From bright pastels to intense blues and greens, Afghanistan is known for producing some of the finest tourmalines in the world today. Afghan tourmalines come in colors that rival even the copper bearing “Paraiba Tourmalines”, but at a fraction of the cost. The gem materials from Afghanistan are mined under difficult and dangerous conditions, in the rugged mountainous terrain of the Hindu Kush Mountains, by hard working individuals using only the simplest and most basic of tools. As stability returns to Afghanistan there are efforts under way to improve mining conditions and to develop the mineral resources in more responsible and efficient ways. The gem deposits of Afghanistan represent, and have provided a real source of income and economic development in the mining areas, and have the potential to play a constructive role in a brighter future for Afghanistan.