Madagascar rock collection is awe-inspiring | Dickinson County Conservation Board
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Madagascar rock collection is awe-inspiring

April 12, 2017
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Wherever Joanne Schar has traveled, she would stop the car, hop out and grab a rock.

When she moved to Madagascar with her husband, H, Joanne had the opportunity to collect even more unique geological items.

Photo of Jasper rock

Because of its remote location off the east coast of Africa, Madagascar has rocks that are not seen anywhere else in the world. Although inland Africa is known for its diamonds, Madagascar has a variety of precious stones, and most of its rocks have semi-precious stone qualities.

Photo of aventurine rock

Joanne’s Madagascar geology collection grew in a variety of ways. When she was at an art market near the airport in the capital city of Antananarivo, she decided to buy ammonites — ancient fossilized crustaceans. She found a dealer selling them, and then more and more dealers showed up to offer their own ammonite varieties.

Photo of an ammonite

Joanne ran out of money.

Not all of the pieces in her collection were purchased though. While living in Fianarantsoa, the second largest city in Madagascar, Joanne met an American missionary couple that was leaving the country. The missionaries had a variety of stones in their collection and gave them to her because they knew she liked rocks.

Photo of pink rock

In fact, she thinks half of her Madagascar rocks were given to her by people who knew she had a passion for such items.

A sampling of Madagascar stones from Joanne’s collection is on display in the Henry & Norma Meyer Library in the Dickinson County Nature Center through September.

Photo of turtle with rock shell

Parent challenge

Next time your child picks up on a rock on vacation, let him or her keep it. Who knows what kind of a neat collection it might turn into when they are grown!

Check out other rock-ing posts on our blog!

Photo of green rock

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