Afghanistan's Mineral Resources and Gemstones

Afghanistan Mineral Resources
Lapis-lazuli in Afghanistan. Image by USGS
Lapis-lazuli in Afghanistan. Image by USGS

Gemstones and Gold (precious metals)
Afghanistan has a complex geology, the oldest rocks are Archean, succeeded by rocks from the Proterozoic and every Phanerozoic system up to the present day.

The country also has a long and complicated tectonic history, partly related to its position at the western end of the Himalaya.

Historical mining concentrated mostly on precious stone production, with some of the oldest known mines in the world believed to have been established in Afghanistan to produce lapis lazuli for the Egyptian Pharaohs. Perhaps the stone that is most associated with the country is the Lapis-lazuli, becoming almost a national symbol.
Tutankamon, gold and lapis lazuli
Tutankamon, Gold and Lapis lazuli.

The history of Lapis Lazuli in the Afghanistan dates back to 6.000 years. It's been cherished by ancient civilizations, including Persia, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, all of them considered it precious, spiritual and powerful . But it was Egyptians who chose as their favourite stone, creating with it amazing jewels for their nobility and kings. One of its most fascinating examples is the tomb of Tutankhamen, created with gold and richly inlaid with lapislazuli proceeding from Afghanistan.

Any mineral collector knows that Afghanistan produces some of the finest gemstones to collect.

Exploration in the 1960s and 70s resulted in the discovery of metallic mineral resources, including copper, iron and gold, and non-metallic minerals, including halite, talc, and mica.

USGS Releases Results of Afghan Mineral Studies
The research by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Afghan Geological Survey, and the Department of Defense has yielded volumes of information about areas of high mineral potential in Afghanistan, including rare earth elements, gold, iron, and copper. This research will be used by the Afghan Government as they consider developing these minerals resources.
There are cataloged about 194 valid minerals between metallic and non-metallic minerals.

For a complete list of Afghanistan's mineral resources, gemstones and metallic minerals, click HERE.

Precious Stones in Afghanistan
Afghanistan's main gemstones.
Afghanistan's main gemstones

Afghanistan has been blessed with a great variety of precious and semi-precious stones with 73 records of mines, deposits, occurrences and showings. In fact, some of the earliest records of mining anywhere in the world are from Afghanistan, dating back over 6000 years. Most operations today are small-scale, but the potential undoubtedly exists for the development of a significant precious stone mining industry in Afghanistan.
In addition to the most beautiful precious stones such as Lapis-Lazuli, Emerald, Ruby, Kunzite-tourmaline, but Afghanistan also has occurrences of other stones such as aquamarine, amethyst, topaz and Afghanite.
Afghanite, by Rob Lavinsky - iRocks
Afghanite was discovered in 1968 in the Lapis-lazuli Mine, Sar-e-Sang, Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan and takes its name from that country. It has also been described from localities in Germany, Italy, the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan, near Lake Baikal in Siberia, New York and Newfoundland. It occurs as veinlets in lazurite crystals in the Afghan location and in altered limestone xenoliths within pumice in Pitigliano, Tuscany, Italy.

Gold in Afghanistan click HERE
or click on the image to access the document.


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