Out of Kashmir, into the Stones

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Pak Chronicle Report

Mir Fazil knows a lot about gemstones and their qualities and above all he knows well how to trade them in the market which is very competitive and full of rivals. Trading in gemstone is his source of living for the past 20 years. Generally he gets these stones directly from the miners but sometimes he would also like to purchase them from another dealer if the deal seems promising. He is honest to the core of the heart and he is jewel in himself.

Collecting or wearing gemstones is believed to be the hobby of well-off people but Fazil’s clientele range from poor dishwasher of a ragged restaurant to business executives. He got the merchandise for each of them.

He did BBA from the University of Kotli, Azad Jammu and Kashmir in 1995 and did variety of things before entering into business of gemstones in 2000.

He lives in Harmosh Valley, Gilgit and his native town is well known place for mining of gemstone. Gemstone like Aquamarine, topaz, emerald, ruby, pollucite, rutile quartz, morganite, apatite, spinel, and pargasite are found in Gilgit. Most of the times Fazil deals in almost all of these jewels which are found in the northern areas of Pakistan.

He spends eight months in his native village where he explores new jewels from the miners and other traders and sell them too if some customers are over there and they want to do business with him. However, his main market to sell gemstones is Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Karachi and Peshawar. He generally spends rest of months in these cities to earn livelihood for him and his family.

”Peshawar is the biggest market of Pakistan with regard to gemstones. However, Rawalpindi and Islamabad are also good places to do business over here,” he states. Since Fazil has spent around two decades in trading gemstones he has developed reasonable clientele in different cities especially in Rawalpindi.

Most of the times his pockets are stuffed with variety of gemstones which he starts showing to his friends and customers over a cup of tea. Having tea at shabby restaurants seem not only his hobby but perfect places to strike a business deals over there.

Unlike other dealers of gemstones he always demand reasonable price of his stones ranging from Rs300 to onwards depending on quality, shape and size of them. His variety of gemstones also include raw or uncut stones. He strikes business deals for these uncut gemstones directly with the minors.

There are two options to deal with such stones. One is to sell them as they are in raw form and second one is to take them experts who cut and shape them in proper order.

“Gemstones have their own characteristics, qualities, affects and a lot more. The buyers know well what suit them and what not. Sometime people ask me what would happen if they wear this or that gemstones. Often to these queries I tell them to consult their astrologers and let me know only what sort of gemstone you want from me,” he states.

According to him most people purchase gemstones from him to bring luck and there are few as well who purchase jewels as it is their hobby.

If someone ask him about a particular gemstone and he’s not possession of it then he would arrange it for this customer from some other dealer. According to him there are more than 1,000 gemstone dealers from Gilgit Baltistan who are doing business in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Mir Fazil back in town has a large family to support and this factor keeps him busy all the time. No matter what hour of day is, if he got a call from some customer, he would pay visit to him to sell his precious stones.

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