Afghanistan’s Panjir Emeralds
The emeralds of the Panjshir are considered some of the finest in the world, challenging only those found in Colombia in terms of quality. A growing number of Afghani men are putting their lives at risk by taking up amateur mining to earn a living.
Underneath snow-capped peaks, some 3000 feet above sea level, hundreds of men are hard at work. These mines have been worked for decades by locals who have absolutely no training in mining techniques or any modern equipment. But in the 6th poorest country in the world, these man are eager to take a share of Afghanistan’s vast, untapped mineral wealth.