Buy gems by country of origin
. Afghanistan is the most famous source for fine quality lapis lazuli
, where it has been mined for over 6,000 years. But in addition to lapis, Afghanistan is also a major producer for several other gemstone varieties, including quality emerald. Emeralds are mined from the Panjshir Valley in the Hindu Kush mountains, approximately 100 km northeast of Kabul. The emerald deposit was thought to have been first discovered in 1970 by a Russian geologist. Afghan emeralds form at an elevation of 3,000 to 4,000 meters, and these high-location mines are accessible only by foot.
Most Afghanistan emeralds
are fairly small, but they exhibit exceptional color, equal to that of the finest quality Colombian and Zambian material. Like Zambian emerald
, Afghan material is of excellent transparency. Most emeralds, even high-quality gemstones, are heavily included with tiny surface-reaching fissures, which usually require fracture-filling treatment such as routine oil enhancements, while others may require stronger stabilization enhancements such as resin-fillers. In addition to lapis and emerald, Afghanistan also contains significant deposits of ruby
, as well as spinel