HARGEISA (Somalilandpress) — Recent geological surveys indicate that Somaliland has abundant deposits of gemstones, from emerald to aquamarine, ruby and sapphire as well as vast amounts of garnet, quartz and opal as well as lesser-known minerals such as titanite and vesuvianite.

In addition to pegmatite, which are the host rocks of emerald and other kinds of beryl such as aquamarine, Somaliland has metamorphic rocks that hold nodules of ruby and sapphire.

There is little understanding of its mineral deposits but villagers in Somaliland use primitive tools to dig out a range of gemstones that they offer for sale to dealers locally. When aid officials at the European Community (EC) office in the country’s capital, Hargeisa, first saw the gemstones, they believed they had been stolen from graves. To determine whether these stones came out of the ground or stolen from graves, EC invited a consultant geologist and gemmologist from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr Judith Kinnaird, to investigate.

Dr Kinnaird visited the country twice in the past two years. In addition to identifying gem minerals in the country, she helps local miners distinguish among similar coloured minerals and is working with Progressive Interventions supported by EC funding to help set up a gemmological association and marketing channels for Somaliland’s mineral resources.
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The following report was compiled by Jewellery News Asia’s contributing editor, Jennifer Henricus from a presentation made by Dr Kinnaird at the annual conference of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain in London in late 2000 and from an interview with Dr Kinnaird.

Somaliland is part of the Mozambique Belt (MB) and prior to the continental drift 900 million years ago, was in the same area as Madagascar, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and India, Dr Judith Kinnaird said.

Somaliland has the similar type of gem minerals as these other well-known gem-bearing countries but gem deposits have only recently been discovered. Recovery of gemstones, carried out in a primitive and haphazard manner, has been done only since 1988, Dr Kinnaird said. The gem-producing belt is a fairly narrow strip located in a zone of rocks roughly parallel to the Gulf of Aden and is between 30 and 80 kilometres wide, 200 to 300 kilometres long.

The country was a British protectorate from 1886 until it became independent in 1960 and five days later became part of Somalia, a former Italian colony. In 1982 civil war broke out and lasted for nine years, but the country is still trying to recover from the ravages of this war. “Access to gem deposits is difficult. The debris from the war remains: roads suffered extremely, bridges have been bombed out. Getting to many of the mineral locations involves a bone-shaking journey,” Dr Kinnaird said.

The terrain in Somaliland is varied including high mountains and beaches along the Gulf of Aden. Temperatures are sub-Saharan, up to 50 degrees Celsius in summer on the coast, she said.

Watch the video below, a rare Ruby (1.822 kg) is unearthed from Somaliland.

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One of the many Diamonds discovered in Somaliland.

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Somalilandpress, 27 March 2010


  1. As someone involved in this industry I would like to warn all those who read this article and get easily excited to be careful as a lot of these gemstones are actually imported from Ethiopia. Yes, Somaliland is the perfect place geologically to search for these minerals but I advise all those who are interested to approach the purchasing of precious stones with caution and to avoid it altogether unless you are educated on the values of the different varieties of gemstones. A lot of actual digging hasn't taken place in Somaliland and most of the gemstone deposits are yet to actually be discovered.

    A lot of Phenakite is sold as diamonds because it can not be distinguished using the heat sensitivity test and can even fool a Handheld Moissinite Diamond tester (anyone who knows anything about gems will easily determine it's fake due to it's hardness being far lower than a diamonds). It's also the case that many of the gemstones are of very low grade and quality and are sold to happless buyers at around 3000% of what they could ever sell it back in the real market for.

    With that being said, please be careful where and who you attempt to buy from and take precaution when conducting these deals as there is a very strong involvement of criminal elements in this industry. I would advise those interested to work closely with the Ministry of Water and Mineral Resources and to conduct a lot of research before jumping in. I only share these thoughts and suggestions with you because I have personally lost a great deal of money learning this and wanted to save you the heartache. Outside of that, please feel free to contact me for more information.

    Mo Hussein
    Hargeisa Minerals & Resources Company
    Hargeisa, Somaliland
    +2522417444 Telesom
    +2526517444 Telcom

    • Hi this is ron from UK I am interested in setting up business in somaliland related to gemstones.

      Can you help us finding the right sources for emerald and other gemstone.

      you can email me on raunak.tomar@gmail.com



        • Hi thanks for this I will email you shortly. please send me some details about the emerald and current mining situation in somaliland. How much quantity is available and how much is the weekly or monthly yield.


          • salaam inigoo ah ganacsata ka ganacsata gemestons aan imi hargeesa kan soo gatay amathys iyo emerald laakii waan ku qasaara badeecadii iyadoo lacag baden iga gashay qaasatan emerald oo jajaban isagoo jeda ku jiro ka kale amethy lama gato
            ddadka iibinaya lacag badan ayeey ku doonayaa adigan waa qasaari.

  2. Also,

    After looking at the videos I would like to point out that that 'big 1.822 KG Ruby' is merely Ruby Zoisite which is pretty much worthless and is worth less than a candy bar it's same weight. This is one of the favorite scams perpetrated in Somaliland with the gem dealer promising you that there has to be a 'very big ruby' inside the rock (due to zoisite being nearly equivalent in density and hardness to Ruby itself) and us humans not having X-Ray vision.

    That entire rock is pretty much useless as the materials inside are not of gem quality or grade and you will have just paid $5 per gram for something you think you're getting the deal of your life on when you can find them in the foreign markets for $5 for the entire 2 KG rock! (I've literally seen container loads of this stuff in gem markets). Even the Ruby Corundum is of very low quality and unless you find flawless or clear varieties you are still going to get robbed with a smile on your face. A lot of the people here are uneducated and actually think they're getting ripped off even though you're the one who's getting ripped of, but just like everywhere else, there's also those who know better but can't help themselves from taking your hard earned thousands in what is pretty much an easy scam to perpetrate.

    Once again, unless you have a basic background in gemology and know the market values of various gemstones, PLEASE do not get robbed trying to get rich quick as much as you think it'll never happen to you. I know the dealer in the first video (know his voice though he isn't shown) and he's made tons of money off of uneducated buyers from abroad.

    Mo Hussein

  3. Okay, and (thanks to my slow Telesom internet connection) I have now saw the 'diamond' in the second video. Again, anyone who knows anything about gemstones will know that the only types of gemstones with that kind of rough clarity come from alluvial deposits and that diamonds (being the hardest gemstone on the Moh's hardness scale) are near impossible to be affected by weathering. It's quite obvious that it is either a piece of rock crystal or simple quarts as diamonds do not even 'grow' in that shape. In fact, the probability of diamonds in Somaliland is very low other than in the former volcanic regions to the north (near the border with Jibouti).

    I know my fellow Somalilanders usually jump on anyone who 'bashes' Somaliland in their eyes but I want you guys to know that this is a big scam that goes on in Somaliland (stuff brought from outside Somaliland being sold as from Somaliland) and that while we are theoretically living in a geological gold-mine that our resources are yet to be truly discovered, let alone exploited other than the well known Emerald deposits in the Boorama area.

    Okay, I've written a novel but I hope I've managed to save a lot of people a lot of money.

    Mo Hussein

  4. and add a fourth 4 at the end of those numbers if you want to call me for some more information.

  5. Thank you for your information Mr. Hussein, we (Somalilandpress) will keep every thing as it is so people can see it and decide it for themselves. This sort of issue needs to be addressed in Somaliland.

    Perhaps you could provide us with more information from “Hargeisa Minerals & Resources Company” and we are happy to publish it.

    If anyone is also involved in the business we would like to hear from you as well.

    Thank you.


    Qalinle Hussein

  6. Thank you MO, for the information and warning of this scam which even the most shrewd and educated individual like you could be a victim of. I believe you.

  7. Thank you Mr.Hussein for your useful insight and clearly things are not they seem to be…I’m not sure of the 1st video but I agree with you on the 2nd video…
    Why do I sense deception from these 2 guys??..
    Anyways, it is important to warn our people of such scams and expose them.

  8. Salama alekum, Mr. Hussien- Aad ayaad ugu Mahadsatahay informationka aad bixisay….Adigoo u digaya ummada walalaha si asan ugu qatalmin–hantidoodana ugu lumin—-Ciiryaamo beena!!!!. Qof ahaan aqoon ayaan u leeyahay Gemstones midaaso oo aan buurnayn—-Dhawaan waxaan somaliya keenay Lab. lagu baari karaayo Diamond or other gemstones. Wali si wanaagsan umma aan Hawlaabin….. waxaan hada jooga Yurub….isha alaah….dhawaan ayaan guda galayaa.

    Waana sida aad ummada ugu digtay____>>> Aqoon iyo qalab kugu filana hadaadan haysan—maaha in aad Hantidaado dhagxaan galiso aan waxba kaga soo noqon doonin.—–Waxaana jira kuwa aan imaan lahan oo tuuga oo la wareegaya dhagxaan beena–kuna qaldaya dadka aan aqoontoodu hagaagsanayn–ayagoo u tusaya in ay taajiri doonaan–haday dhagxaantaan dibada geeyaan–oo ay lacag fara badan kaga heli doonaan.

  9. Throughout this awesome scheme of things you get an A for hard work. Where exactly you lost us ended up being on the particulars. You know, as the maxim goes, details make or break the argument.. And it could not be much more correct right here. Having said that, let me inform you just what did do the job. Your article (parts of it) can be rather engaging which is possibly the reason why I am taking the effort to opine. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Second, despite the fact that I can certainly see the leaps in logic you come up with, I am not necessarily certain of how you seem to unite your ideas which inturn help to make the actual final result. For the moment I will, no doubt yield to your position but trust in the future you actually link your dots much better.

  10. Mr Hussein
    Thanks for giving so many information i am specialized in natural and antique gems and having a experience of three decades I am from Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi, India please do not hesitate to contact me in clarifying about gem mines in your somaliland if u have real resources i am here to assist ur country, my email m.mohammedsheriff@gmail.com

  11. It is good to see some of my Somaliland brothers and sisters who have a knowledge about gemstones and some who are seeking. Recently there is a gemstone in Somaliland which people think it is diamond but it is not, as the Do SG is 3.52 this gemstone is 2.95 and it’s double reflective, when you use the thermal tester it will show it is diamond but it not I and the GIA are trying to find what it and it might be new gemstone so will let you know the outcome. I just wanted to add when it comes to gems nothing is valueless so it could either be bought as a crystal or as a gem and as long as the gem is transparent and faceted you can make money out of it. If any one of you have ever been to natural museum or Rock and Gem shows you will be amazed what is sold in there. All in all if you buying a gemstone first think about how durable it is clarity is it transparent could it be faceted and how. And last but not least you have to fell in love with the stone for your self before thinking buying it cz most people buy gems in back home for the name of the stone but never ask them selves how it can be faceted cz especially here in the UK people only buy the best gem quality so brothers and sisters we have a lot of resource but we need to know which stone has a gem quality and which is not.

  12. walaal waxaan hayaa dhagax ah ruby star sida lay sheegay markaa igala soo xidhiidh emailka ama 00252634204205 ama 00252659204205

  13. Thanks for our happy nation that looking for income profit. Because ourcountry Is not have recrecognition other world .But we will try any of get life with out suffer.hanger.death. UN they made us feel unknown 4-5MILYONS PERSONS .they loss there equal rights. We are still working we will get the rights by gemstone any lifesystem with out gun and ddictatorship. Thanks all other world that’s my heart speech to supporting my nation blacks coler with big main opinion.