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War Boosts The Risk For Lapis Hunting In Afghanistan



Lapis The Ultramarine Gem From Afghanistan
The dare devil activity of hunting for lapis lazuli in the Afghan mountains is a story of life and death. The mountains in the Badakshan province of Afghanistan rise to a height of 9,000  to 15,000 feet above sea level. Oxygen, safety, food and living conditions in those mountains are tough and rare. For more than 6,000 years Afghans have been climbing those rugged mountains in search of lapis lazuli - a gemstone that is used to make jewelry and carve into various objects. In the early days, the locals believed that the rock that held lapis would 'soften' if heated and this led them to light huge fires around the mountains. In reality, the most that the fire could do was to make the rock a bit brittle depending on it's composition. The heated rock was then hit with iron hammers and made to crumble, if nothing was found - the brave men just continued deeper into the mountains and did the same thing.

In 1979 the then USSR invaded Afghanistan, this made the availability of explosives fluid and easy. The lapis hunters realized that blasting the rock with dynamite sticks was a more efficient way to keep prospecting for lapis lazuli. They were fully aware that this method was far more risky then their centuries old technique of lighting fires. Willing to take great risks, dynamite became almost necessary in the search for lapis. Continued political instability in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, has kept dynamite within easy access of everyone. The Soviets did introduce some amount of streamlining into the cutting and carving process of Afghanistan but, that did not last for long. Today, most of the lapis that is mined enters into Pakistan and is processed there. The Pakistan traders have learnt about the international demand for lapis, they initiated the trade for rough lapis. Today rough is sold to India, Thailand and even China.

Jewelers like Kaisilver procure rough lapis lazuli from the Afghan and Pakistani suppliers in Thailand. Chunks as large as 10 to 30 kilos are purchased each time. Our gem experts carefully study each piece and then work with the gem cutting team to decide the cutting process. Ever lapis ring that you order from us has a custom cut lapis lazuli gemstone. While we always recommend that the gem in your lapis ring be left untreated, we can provide dyed lapis lazuli if that is what you prefer. You can send us your own ring design to be custom made or, choose any ring from our website and request for it to be crafted in gold or 925 silver with lapis lazuli. Get to know more about the MAN66 mens lapis ring and other jewels at http://www.kaisilver.com/gents-rings-th-06.htm and email our experts at sales@kaisilver.com we will glad to help you with any information that you need.
Tags: custom lapis ring, kaisilver lapis ring, lapis, lapis ring, mens lapis ring
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