His shop is named “Balkh Ommul Bulad Stones”; Balkh is the Province and the mine is Ommul Bulad. As you can see by the picture, his jewelry production provides employment for a significant number of young Afghans.
Thanks to Peer Nazar for our Afghan jewelry
We especially love his items made of lapis lazuli; “lapis” means stone, and “Lazuli” is derived from the Persian word “lazhward”, meaning blue. The best lapis is a dark blue, often sprinkled with pyrite, which provides a contrast of sparkling gold color.
The history of lapis lazuli
Egyptian burial sites dating before 3000 B.C. revealed thousands of pieces of jewelry, many made from lapis lazuli from Afghanistan. Egyptian ladies evidently used powdered lapis as a cosmetic eye shadow. Later lapis was used as a pigment in ultramarine paints, and the ultramarine color in old paintings never faded.
The best lapis is a dark blue, often sprinkled with pyrite, which provides a contrast of sparkling gold color.
The original site for mining lapis lazuli is the Sar-e-Sang deposit in the remote northern province of Badakhshan. This mine has produced lapis lazuli continuously for over 7000 years. While deposits of lapis are found in several other parts of the world, none are of importance in comparison with those in Afghanistan.
Huge mining potential in Afghanistan
Afghanistan has been blessed with a large variety of precious and semi-precious stones from 73 mines and deposits, and the potential exists for an even larger gemstone mining industry.
This is especially important in this poor country, as it provides an industry other than that of the current poppy farming. We, therefore, strongly support and encourage the rug and jewelry-making businesses in Afghanistan.