|Gems from Pakistan
In recent years, most of the excitement in the colored gemstone world has been generated in Africa -- especially Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya, Nigeria and Namibia. Mineralogists believe that the African mines still have tremendous potential and we expect many new discoveries to come. But as we consider new untapped sources for the future, one of the countries at the top of the list is Pakistan.
Thus far we have seen only limited supply of a few gemstone varieties from Pakistan, chiefly peridot and chrysoberyl. But Pakistan is believed to have rich resources of an astonishingly wide range of gems, including ruby, emerald, tourmaline, all the garnet varieties, topaz, peridot, aquamarine, spinel, diopside, moonstone, serpentine jade, morganite, sphene, zoisite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, kunzite and almost all known varieties of quartz.
Gemstone mining is still at a very early stage of development. Even in neighboring Afghanistan, mining goes on despite a series of recent wars. But political instability makes it difficult for foreign buyers to enter the mining areas in Afghanistan. Afghani gems are brought to Pakistan and traded in the market in Peshawar. So while there is only limited gemstone mining in Pakistan, there is already a flourishing gem trade in the country. The Pakistanis also have expertise in lapidary and jewelry manufacturing in Karachi. They could some day become a major force in the international gems trade.
- First Published: October-24-2008
- Last Updated: March-03-2011
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