International Latest News Videos and Photos

The Story of Namak Mandi: Asia’s Largest Gemstone Market

In the heart of Peshawar, Pakistan, lies Namak Mandi, a market that is not just a trading ground but a testament to the country’s rich natural resources and historical trade routes. The gemstone market is a center point where the Earth’s treasures find their way from the rugged mountains of Pakistan to gleaming showcases worldwide.

“Pakistan’s mountains harbor the world’s rarest stones such as emerald, zircon, ruby, and topaz. All are sourced within Pakistan and from different cities like Swat, Mohmand Agency, Gilgit Baltistan, and a few from Afghanistan, further exported to different countries like Germany, USA, Canada, and Middle Eastern countries,” said the Market Head, Mr. Ali Akbar.

“Namak Mandi’s gemstone market began in the 1970s. With the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, local gemstone dealers began migrating with their stones and establishing themselves in Peshawar. Traders from the Kunar Province of Afghanistan exported tourmaline to Namak Mandi.

“Different stones are sourced from different areas of Pakistan. Green granite is a rare and expensive gemstone that we source from Gilgit Nagar and Baluchistan. It costs around $1000 per carat and is exported to China, Germany, and Thailand,” added Mr. Abdul Jabbar, the Wholesaler.


Traditions and Value in Gemstone Trading at Namak Mandi

Traders at Namak Mandi operate on trust and competence. Stones are carefully examined, negotiated over, and exchanged, keeping alive the ancient traditions of the gemstone trade all across Pakistan and through new modern solutions, such as how they source the stone sitting hundreds of miles away through deep-rooted contacts and trustworthiness. The actual value of a gemstone is determined not just by its beauty but also by the stories it carries from the depths of the Pakistani land.

“The government keeps a check on all activities happening within this market, and a proper business association is made only to resolve any kind of problems and hindrances through meetings and conferences for smooth trade,” added Mr. Ali Akbar.


Pakistan’s Diverse Gemstone Offerings and Global Reach

Pakistan is the leading supplier of various precious stones, such as rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and lapis lazuli. Each region of Pakistan contributes uniquely to this treasure. The emeralds of Swat are renowned for their matchless clarity, the rubies of Azad Kashmir for their deep blood-red color, and the pink topaz of Katlang for its soft, mesmerizing glow. Many countries, including China, Afghanistan, the USA, Belgium, the UK, and India, import raw gemstones from Pakistan and export valuable gem products and jewelry around the globe.

Currently, this market serves a wide range of buyers and sellers from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Iran who deal with locally mined gemstones from AJK, GB, and parts of KP in Pakistan, trading on different online platforms and through auctions and live bidding.

Among the crowd at Namak Mandi is Mr. Ashir, whose passion for gemstones goes beyond mere trade. “I have a special affection for gemstones, and since childhood, collecting stones has been my hobby. Now, I come here to find these treasures at good prices. But it doesn’t stop there—I craft them into jewelry, giving each piece a new life, and then sell them across Pakistan.” This story reflects the essence of Namak Mandi, where every gemstone bought and sold carries a personal journey.

This market is not just a local bazaar but an essential player in the global gemstone economy, exporting millions of dollars worth of gemstones annually. Pakistan has the potential to export 800,000 carats of ruby, 90,000 carats of emerald, and more than 5 million carats of peridot every year.

As the day turns to night at Namak Mandi, the hustle and bustle slow down, but the magic of this place does not fade. Here, every gemstone from Pakistan’s mountains tells a remarkable story of nature’s beauty, the hard work of those who shape them, and how they connect us with people far away. Namak Mandi bridges Pakistan’s rich lands and the rest of the world, keeping old traditions alive.

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More