Blue, mysterious and exquisite, turquoise is one of the world’s most precious and eye-catching gemstones. Turquoise is created by the effect of copper oxide on phosphorus stones and fossils in the heart of soil for thousands of years. From the royal crowns and precious objects which were ornamented by this stone, to its wonderful color which has inspired Iranian artists for glazing tiles of Persian mosques and historic monuments like Sultanieh Dome and Goharshad Mosque, to its beautiful name in Persian (Firoozeh), which is used as a girl name in Iran, the turquoise gemstone is an icon in Iranian culture, art, and even literature. Today a turquoise object is one of the top souvenirs of Iran as one of the most important Iranian handicrafts and it has its special place in traveler’s suitcases on the way back home from Iran.
|Shahnematollah holy shrine - Mahan, Kerman|
Persian turquoise color
As mentioned above turquoise is created by copper oxide and that is the reason why this stone is found in a spectrum of colors with a deep eye-catching hue, including turquoise, blue, blue-green, green, and yellow-green. Turquoise with a purely blue color, known as Persian blue in the world, has the highest quality and price, while the green stones have lower prices and resistance. Some turquoise stones have spider nest stains on them. The stones with arranged stains are more popular than the ones with sloppy stains. However, it all depends on your taste and every piece of turquoise stone with any color and shape has got its very own eye-catching beauty.
|Turquoise in different shapes and colors - Iran|
Where is turquoise found?
Turquoise is usually found in lands with dry and semi-arid climates with a high percentage of copper in the soil. Neishabour, which is a city in Khorasan Province in the northeast of Iran, is the main center of turquoise in Iran or better to say in the world. Although some other cities of Khorasan Province and Kerman have turquoise mines, Neishabour is still the biggest provider. This city is home to the world’s biggest and oldest turquoise mine, which is 7000 years old and still, 30-40 tons of turquoise rock is extracted from this mine every year! There are about 300 turquoise workshops in Neishabour, where this gemstone is carved and formed into different shapes for making jewelry. The oldest piece of Neishabour turquoise is a 7000-year-old statuette of cow kept in the National Museum of Iran in Tehran.
As a traveler with limited time in Iran, you may not be able to travel to Neishabour to get some original turquoise, but you can find it in handicraft shops or traditional bazaars in other cities of Iran on your Iran itinerary, like Isfahan, Tehran, Shiraz.
Turquoise stone price
You can find a turquoise stone with different shapes and uses, including Iranian turquoise jewelry, Persian turquoise ring, Firoozeh Koobi which is the Iranian art of inlaying small turquoise stones on a copper jar, etc. Also, turquoise price varies considering the size and quality of the stone. A piece of Iranian turquoise costs between 30 USD to 3000 USD.
|Firoozeh Koobi, turquoise inlaying art - Iran|