Among the snow-capped peaks above Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, thousands of miners are burrowing deep into the mountains, hunting for some of the world’s finest emeralds.
Ethical mining practices with the collective producers of the famous Panjshir emeralds – (as well as deposits of rubies, sapphires and lapis lazuli) – have allied to form the basis of a legitimate gem industry in Afghanistan. One insider claims that the emeralds produced in Panjshir could be worth over – $US1 billion a year – and that is primarily because of the vision and leadership of a Afghani-American organisation (founded by 1 Afghani and 1 American), working in accordance with the U.S. State Department and with local, regional and national officials (Government of Afghanistan) that company is called Aria Gems.
Aria Gems, an American-Afghan company, has become the largest company to legally export Panjshir Emeralds to global markets. Panjshir Emeralds, named for the valley in the Province of Panjshir where they are mined, have long been prized for their vibrant green color, clarity and historically described as “greener than green.” Geographic terrain and political situation have made it difficult to access these rare gems. Aria Gems, with its deep ties to the Panjshir Valley community, changed the game.
Formed in 2009 by Forrest Snowden and two Elders from Panjshir Valley, Abdul Habib Mohibi and the late Jamil Mohibi, Aria Gems works directly with miners to source quality emeralds that meet Aria Gems’ stringent quality control for color, clarity and size.
Branded as Aria Panjshir Emeralds, these emeralds are sold directly through Aria Gems’ trusted channel of partners and private auctions. Contact us today for a private, personal introduction.
Aria Gems oversees each precious stone providing a complete chain of custody and provenance.
- Shipped – over 5,000 carats (2014)
- Mining – With local artisanal miners in harsh climate, steep terrain
- Logistics – Security, shipping, Afghan and international customs
- Managed jointly with a leading secure logistics company
- Cutting – Full Service Cutting Operations in Fargo, North Dakota, USA
- 20,000+ carats per year
- Sophisticated computer modeling to create more brilliant cuts
David S. Epstein, renowned emerald expert and author of “The Gem Merchant,” will be managing Aria Auctions and developing a quality grading system for the emeralds.
“We have not yet even begun to tap the potential of Afghan precious deposits,” says Forrest Snowden, referring to the U.S. Geological Survey’s assessment of non-fuel minerals and gemstone deposits in Afghanistan valued in trillions of US Dollars. Forrest foresees Aria Gems playing a role in the rebuilding of Afghanistan with Afghans benefiting from their natural resources.
About Aria Gems
Aria Gems, an American-Afghan company, is the world’s leading source of Panjshir Emeralds and producer of Aria Panjshir Emeralds. Aria Gems has representation in 12 major cities across 4 countries. Aria Panjshir Emeralds are known for their vibrant color, clarity, larger size and sold through trusted sales channels, private auctions. As a vertically integrated company, Aria Gems oversees the entire process from mining, cutting, shipping, sales and marketing, with cutting operations based in Fargo, North Dakota.
Ethically Mined | Traceable Origin | Conflict Free