Mehdi Ansar began life as a refugee in Iran. After school, he earned some money for his family working in a car repair shop, and it was here he first gained his love for tinkering and using his hands. Today Ansar is the head of Blue Diamond - a talented group of seven jewellers all under the age of 25.
Lapis Lazuli was once so exclusive it was reserved for the funeral masks of Pharaohs, and for the brush tips of the Renaissance’s most renowned artists. Lapis equalled the price of gold right up until the industrial age. Bamiyan Turquoise as it's locally called (scientific name: Chrysocolla), is less well-known but equally striking. It is mined just a stone’s throw away from the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan which were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
On top of the amount we pay the artisans, a further 10% of the value of this product goes towards the Turquoise Mountain Foundation. Turquoise Mountain supports Afghan artisans by providing them with three years of technical training, as well as a full range of business support following graduation.