Ruby is blood red in color but they are being mined in a region that is politically unstable and volatile making getting these rubies even a bloodier option. Recently concluded Cannes festival also had celebrities wearing these exotic gems on the red carpet.
The septuagenarian Jane Fonda’s wore ruby jewelry at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and looked red hot at the premiere for “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” in a sequined red gown. Even Sophie Marceau stunned with her Ruby jewelry where the red gem and diamond “flowers” mingle in the gaps between five strands of diamonds. As for royalty, Duchess of Cambridge has also shown her love these red gems as she wore a Ruby necklace in December last year.
Afghanistan is a very important source of these red gems and is said to be endowed with mineral wealth, only a few hours’ drive from the Afghan capital Kabul there is Jegdalek area. It is said that hills of the area are the source of some of the world’s brightest and most valuable rubies. Inspite of the government ban these mines being plundered by thieves.
Couple of years back in 2010, according to a report of US geologists approximately these hills has $1 trillion in untapped deposits. There are four ruby mines along with deposits of Aquamarine, emerald, fluorite, garnet, kunzite and sapphire. That is not all these hills are also abundant in Gold, iron ore, lithium and marble. Even Petoleum and natural gas deposits have been found here. But this abundant mineral is turning out to be a curse, instead of a blessing. This is so because these mines are being controlled by Taliban and the income from rubies is used to buy weapons and pay fighters.
According to locals these Jegdalek mines are more than five centuries old and are known for their high-grade blood-red rubies, which were popular with royalty across the world. Though now all those who are willing to pay exuberant prices no longer purchase Jegdalek rubies. As there is supposed to be a ban on ruby mining because the government views the mines as national wealth but this ban is not really effective and the Taliban lure locals to mine the area unprofessionally.
It is even reported that these rubies are smuggled to countries like Dubai, Pakistan, India etc. If reports are true a ruby that was smuggled out of the area two months ago has been sold for $600,000 in Dubai. We all wish that soon Afghanistan is able to use its assets for benefiting its people who need it most.
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