Tourmalines (and other stones) from Pakistani internet sellers

We are always on the look out for good tourmalines (and have a fair few years experience in buying stones on the internet for our jewellery business in NZ). So we are seeing a significant number of sellers based mainly in Peshwar in Pakistan, often selling stones apparently sourced from Afganistan (although they often are also selling blue zircon - we assume Cambodian, lots on the market at the moment). Mostly they are using Instagram (sometimes Facebook) - their product often looks to be very good quality but is often fairly highly priced, but it has proven very hard for us to find any decent feedback from buyers about their product (we find Instagram to be hopeless in this regard compared to say Gemrockauctions where you can find out a decent amount about the seller). Digging around on FB reveals the sellers are often young guys (in their 20’s and 30’s) with suitably flashy profiles (they often seem to know each other, but then that’s not uncommon in the gem trade). One of two of them have units in the JTC in BK (so are clearly established to some degree). Anyone any experiences in dealing with these sellers? We love some of the images of the tourmalines (in particular) they are offering up but when sellers are asking $250-350 a carat for stones (however pretty looking) on the internet without buyers being able to see much feedback (from any obvious source) its pretty hard to commit - when we have asked about this we have been told ’ we want to protect our buyers’ - yeah right we get that, but this is the internet!

Dear Sir, Tourmalines is mining in Russia from Siberia, I have possibility to offer Siberian Tourmalines, please write to me on if it will can be interest for you. Many thanks, Alexandr Rumiantsev

Hello Andy. All what you say is correct. These are young tech friendly guys mostly working for gem traders in Pakistan and are not the Sellers in their own right. They generally aim to sell to small single stone buyers. As of yet, I have not heard serious complaints about any malpractices except of course the high price and sometimes a slight difference in video/picture quality as compared to the real stone delivered. I hope the above helps.

We have been in jewelry business for over 50 years, and have recently started a lapidary and export business. We are looking for volume buyers. For the time being, we are focusing on Emeralds, Rubies, Sapphires and Peridots. But can do Tourmaline subject to a decent size order/demand. Let me know if you have an interest.

After having lived in Sri Lanka for many years while studying Precious Gemstones, i can now
offer our knowledge and Expertise to you. I have High- quality Gemstones.
Alexandrite Ruby Sapphires and Tourmaline.
C4 GEMS of Scandinavia
Ps I am 67 years old : )

Dear Sir, I’m excuse me, but could I to connect to you and to welcome?
Thank you,

I recently went through the same process. I used a gemologist in Lahore to assist with grading my gemstones prior to buying. I found that most (if not all) the sellers were not providing accurate grading descriptions.

Hi Adeeb - thanks very much for the background information, it confirms our impressions of these sellers. One or two of them look worthy of more investigation but it sounds as though some are ‘freelancers’ rather than serious dealers. Interesting - but everyone has to make a dollar somehow so good luck to them! We are a small bespoke handmade jewellery operation in New Zealand - we are prepared to buy small packages (5-20 pieces) of decent quality, mainly mid-range gems (emeralds/rubies and sapphires we tend to buy individually on demand for clients, we don’t routinely stock them). We would be interested in your peridots (if you deal in such parcels, might be too small for you), and tourmalines in the blue-green spectrum (cocktail ring sized stones in the 10-8mm size, 2.5- 4 carat). Blue topaz (Swiss, London and Sky) are also immensely popular down here. Always keen to see what other dealers have out there. Feel free to ping me at:, many thanks Andy

Hello, I am Thomas from Germany. I live in Afghanistan. Sorry for my bad english.
The stones from Sar e Sang, Maiden Sha and other Places often sold in Pakistan, Peshawar.
Background: The Mines are in the hand of Talib.
The Taliban do not sell to US and Western Europe, only to Asia and Islamic Countries.
Only a few people in Pakistan have the money to buy and transfer the Stones to Peshawar. The most sellers are Dealer, who are working for one of them. Evrybody want to get a profit in this line.
So the Price rice up. The Dealers often have no experience with the stones. They only sell it and most in a Lot. In this Lot it is possible, that one or two stones are okay, the others are simple.
But it give a lot of people, who want also to make money and they are not seriously. It is not easy to find somebody, which you can trust.
I buy my stones in Afghanistan direct, because my Afghan friends. I have to use the way of Afghanistan life. It is a special and dangerous way to buy.
I found somebody from Peshawar also and he want to meet me here in Afghanistan. My friends have checked him and find out, that he is a Talib, who want to kidnapping me.
Thats the way of live in Afghanistan.
So I mean, that you can not trust evrybody in Internet and also you can not trust, the stones, what you can get from them.
Better is to go to Peshawar and make a check. Often they have also synthetic stones and sell it as natural stones.
I hope, that the little feedback from me, show you the bad situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Kind regards


Hi Thomas - thanks so much for your reply - that is fascinating information, really helpful. So interesting, it gradually starts to make sense. You are brave to live in Afghanistan at the moment but it must be very interesting! Thanks again, cheers Andy

Dear Mr. Thomas, I should like to collaborate to you? I’m from Russia, please tell me would you to be interest Siberian gemstones, Ural gemstones, Altay gemstones about? Please write to me on in free at any time. Many thanks, Alexandr

I am sure that some are totally legit, but…

I had someone contact me about some of these people who were selling MY GIA/IGI certified gems on Facebook and IG at crazy cheap prices (not just me, other reputable online dealers as well), they were downloading my certs, printing them off, getting foil on them and everything, then selling $20k stones for $500 and delivering people synthetics with the fake GIA reports, the guy who contacted me about it had been scammed and was trying to get Facebook and GIA involved.

As for prices being high, people can ask what they want, you can offer what you want. I have bought stones people were asking $200ct for $7ct!

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Crikey Skygems that’s pretty awful when scammers are faking downloaded GIA reports…caveat emptor.

Hi Andy, My name is Cliff Liebenberg. I am new to the Gem trade but I do own some mining sites for mica and beryl in Zimbabwe and have access to a lot of miners in Zim; Zambia; Malawi and Mocambique. Tourmalines do come up often as do a lot of other semi precious stones. If you are keen please contact me at
My apologies that I have no intel on Pakistani internet sellers.
Regards Cliff.

Here are some tourmaline i have purchased from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Shrilanka online. Seller I have found on Facebook and instagram. Most were as described, Sometimes we had a different opinion on clarity. I pay via paypal business, so i have recourse if not received. Asking prices are high, but negotiable. I have many other types of semi precious also, My asking prices have some flexibility.

Thanks for that, interesting that you have had success in buying from these sources. The guys I was dealing with (I was looking at top quality bi-coloured tourmalines) were actually inflexible on price (at $350/carat) - which annoys me a tad. There is always room to move on price :slight_smile:

they buy rough for relatively nothing bags of it

Chatting with someone about this today, I guess that some people are hiring sales companies via platforms like Upwork & Fiverr

As I understand it, these companies are paid commissions that are up to 50%, so, the sellers are unwilling to move on price because they only get half of what is noted.

kknox14 is mostly right in that they can buy for cheap because there is not a lot of competition for the rough, that said, if you want to go to the Pakistan/Afghanistan border to buy rough, you want to be sure you have all your affairs in order because there is a good chance you aren’t coming back! :wink:

Yep that all makes sense…and backs up what Adeeb had to say.

Hi there,
I have had a fair bit to do with Pakistani sellers, I have been lucky so fr in that they have not scammed me . I can forward some names if you wish.
However, Even better I have Australian stock, that is both ethical and I can certify myself. You can contact me on
PS I have a very exciting new Australian find of deep purple tourmaline. I will be posting the particular of it once I have received the information from the mineral collator in Australia. I also personally have found a new find of epidote, however this is not facet quality of yet.

Thanks Sarah, will do.