Iran's homegrown treasure: the spice that costs more than gold

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(CNN)It is the most expensive and sought after spice in the world, commonly known as red gold.

At $65 per gram for the highest quality crop, Saffron can cost even more than the precious metal. Its value has been kept permanently high by labor-intensive harvesting methods that require around 200,000 delicate red strands to be hand-picked from 70,000 Crocus Sativa flowers for each pound.
The undisputed capital for saffron production is Iran, where the tradition dates back over 3,000 years. The country produces over 90% of the 250 tons produced worldwide each year, boosted by unique ecological conditions that deliver a strong-flavored, aromatic crop that is a staple of local cuisine, cosmetics and traditional medicine.
    The trade has received a boost from the