Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Turquoise of Neyshabur

Having spent the vast majority of my time in Iran in my mom's hometown of Neyshabur, I always took for granted that I had access to some of Iran's greatest: literary poets and artists like Khayyam, Attar, and Kamal Al-Molk; produce like rhubarb and melons; and firouzeh, turquoise. Just outside Neyshabur are a plethora of turquoise mines, and all throughout Iran, jewelry stores will proudly tell you that any turquoise they sell is firouzeye Neyshabur. 

Photos of the turquoise mines

Bucket of turquoise ready to be shaved

After they come from the mines, they are shaved and shaped. You can see the muddy water in the tray as the stones are cleaned.

Again, Neyshabur turquoise is sold everywhere, but should you find yourself in this overlooked destination, the best places to stock up are either the Carvanserai or the street in front of and around Khayyam's mausoleum. There is store after store of beautiful turquoise jewelry and other crafts. 

Turquoise store in the Carvanserai

Turquoise store in the Carvanserai

In a display case outside near Attar

Some of the turquoise I've picked up over the years.

They say that when turquoise touches your skin, it has healing properties. It's supposed to detoxify, taking away the negative energy and protecting against it, and giving the body positive energy. That was the reason behind the necklace above on the chain. A cousin gave it to me as a gift as a sort of protection. And so far, so good.

If you are interested in learning more, this article has more information and a closer look at the inside of the mines.


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