Named after the country where it was found and the main locality for the lovely gemmy blue crystals like the one in the photo, it is a metamorphic mineral, born in the crushing heat and pressure of the ongoing mountain building event that is upthrusting the Himalaya, Hindu Kush, Altai, Pamirs etc into contorted folds of squished transformed rock. It was first discovered in 1968 in the Lapis Lazuli mine of Sar-e-Sang, Badakhshan Province where it cuts veins of another blue mineral called lazurite, which remains the main locality. It formed as sea bottom limestones turned into marble.
Colours include colourless and yellow alongside these vivid blues, and the hardness is medium at 5.5-6 on Mohs scale, the same as feldspars. The mineral glows bright orange in UV light, as electrons are excited by the energy, jumping up a level and giving off the energy as visible light as they fall back down. Other sources include Germany, Italy and Siberia. The specimen in the photo (4.2 x 3.8 x 3.7 cm) is Afghan.