For the first time, the Jammu and Kashmir administration is going to auction Kashmiri Sapphire in the global market. This prized sapphire is found in the Paddar hills of Kishtwar. Those sapphires will be kept in the auction, which has been extracted from the Paddar range in the last few years. The government is expecting a good price from this auction. It will be organized by Metal and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC).
Survey of sapphire reserves worth 5 thousand crores is being done
An official said that the sapphire present in the stock is being evaluated. Only after this the global e-auction process will start. It is expected to attract buyers from many countries. Not only this, the Jammu and Kashmir administration is conducting a survey to find new deposits of sapphire in the entire region.
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) conducted a survey last year to find out the sapphire deposits in Kishtwar district. They estimate that within a radius of 116 km, there is a sapphire stock worth Rs 2,700 crore. At the same time, independent experts believe that it can be more than 5 thousand crores.
Mining is done under police guard
JKML has a mine lease in a small area of 6 sq km. According to officials, these days mining starts around June and with the help of police the mining team extracts around 2-7 kg of raw sapphire. It takes 2 days for the team to reach Paddar Hills from Kishtwar. There are also glaciers on the way, as this area remains covered with snow for 9 months.
American show exposed the black marketing of Kashmiri Sapphire
There have also been reports of illegal mining of sapphire. In 2014, an American TV show exposed illegal mining in the area. Also, told how he bought Kashmiri Sapphire for one crore rupees from the black market. Over the years, the police have also arrested people involved in the illegal trade in Kashmiri Sapphire, but the vast inaccessible terrain makes it difficult to keep a close watch on the entire area.
Kashmiri Sapphire is the best in the world, its color lasts in every light
It was discovered by chance in 1881 after a hill slope in the Paddar area. It is dark blue in colour. A JKML official said that the color of this sapphire lasts in every light. Whereas other sapphires shine only in certain light. In 2020, a 35-carat Kashmiri Sapphire was sold by the Geneva-based Christie’s Auction House for Rs 57 crore.
Credit: www.bhaskar.com /