Here’s What SSEF Found When It Studied High-Quality Afghan Emeralds – by Brecken Branstrator (National Jeweler – April 19, 2021)

Basel, Switzerland—The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF conducted intensive research on high-quality Afghan emeralds and has released its findings for the trade.

In 2017, the lab started seeing a new kind of emerald from the country’s Panjshir Valley, nearly all of which were fine quality, SSEF Director Michael Krzemnicki said. As they do for all less familiar material, researchers at SSEF decided to study the emeralds extensively to find ways to separate them from others.

This was necessary, especially given that the material is occasionally mislabeled as Colombian, Krzemnicki said. The high-quality Panjshir Valley emeralds closely match the South American specimens in terms of both their appearance and their gemological properties, SSEF said.

The Swiss lab conducted the study by testing and analyzing more than 100 gem-quality emeralds from the Panjshir Valley, ranging from 1 carat to more than 30 carats. It also looked at emeralds from Colombia, Zambia, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Davdar, China, the lab confirmed.

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