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Next door to the gem treasure chest that is  Afghanistan, Pakistan’s array of coloured gems  is  also  very  impressive.  Although  its  mining  conditions are difficult and its trade is not as  well organised as other gem rich countries, it  holds  in  varying  quantities  and  qualities  the  following gems in store for us: Ruby, Emerald,  Aquamarine,  Garnet,  Tourmaline,  Topaz,  Peridot,  Spinel,  Diopside,  Moonstone,  Jade, Morganite,  Sphene,  Lapis  Lazuli,  Kunzite, Quartz and many other lesser-known varieties.

Many of these gems are found in the north and  north-western areas of Pakistan and in particular  the  famous  mountain  ranges  of  Hindu  Kush,  Himalaya,  and  Karakoram.  In  the  picturesque  Swat  Valley,  some  of  the  finest  Emeralds  in  the world are being mined, but the area is very  difficult to access. While on the subject of green  gemstones, Pakistan also provides us with some  of the world’s most gorgeous Peridot. 

Take  the  Khyber  Pass  from  Afghanistan  into  Pakistan and along its routes you will find small  tribes  mining  Lapis  Lazuli.  These  small-scale  artisanal mines (informal mining) are owned by  individuals or small teams who work with very  little technology. This region is renowned as the  best place in the world to mine for Lapis Lazuli,  both in terms of quality and quantity; however, the terrain makes it very difficult to do so.

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This Colour Change Sphene from Pakistan is probably one of our most exciting discoveries!