Dear all, If you are around in Bangkok at the end of the year, you are most welcome to join us and attend the 52nd GIA Gemstone Gatherings on December 28th 2011.
This month we are happy to welcome Vincent Pardieu, Supervisor, Field Gemology at the GIA Laboratory Bangkok. Well that's me...
I will speak about "Afghanistan, Gems from the Silk Roads"
"Afghanistan is one of the oldest gem mining areas in the world. Treasured by the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Ur and Babylon, its famous lapis lazuli mines are known to have produced the stone for more than 6000 years. Gem mining in the region remained active until trading along the Silk Roads came to an end in around 1300 AD. With the main trade networks between China and Europe moving from a land based route (the Silk Roads) to a maritime one, Afghanistan became a remote forgotten land until the 19th century when British and Russian colonial ambitions collided. Afghanistan was subsequently created as a buffer state between Russia, Iran and the British Raj in India.
During the 20th century, Afghanistan became more and more connected to the rest of the world, thus creating greater opportunities for Afghan gems to reach world markets once again despite the ongoing conflicts. Today many different types of gems are produced in the mountains of North Eastern Afghanistan including emeralds in the Panjsher Valley, rubies near Jegdalek and also, very recently, some very interesting and unusual blue sapphires were found near the old lapis lazuli mines at Sar-E-Sang in the Kokcha Valley.
After five expeditions visiting gemstone deposits in Afghanistan since 2005, including three in the past year, the author will present an update on the mining, trading and production of emerald, ruby and sapphire from Afghanistan."
Dear all, The summary about the presentation about "Afghanistan: Gems from the Silk Roads" We gave on December 28th at the 52nd GIA gemstone Gatherings in Bangkok is now online on GIA Laboratory Bangkok website:
I hope that you will find that summary interesting and informative.
The gathering turned to be a very nice event with many old and new friends attending it.
For those who would like to see more than a summary, we plan to give that presentation again in Colombo (Sri Lanka) on Jan 20th at the invitation of the "National Gem and Jewellery Authority" and in Sydney (Australia) on May 19th at the invitation of the Australian Gemmological Association.
Another report (in Spanish) written by a Spanish journalist from the EFE news agency who attended to the presentation is also online on the EFE website at the following link:
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