Asia is a rich source of a range of high quality gemstones. Asia excels at producing a wide range of colored gemstones including emerald, opal, ruby, sapphire, and spinel in addition to world-class diamonds.
From Russian Diamonds to Vietnamese Sapphires, many countries throughout Asia contribute to the continent’s gem production. The growing gemstone industry in Afghanistan is opening up a wide range of gemstones to a wider market. This once amateur industry is being formalized allowing more quality stones to be mined and exported. Four main regions in Afghanistan hold deposits of emerald, ruby, lapis lazuli, aquamarine, and sapphire.
The Indian gem industry is also thriving with emerald and sapphire finds increasing availability. It would be impossible to discuss Asian gemstones without mentioning Russia’s contribution as one of the largest diamond producing nations in the world. Other countries that offer a rich supply of gems include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
See the countries section below for a detailed list of gemstones produced by each country or see gemstones listed by their gem localities.
● Diamonds: Diamonds are a large part of the gemstones produced in Asia with Russia contributing a huge percentage of the world’s annual diamond production and India also contributing clear and colored stones.
● Jade: Asia is by far the largest producer of jade in the world, and it’s perhaps no coincidence that Asian countries are also the largest consumers of this fascinating green stone. Jade carvings can be traced back to prehistoric times where it was used for both weaponry and ornamental carvings. Asian Jade is found in Myanmar, the largest source, and China.
● Ruby: Some of the most desired rubies in the world are found in Asia. Rubies from Myanmar, Nepal, and Vietnam boast the most intense color and fluorescence making them highly valued throughout the world. Interestingly it’s their geographic location that gives them their unique qualities. Ruby deposits in Asia are typically found in marble that lacks the iron deposits that can dull a Ruby’s color and glow. Asian rubies truly are special specimens of this stone.
● Spinel: Asia’s mines were renowned for producing large specimens of spinel throughout ancient times. In fact, other than a deposit located in Tanzania, the majority of spinels are found in Asia. These stunning large spinels were owned by royalty and rulers as fine specimens of this precious stone. Spinel is a rare stone that was often mistaken for ruby before reliable testing techniques developed in 1783. Asian spinels are found in blue, pink, orange, purple, and red hues.
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