Jul 7, 2014, 10:55 AM
News Code: 2720486
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Turquoise exports set to rise remarkably

Tehran, July 7, IRNA - Iran's turquoise exports earned $33.12 million in the year ending March 2014, which was $22.5 million in the previous year, said secretary of the National Association of Coordinating Science, Turquoise and Precious Stones Industries.

Mohammad Javad Pishbin told Iran Daily that the export of precious stones is projected to register a remarkable surge by March 2015.

Turquoise is Iran's national gemstone called Firouzeh.

Pishbin said the quality of Iranian turquoise is unique in the world and the biggest and oldest turquoise mine is located in Firouzeh City in Neishabour, Khorasan Razavi province.

He noted that China, Egypt and the Unites States are Iran's rivals, but the quality of Iran's turquoise is head and shoulders above other nations'.

The official said the high quality and the use of advanced methods for cutting turquoise have increased its value.

Pishbin announced that a center for cutting and polishing precious stones will be launched in the northeastern city of Mashhad in three months.

"This center will train students in methods of polishing and cutting turquoise and other precious stones, which will help boost exports," he said.

He said old methods of cutting turquoise not only depreciates its value, but also impacts its quality adversely.

Pishbin said Firouzeh Mine produces some 40 tons of turquoise stones annually, from which 5 to 6 tons of turquoise gems are obtained.

He said Iran exports turquoise to East Asian and Persian Gulf littoral states.

Pishbin noted that since precious stones are small, they are smuggled in luggage.

Extraction of turquoise in Iran dates back to 5,500 years. It is found in three main colors, namely blue, green and bluish green, which are classified further from light to dark.