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.
High in the valley of Sar-e Sang in North Eastern Afghanistan lie mountains streaked with seams of deep blue rock. This iconic stone – Lapis Lazuli - has obsessed humans for millennia. Once so exclusive it was reserved for the funeral masks of Pharaohs, and for the brush tips of the Renaissance’s most renowned artists, the price of Lapis Lazuli equalled the price of gold right up until the industrial age. Afghanistan is home to the world’s largest deposit of Lapis Lazuli.
On top of the amount we pay the artisans, a further 10% 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.