The First Symposium on the Gems and Minerals of Afghanistan was directed by Gary W. Bowersox in Honolulu, Hawaii during March of 1980. This symposium was co-sponsored by United Gem Merchants, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the Ministries of Mines and Commerce, Government of Afghanistan. The attendees came from Afghanistan, Brazil, Singapore and the United States of America. Five other symposiums followed, sponsored by GeoVision, Inc. The largest attendance was in Chitral, Pakistan with over fifty (50) participants.
The symposiums have produced data and guides for its participants and others to further research, exploration, mine expansion and market data for Afghanistan's gems and minerals.
From 1981 to 1995 the gems and mineral exports increased from an estimated USD $500,000.00 to USD $20,000,000.00 ($20 million). It is difficult to determine what influence the symposiums had on this increase other than information disseminated in reports and scientific articles.