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 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 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
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.
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.