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Rubies from Pakistan

Untreated rubies from the Hunza valley, Pakistan – Photo by Ted Themelis

Due to the extensive smuggling of Afghan rubies into Pakistan, many do not realize that Pakistan has its own wealth of gems that are underexploited. The ruby deposits here are primary deposits, initially discovered in the 1980s. Like the Afghanistan material, these rubies are mostly cabochan and carving grade. There is small, transparent material under a carat produced too.

History of Ruby Mining in Pakistan

Most mining occurs in the north of Pakistan, with the government leasing out land for mining to promote interest and expansion in this industry.

Sadly an earthquake in 2005 made getting to and from various mines exceedingly difficult to borderline impossible. There is still limited production, though lack of infrastructure rebuilding makes for inconsistent production. Especially when coupled with the difficult terrain, with some deposits located above 15,000 feet.

Given the political and economical upheaval that frequently plagues the country, for the near future ruby mining in the country is limited.