Feature Gems & Gemology, Summer 2000, Volume 36, No. 2

Ruby and Sapphire from Jegdalek, Afghanistan

This study provides detailed mining and gemological information on the Jegdalek deposit, in east-central Afghanistan, which is hosted by elongate beds of corundum-bearing marble. Some facet-grade ruby has been recovered, but most of the material consists of semitransparent pink sapphire of cabochon or carving quality. The most common internal features are dense concentrations of healed and nonhealed fracture planes and lamellar twin planes. Color zoning is common, and calcite, apatite, zircon, mica, iron sulfide minerals, graphite, rutile, aluminum hydroxide, and other minerals are also present in some samples. Although the reserves appear to be large, future potential will depend on the establishment of a stable government and the introduction of modern mining and exploration techniques.