GIA's Gübelin Gem Project: Corundum
Ruby and sapphire (usually blue, but also in every other colour) have been the most important coloured gemstones for several thousand years. Originating historically in south-east and central Asia, and more recently in eastern Africa, these coloured varieties of the mineral corundum have been much sought as gems because of their rarity, colour and durability. Gem corundum can display asterism and chatoyancy due to the presence of oriented mineral inclusions, and in some cases, a change of colour when viewed under different light sources.
GIA Gem Project
Chemically pure beryl is colourless, but trace elements give rise to green, blue and pink/red colours.
A Status Report on Gemstones from Afghanistan
An overview of the plentiful and various gem materials being discovered and produced in Afghanistan.