Emeralds, a saturated green and the most precious form of beryl, are found in the Panjshir province at elevations of 3000-4000m, in an area 16 km long by 3 km wide. Emeralds are green color and occur in crystals up to 100 carats in weight whose clarity often rivals the more famous Columbian emeralds. Gem quality crystals are often up to 10 mm to 15mm long, 2-3mm thick, and very occasionally up to 50 mm long and 2mm wide. Estimates of current production are speculative, but before the civil war productions was said to be in the US$8-10 million range (UNDP 2005). Also, on the eastern side of the Panjsher River, 70 miles northeast of Kabul, there are other emerald deposits located in a range from 7,000-14,000 feet. The estimated area of emerald deposits are approximately 150 sq. miles (400 km2 ).
1 The global gemstone market is valued at approximately US$23 billion. Prices, which have been increasing steadily in the last decade, could continue to soar with demand. The price of emeralds, for example, has increased by 500 percent since 2010, according to Gemfields PLC. At a market level, demands are shifting away from diamonds towards colored gems. From a mere US$2 billion, if trends continue and strengthened, colored gems could displace diamond’s market share and reach US$10 billion in the next decade. Moreover, 60 percent of the world’s emeralds is cut and polished in India-which consumes 20-25 percent of the world’s emeralds. Thus, India continues to be a very important market. Following are the retail price range of (quality grade low to high) for 1.0 carat emerald; however, the prices vary according to the market demand.
Quality Low High
Commercial USD 30 USD 525
Good USD 525 USD 1,125
High USD 1,125 USD 2,900