and Toliara. Today, the land of Ilakaka is made up of rocks and vast planes. But one hundred million years ago, it was at the bottom of an ancient ocean.

Like the gemstones from this beautiful region – that have made their way to us via a long journey of mining, selection, cutting and polishing – the rocks of Madagascar have risen to the surface, witnesses to the extraordinary evolutions of our planet. Now, Ilakaka is the biggest sapphire deposit in Madagascar.

The local communities in Ilakaka have been flourishing since the deposit discoveries. Ilakaka has been growing exponentially since the 90’s and its progress keeps attracting more and more people every day.


Only sapphires from
Madagascar come in all
colours of the rainbow.

The widest range of coloured sapphires are found in Madagascar. Wennick–Lefèvre’s working presence in Madagacar reflects our everyday excitemenent and adoration of this wonderous place. Most sapphires in Madagascar are found in the region of Ilakaka, the largest sapphire deposit in the world. Some of the rarest colours – like pineapple yellow, lime green, magenta, orange, cognac and violet – are present here.

Many of the colours found in Ilakaka are only found there.

They are natural, beautiful and impossible to replicate,
a true representation of the Earth’s natural beauty.

Emily Chan, Vogue UK


Artisanal mining

Madagascar’s sapphires hold within them an opportunity of prosperity and improved livelihoods for all in the local community.

The people behind the stones


Madagascar has a well-developed tradition of gem mining, and the gems here are still mined by hand using traditional methods.

These methods respect the work of local artisanal miners and preserve the land after the mining activities have ceased. The sapphire deposit around the town of Ilakaka is probably the largest in the world.

Most sapphires here are found in former riverbeds, 40 to 50 metres below the ground. Groups of men work together, turning the soil with shovels to draw it up from the open pit and uncover the sapphire-rich deposit beneath.


The people behind the stones

Trading gemstones is a common sight on the streets of Ilakaka and a vital part of its character, vitality and economy.


Gemstone trading is a business to us, but trust and respect are vital and lead to lasting partnerships.

At Wennick–Lefèvre it is natural to have close relationships with all the people we meet and deal with.

Over the last ten years, Wennick–Lefèvre has established a strong permanent presence in Madagascar, blending business with friendship. We source our gemstones in partnership with Aruwan and Rishan, who select the best gemstones available in the marketplace for us.

Aiming to improve the conditions for local communities, we like to pay 50% more than the market price.
This also enables us to get access to the best material as we are often the first ones the miners come with their newly mined gemstones.