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Kashmir Sapphire; Crown Jewel of India

Haji Abdul Majid Butt
Retired Government of India

Beauty, rarity and inaccessibility conjured up with high altitude factor; lack of communication and severe climatic conditions summarizes the world famous Kashmir Sapphire Mines situated at Paddar, in district Kishtwar of Jammu and Kashmir State. Sapphire exists in Pegmatite veins in intrusive form traversing Actinolite-Tremolite schist. Its colour is corn flower blue, hardness 9, transparent with Sp.Gr around four. Since 1881 Sapphire of this locality has been dominating the world market with highest possible price tag. Velvety blue peacock neck colour with milky inclusions and brush structure features is the hallmark of the stone, estimated around 450 kgs at present day estimation through satellite imagery.

The gneisses and schists dominate mines and garnet is found well developed here. The presence of marble with graphite according to Middlemiss confirm cambrosilurain age. The genesis states the mode of occurrence of sapphire through intrusive and disseminated form. Precious stone deposits are notoriously difficult to evaluate. There is potentially high reward for the high degree of risk involved on investment decision on very little data, but the efforts are rewarding.

Presentation GEO India Expo XXI, Noida, New Delhi, India 2008©AAPG Search and Discovery