December Speaker: Gemstone Hunting in Afghanistan and Central Asia by Gary Bowersox

by Cindy Schmidtlein, MSDC Vice President

Our speaker for December, Gary Bowersox,  is known worldwide as a gem hunter, gemologist, and author who is among the top experts in the world on Afghanistan. He will review his 50 years of research and travels in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and other Central Asian countries in search of gemstones. Gary is an experienced explorer, gemologist, author, entrepreneur, CEO, consultant, and seller of gemstones.

As President of Gem Hunters Corporation, Gary has served as a consultant to the Department of Defense and the government of Afghanistan, USAID/ASMED, and The World Bank/Adam Smith International. After serving as a U.S. Army major in Vietnam as Chief of Operations US Army Audit Agency - Pacific, Bowersox has spent 51 years exploring and researching gems and minerals in Afghanistan and Central Asia. He was a presenter and consultant for "The Gem Hunter in Afghanistan 2001," a 50-minute television documentary film. Bowersox also has chaired eight symposiums on "Gems and Minerals of the Hindu Kush and Central Asia" and authored two books: Gemstones of Afghanistan and The Gem Hunter – True Adventures of an American in Afghanistan.

Gary Bowersox has been called "a m0dern-day Indiana Jones," but his adventures in Afghan cave-mining have posed real-life dangers. During his expeditions, Bowersox traveled for several months at a time by horseback, climbing narrow paths to mountain caves, at altitudes as high as 14,000 feet. He was in Afghanistan in April and May 2021 and in Tajikistan in May 0f 2022.