Central Asia consists of the highest mountains in the world. The western Himalayas and the Pamir Mountains have numerous peaks above 6000m. For thousands of years these regions have been home to mining activities that produce some of the best Gemstones in the world. Various countries in the region share these treasures: Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan
These regions are renowned for their valuable minerals. Our team currently works in the Panjshir Valley, Pamirs, Badakshan, Gorno Badakshan, Takhar, Nuristan, and Wakhan.
PANJSHIR EMERALDS

Emerald mines in Afghanistan are predominantly located in the Panjshir valley, north east of Kabul. These mines host neither child labour nor fund insurgents.
Furthermore, the locals, through mining, are totally self-sufficient and are the only populous in Afghanistan that need not rely on government or donor funding.

Several local companies currently participate in our projects with a view to mine ethically. In collaboration with them, we have succeeded in addressing environmental and social impact assessments.
We work directly with the miners to provide ethical stones and to enforce traceability.
Gemstones from this region are extracted from more than 400 mines along the 150km Panjshir valley. They belong to two categories: Kamar Safaid originating from the Bazarak District are extracted from the Khenj mine. These stones are light green. These specific types of stones are usually found as big crystals with few inclusions. Rang in Dari (Coloured Stones) are mainly extracted at high altitude. These stones are an intense green and of higher quality.

TOURMALINE FROM PAMIRS

Tourmaline can be found in various areas of the Pamirs in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese name Turamali meaning stones of mixed colours. The Badakhshan province is rich in such stones with various colours such as:
Achroite - Colorless
Chrome Tourmaline - Emerald Green
Indicolite - Blue
Rubellite - Pink to Red
Verdelite - Green
Watermelon Tourmaline - Pink core/Green edges

Tourmaline vary in transparency and colour and can be of one colour throughout or of different colours in one crystal. Via heating or cooling and by applying pressure, a tourmaline crystal will become static thus attracting dust particles as well as small pieces of paper.
In Badakhshan we are working with local resellers, however, are not yet able to enforce traceability of these gemstones at this stage. We plan to establish in the coming year a presence in these extraction areas in order to promote our ethical values and apply quality and sustainability standards.

LAPIS LAZULI FROM AFGHANISTAN

Lapis Lazuli is a blue stone containing mainly the mineral Lazurite (30%) as well as other minerals such as Calcite and Pyrite. These stones can be found both in Tajikistan and Afghanistan. However, the best Lapis is usually produced in Afghanistan, which is an intense royal blue. This intense blue is formed due to the lack of Pyrite, which can make the Lapis appear slightly green. Afghani Lapis specimens are of high quality as they are the same colour throughout. A typical low-quality Lapis will either be spotted or streaked.
We work with local miners in order to enforce traceability of these stones. Consecutively, we intend to promote investment in infrastructure for roads and transport in order to ease the shipment of these stones.

SPINEL AND VARIOUS CRYTALS FROM TAJIKISTAN

A Spinel consists of a large group of associated minerals, of which limited amounts are of gemstone quality. Gemmologists define spinel as a gem of many colours yet the colour most sought out is ruby red. In Tajikistan, this confusion has led Spinel s to have been mixed with Rubies. Today, with methods to identify the two gemstones apart the spinel has, nonetheless, become widely recognized for its quality and is widely used in the Jewellery business.
We promote the development of local brands for high-quality Spinel s. As of late, in Tajikistan, many different forms of gemstones have been discovered by international clients and our aim is to promote these new stones to help jewellery makers create bespoke products with the abundance of new colours the Spinel has to offer.

PROJECT IMPACT

In Central Asia, we have worked across various regions, however, the crux of our work has been carried out in Afghanistan and Tadjikistan. Our work has consisted of:
  • Implementing traceability standards and data platform
  • Applying of ethical methods to treat gemstones.
  • Providing innovative methods for exploration: Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Trace Element Analysis
  • Enforcing innovative mining techniques and non-explosive demolition agents: ECOBUST and Expansive Mortar
  • Establishing of onshore cutting facilities and training local workers
  • Enhancing working conditions and promoting women in the workplace
  • Promoting the region for Foreign Investment via events and our newsletter
  • Providing access to Global Distribution Channels and Ethical Branding Services
  • Working in collusion with local government in order to make our process law
  • Investing in infrastructure to facilitate transport and logistics
  • Fundraising and direct Investment via our partner the Eurasia Industries


Our projects :