An Introduction To Turkey’s Gemstones


Turkey's gemstones include many wonderful species, such as diaspore. “Diaspore On Margarite.” © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.
Turkey’s gemstones include many wonderful species, such as diaspore. “Diaspore On Margarite.” © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Question

I’m a novice gemology student. I’m traveling to Turkey in the near future and I’d love to know more about Turkey’s gemstones. What might I find on my visit? I’ve got my gem identification book ready to go. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Linda

Diaspore Gemstones

One of the most well-known of Turkey’s gemstones is diaspore. Although this rare gemstone can be found in other locations around the world, including Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, it can be found notably in Turkey’s Mugla Province in the southwest. Typically colorless but also found in yellow, pink, or brown, diaspore is notoriously difficult to facet into jewelry pieces.

Carolyne Marecak

Editor’s Note: Diaspore stones over 2-3 carats from a single location in Turkey may display color changing. These gems have the trademarked name “Zultanite.” However, gemologically and mineralogically speaking, these gems are diaspore.

Diaspore is difficult to facet because of its inclusions, crystal shape, and cleavage. The expertly cut large and relatively clear stones shown here change color from a celery green to a pinkish to beige champagne. An extensive marketing campaign has made diaspore one of the most popular of Turkey's gemstones, though it's more frequently referred to by a trademarked name. “Two Diaspore Ovals - 2.09cts and 3.17cts.” © All That Glitters. Used with permission.
Diaspore is difficult to facet because of its inclusions, crystal shape, and cleavage. The expertly cut large and relatively clear stones shown here change color from a celery green to a pinkish to beige champagne. An extensive marketing campaign has made diaspore one of the most popular of Turkey’s gemstones, though it’s more frequently referred to by a trademarked name. “Two Diaspore Ovals – 2.09cts and 3.17cts.” © All That Glitters. Used with permission.

Turkey’s Gemstones

I have information on Turkey’s gemstones on my website, www.birdamlasu.com, under “Gemstones of Turkey” as well as links to interesting sites all over Turkey.

Kind regards,

Oya Borahan

Unusual Gems From Turkey

The International Gem Society’s gemstone list has information on many of Turkey’s gemstones, such as adamite, chalcedony, jet, powellite, and Turkish purple jade.

Colemanite is normally colorless and difficult to cut. This unusual specimen with orange highlights was found in the Mustafakemalpascha mine in western Turkey.

“Colemanite.” © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.
“Colemanite.” © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Kämmererite is rare. Clean, facetable rough is even rarer. This stunning gem-quality specimen was found in Erzurum Province, Turkey.

“Kammererite.” © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.
“Kammererite.” © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Good luck,

Pedro