An Introduction to Turkey’s Gemstones

Turkey's gemstones include well-known species such as diaspore, chalcedony, and purple jade, as well as unusual specimens of lesser-known gems. Learn more here.

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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. I would greatly appreciate any information.
diaspore crystal - Turkey's gemstones
Turkey's gemstones include many wonderful species, such as diaspore. Diaspore crystal on margarite matrix, Mugla Province, Aegean Region, Turkey, 3.8 x 2.6 x 2.3 cm. © Rob Lavinsky, Used with permission.

Answer: Turkey produces many well-known gemstones as well as some rare and unusual specimens.

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 trade names Zultanite® and Czarite™. However, gemologically and mineralogically speaking, these gems are diaspore.

Diaspore - color change - Turkey's gemstones
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. Diaspore ovals, 2.09 and 3.17 cts. © All That Glitters. Used with permission.

Turkey's Gemstones

I have information on Turkey's gemstones on my website,, 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 Encyclopedia has information on many of Turkey's gemstones, such as adamite, chalcedony, jet, powellite, and Turkish purple jade. You can also browse through photos of gemstones from Turkey in our Gem Gallery.

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

Colemanite - Turkey's gemstones
Colemanite crystals, Mustafakemalpascha Mine, Western Anatolia Prov., Turkey, 7.0 x 5.5 x 4.7 cm. © Rob Lavinsky, Used with permission.

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

Kammererite - Turkey
Kammererite crystals on matrix, Kop Daglari, Erzurum Province, Turkey, 3.9 x 2.0 x 1.8 cm. © Rob Lavinsky, Used with permission.

Good luck,

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