Mt Ibity, Antsirabé 2 Dist., Vakinankaratra Region, Antananarivo Prov., Madagascar
This is my favorite piece from the trip. To begin with, topaz is not very common in Madagascar-- for all the gem materials found on the island, good topaz is remarkably difficult to find. Although not an absolute measure of rarity, Mindat only has 6 photographs of Malagasy topaz-- that alone attests to the scarcity of the mineral there.
When topaz is found there, it is usually colorless or brownish gray-- this piece is a gem quality and bicolored-- the top is a beautiful aquamarine blue, and the bottom is colorless. I have never seen such deep blue topaz from Madagascar, and most of the topaz examples from anywhere that have this color have undergone some treatment. Of course this piece is 1) a bicolored crystal and 2) there is not even a remote chance of radiation treatment in the rural village where I purchased it, so its unenhanced state is beyond doubt.
Even the form is exceptionally beautiful-- it is not a standard prism, but rather a strangely elongated and etched crystal, a combination of Christmas ornament, finely cut glass, and jewel.