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Pakistan is the 8th biggest consumer of gold in the world, imports and gems make up approx $91 billion and jewellery approx $65.187 billion of the total sectors exports. Jewellery imports (50%) and recycled gold (20%). In 2005, Government of Pakistan declared Gems & Jewellery as an Industry.

Pakistan has large reserves of mineral ores and gemstones. Pakistani gemstones include a variety of minerals such as peridot, aquamarine, topaz, ruby and emerald, making the country significant in the mineral world. Pakistan is believed to have around 30% of the total deposits of colour gemstones in the world. In Pakistan, gem reserves are in the Northern Areas including Gilgit-Baltistan and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, with significant potential in Baluchistan. The US and Hong Kong are the top two importers of gems from Pakistan with shares of 31% and 11% respectively while the UAE by far is the largest importer of jewellery from Pakistan with a staggering share of 63%.

Gem markets:

The southern port city of Karachi was once the biggest market of facet and rough cut gems in Pakistan. However, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the significance of Karachi was reduced and Peshawar became the hub of gemstones trade. Due to the long and porous border with Afghanistan, many gemstones from the country are now also found in Pakistan and since 1979, Peshawar is the only direct market for all gems found both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company regularly holds Gem Bazaars (exhibitions) in Quetta and Peshawar where gemstones attested by Gemstone Identification Laboratory are traded. In Islamabad, so far three such exhibitions have been held. In January 2012 exhibition, around two hundred companies from Pakistan displayed their items. The third Islamabad Gem Exhibition was held in February 2013 which where 80 national gem traders displayed their products.

Mining areas

Pakistan's western and northern areas are home to three mountain ranges; Hindukush, Himalaya, and Karakorum which are home to all the minerals found in Pakistan. Some of the major mining areas along with their main gemstone yields are mentioned below:

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has three large mountain ranges: Hindukush covers the area to north and north-west, Karakoram to the north and north-east, and Himalayas to the east. According to Bureau of Statistics of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2568 tonnes of baryte and 85 tonnes of corundum were produced in 2005-2006 and 1416 tonnes of quartz was produced in 2006-2007 in the province. According to one source, Swat has reserves of 70 million carats of emerald, Mardan has reserves of 9 million carats of pink topaz and Kohistan has 10 million carats worth of reserves of peridot.

Tribal areas

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas are strategically located between the Afghanistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The region is mostly dry and barren with hilly northern Bajaur and Mohmand agencies. In the central agencies of Khyber, Kurram, and Orakzai, the Safed Koh range is located while in the two southern agencies of Waziristan, the Sulaiman range along with Waziristan hills are located. A large variety of minerals and gemstones are found in these mountains: emerald and tourmaline are found in the north, and garnet and quartz are found in the Bajaur and South Waziristan agencies. Department of Minerals is the government department working for the exploration and development of the mining industry in the region.

Gilgit Baltistan

The three mountain ranges of Gilgit-Baltistan; Himalayas, Hindukush, and Karakoram contain many minerals and gems including emerald, ruby, sapphire, aquamarine, moonstone, and amethyst. A number of other minerals are also found in the region such as peridot, tourmaline, topaz, garnet, red spinal, pargasite, diopside, sphene, apatite, azurite, rose quartz, and agate. In Swat, pale green to green coloured emeralds can be found in talc-carbonate schist. In Hunza, well formed pink to red crystals of ruby are found, while in Neelum valley high quality rubies also occur.


Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan by area and is covered by rough terrain and rugged mountain ranges. Major mountain ranges of the province include Makran, Sulaiman, Toba Kakar, and Kirthar. The main gemstones that are traded in the region include emerald, apatite, sapphire, agate, tourmaline, ruby, topaz, turquoise, lapis lazuli, quartz, garnet, and peridot.

Pakistani precious and semi-precious stones and their sources 1 Ruby Hunza, Gilgit district, Azad Kashmir, Neelum Valley 2 Sapphire Kaghan, Naran Valley, Hazara 3 Emerald Mangora, Swat, NWFP 4 Aquamarine Northern Areas, Karamosh Valley,Shagesh, Shagar Valley 5 Marganite Northern Areas, Karamosh Valley,Shagesh, Shagar Valley 6 Helidor Northern Areas, Karamosh Valley,Shagesh, Shagar Valley 7 Rock Crystal All NWFP districts, Northern Areas 8 Brown Quartz Northern Areas, Swat, Dir 9 Milky Quartz Skardu, Shagar Valley, Northern Valley 10 Aventurine Skardu, Shagar Valley, Northern Valley 11 Tourmaline Pakistan, Northern Areas 12 Topaz Mardan, Tatling, Northern Areas 13 Zircon Northern Areas 14 Turquoise Northern Areas 15 Lapis Lazuli Northern Areas of Chitral 16 Epidote Northern Areas, Turang 17 Peridot Hazara, Kohistan 18 Garmet Chitral, Dir, Swat, Quetta, Kalat, Malakand 19 Serpenline Gilgit 20 Flourite Chitral, Dir, Kalat 21 Spinal Hunza 22 Quartz Chitral, Dir, Neelun Valley, Hunza, Gilgit, Skardu, Azad Kashmir



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