MANOMBE, MADAGASCAR – AUGUST 3, 2013
At 4pm everyday workers and mine gangs descend on Manombe and Ilakaka to sell the sapphires and other prescious stones they have found in the surrounding landscape. The dealers hold shop in fortified trading posts and examine the rough, uncut stones with a special torch and water-bowl until 8pm. Violence is common place among the miners before and after the deal is done. The rough stones are exported for cutting, polishing and sale. Stones are regularly sold for upwards of $100 but can retail overseas for 10 times that amount.