The Gem Hunter in Afghanistan

Gem and mineral dealer Gary Bowersox appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America recently with samples of gems from Afghanistan. During an interview with Diane Sawyer, Bowersox—usually seen in Afghan native garb—sported a suit and tie as he described the beauty of Afghan kunzite, emerald, ruby, and lapis for viewers.

Bowersox returned from his most recent trip to Afghanistan just before Sept. 11. A 50-minute TV documentary filmed during that expedition follows Bowersox from the Peshawar gem market, over the Hindu Kush, and up to the lapis and emerald mines. One clip shows Bowersox interviewing commander Ahmed Shah Massoud, the legendary “Lion of Panjshir,” 21 days before his assassination on Sept. 9, 2001.

For obvious reasons, Bowersox has not yet returned to the area.

The documentary and accompanying book are titled The Gem Hunter of Afghanistan. In the book, Bowersox describes his 30 years of searching for rubies, emeralds, sapphires, aquamarines, tourmalines, and lapis lazuli in Afghanistan.

The video was scheduled to be aired in Tucson on Feb. 9; the book is still in the publishing process. For more information on gems from Afghanistan, log onto