Introduction to the Gem hunting in Hunza, Pakistan
This story of gem hunting is back to our visit during
ending days of October, 2017 in Hunza, Pakistan. It was long, tiring but full of adventurous visit in the valley and its surroundings. Karakoram road is very comfortable and definitely a wonder of the world which was constructed with the help of China.
Nature has blessed Hunza valley with precious minerals and gemstones alongwith mighty mountains. There are number of highest peaks. Famous are Lady finger 6,000 metres (20,000 ft), Rakaposhi, Ultar Peak at a height of 7,388 metres (24,239 ft), Golden Peak.
The mountains are blessed with precious minerals and gemstones like ruby, emeralds, mica, spinels, Aquamarine, tourmaline, quartz, Zircon, garnets, apatite, rare minerals and many others. After July to November, mining starts here because in other days, mountains are full of snow.
The beautiful ruby of Hunza is very lovely however top quality is existing on the top of the mountains. Reaching there with proper equipment is very difficult task and many mountaineers have ended their lives in gemstones and minerals hunting expeditions. First problem if height, low oxygen and than weather which is very tough on the tops.
Hunza has a lot of corundum deposits in surroundings. So one can see ruby and sapphire there even with naked eyes. We will show you in next part some videos of corundum mines. In the lowest point, ruby is bit pinkish to purple and light colour. However near the top of mountains, the colour becomes bit dark red.
Chromium with Aluminum and crystallization gives stunning colour and shape to the Hunza ruby. Along with corundum deposits, one can see spinels , mica of different shades, zircon, quartz, and lot of other gemstones and minerals beside corundum. One can find specimens in combination of these gems on one mother rock. As soon as we cross the Altit Fort and pass by Karakoram road, ruby mines exist near by road. It is very easy to go there.
We started our travelling from Lahore which took 18 hours to reach Hunza by a road trip. Here we stayed in Karimabad and enjoyed yalk meat BBQ in the night. It was very cold there. We visited Baltit Fort to enjoy historical place first.
Here we met with a couple from Germany who
was enjoying Hunza valley views from Baltit Fort. Baltit Fort is historical Fort of Hunza that has long history. We took a couple of shots with the couple.
Hunza Mountain rocks are igneous and metamorphic both and in some areas like Sosat has sedimentary rocks also. Gemstones veins are visible on the front of each mountains. Some are hydro thermal veins.
Mountains are also rich in gold. People gather gold from the Hunza river by local methods from the river sand.
The gold quality gathered from river is one of the top quality and pure gold. In front of Karimabad, on the other side there is Nagar, Sumayar Valley which has top quality icy aquamarine, spinels, apatite,rare pink flourite and many other stones.Before going towards Sumayar valley, we did visit of some areas like Sosat and Khunjrab Pass near China Border.
Towards Khunjrab Pass, all mountains are barren, mighty, covered by snow. Khunjrab pass is called roof of the world. Here Oxygen level is very low. You may feel burden on feet. It is difficult to walk there.
A short video on going towards a mine in Hunza. Will be explained in our Part II.