Mining of  Gem  and semi gem stones has been considered by Iranians from ancient times. Since sites of chips stone use up to a few kilos of rock per year, due to the limited use of these minerals in the consumer market, mainly the production and collection of raw rocks has been by Wilderness and  handpicking.

Extraction is in mines such as Bayg, Sarkavir, Burmud, Dom-e-rubah, Bagh-e-borj, etc., by handpicking of the surface of the earth. In some cases, including mine of the turquoise Neyshabur, extraction is carried out inform underground. A part of the industry’s needs are also supplied from foreign sources, including Azure, American turquoise, colorful agate and …. .It should be noted that Iranian industrialists use 90% of the scraped rocks of agate and turquoise as a ring.

In addition to natural stones, American turquoise, domestic and foreign painted agate, synthetic ruby ​​and the like are also used in this Interiordustry.

After India and Brazil, Iran is the third producer of decorative stones, but Iran’s Firoza [the Persian name of the gem] is known around the world as turquoise [derived from an Old French word for “Turkish”] only because it is traded in Turkey.

Iran is sitting pretty when it comes to decorative and exterior façade stones; it has about four billion tons of decorative stones with an annual production of over 13.5 million tons.

Decorative stones are found in many Iranian provinces, among them East and West Azerbaijan, Isfahan, Khorasan, Fars, Central, Hamadan, Sistan and Baluchestan, and Zanjan.

Processed turquoise can earn Iran higher added value. Investment is needed to encourage more turquoise exports and gain more foreign revenues as a result.

Available Mining Indexes:

  1. East Azarbaijan: In previous studies, were introduced six mineral indexes different of types agate, amitist, azorite and malachite. were identified and introduced In recent studies, fifteen mineral indices of the types epidote, jasper, quartz, magnetite, quartz rose, microclines, sanidine , Olivine, pyroxene, perlite, agate and brachiopod, coral, siliceous, and so on, total 12,600,000 kg.

  1. West Azarbaijan: The province is still in the study, but so far, has been recognized the presence of Safir, green and brown Mica, Serpentine and various types of fossils mineral.

  1. Isfahan: In previous studies, the province has 3 minerals index from turquoise, Agat Khor and Garnet Jandagh. But with studies that are still continuous at the provincial level, have been identified four minerals of the types Agat, Garnet and Chrysocula at 470,000 Kilograms and Fluorite with 120,000 tons ,Cerussite in Nakhlak Mine, Anarak District of Esfahan Province , Rosasite and Aurichalcite in Chah Kuh of Esfahan Province.

  1. Ilam: Studies in province Ilam have led to the identification of various colored grains in three areas of the Mehran Salehabad region, totaling 2,157,000 kilograms.

  1. Ardabil: The number of two index minerals from Agatha type has been identified in this province, but due to the expansion of igneous rocks at the province level, the probability of other reserves of Gem  and semi gem stones is unexpected.This province is in the future study program.

  1. Boushehr: The potential of the Gem  and semi gem stones of the province include sea shellfish, various fossil rocks, the possibility of pearl breeding grounds, and other grounds, that need to be further developed.

  1. Khorasan Razavi: In the reports of the Mining and Industries Organization, , numerous exploration licenses of turquoise and Agat and, have been mentioned the exploitation licenses for turquoise and ruby and Sapphire. In recent studies, has been identified the number nineteen mineral index of different types brille (acoumarin), Sapphire, ruby, Rutile, Orthosis, Ghoochani turquoise (Chrysoculla), Agat, Jasper, Agat Soleimani, Opal, Garnet,Quartz, Quartz Rose, Andoalosite, Ilmenite, Aragonite and Poly Gurskite, with a reserve of 1,146 , 250 kilograms and Fluorite with 326,000 tons .

  1. Southern Khorasan: Three minerals Index were introduced from Agat in the province. According to recent studies, there are a total of 25 mineral Index were identified and introduced of Agats (Blue, Moss, White), Opal, Chrysoculla, Green Silica, Magnetite, Quartz, Jasper, Tourmaline and Andoalosite, totaling 368,750 kilograms.

  1. Khouzestan: In the initial investigations, were identified several mineral index, including colored grains, celestine and marine fossils,; however are needed to more detailed studies.

  1. Bezenjane: In this province, have been identified four mineral index from different types of avarouite, agat, fluorine and malachite. However, due to the geological structure and geological units of this province, it expects more potentials to be investigated.

  1. Māzandarān: Known fluorite resources of Iran number more than 30 with reserves estimated at 500,000 tons with base reserve of around 1 million tons. Presently, four localities are extracted. The most important fluorite reserves of Iran are situated in the following provinces Included Māzandarān, with 83,000 tons.

  1. Kurdistan: Known fluorite resources of Iran number more than 30 with reserves estimated at 500,000 tons with base reserve of around 1 million tons. Presently, four localities are extracted. The most important fluorite reserves of Iran are situated in the following provinces Included with 5,000 tons.

How to make gemstones and semi gemstones?

Gems are formed in different Earth’s environments, where will be examined the most common and important environments for their formation here. Almost all gems are formed under the surface of the earth. Some of them are brought to the surface by mining. Some of them are brought to the ground by ground processes such as faulting – folding and volcanoes. These processes can bring up rocks to 400 km below the surface of the earth.

Formation environments:

1- Formation from water near the Earth surface

The water near the surface of the earth combines with minerals and solves them. The ability of these solutions varies according to physical conditions. If the conditions change (for example, if the solution is cold or evaporated), the mineral will Sediment. The most famous process is the formation of salt crystals from seawater by evaporation. The type of mineral that forms will depend on the soluble material in the solution.

If the water is mixed with silica or sand-rich stones, formed silica-rich minerals. minerals to based of Silica: amethysts (quartz), agat and opal formation, which ofcourse the opal is a non-crystalline and amorphous material. If the water is mixed with copper-rich rocks, will form copper-rich minerals.


Calcite of Birjand Gale-Zari mine

Baba ghori Agat

2- Magmatic gems

These rocks are composed of molded matter that is called magma. Magma is formed from soluble elements. Some of these elements become steam when the magma approaches the surface of the earth; After collecting under the crust of the earth due to density, they produce a lot of pressure that break and throw stones blocking their duct.

As long as magma is in deep ground, it can withstand high pressures and temperatures, However during the rise of magma, its temperature and pressure gradually decrease, which it produce crystalline grains. (The stones created in this state are called ” Intrusive ” or “plutonic or Inner  igneous stones).

If the magma is flowing up at high speeds, the temperature and pressure are reduced immediately, there is no the probability crystallization in the rock. (The stones created in this state are called outcrop stones or volcanic or external  igneous stones).

3- Pegmatite

When the main body of the magma is cooled, water concentrates in the bottom of the molten rock. Because they can not link with most of the minerals that crystallize. As a result, the last part is not crystallized, it is rich in water, and is rich in other materials that are not common in minerals. When this magma is rich in water (and at the same time rich in silica and unusual agents), it leaves the last stage of crystallization of magma to form a solid pegmatite. The water-rich magma provides this place for crystals that grow rapidly, so most pegmatite crystals are large, which is considered an important gem. When the Pegmatite magma is rich in beryllium, are formed braille crystals.

Tourmaline in Iran

4- Metamorphic

The metamorphic rocks have been the result of a change in sedimentary rocks. Then they are under the influence of magma. The metamorphic rocks that originate from sedimentary rocks are Use para suffix to name them. The metamorphic rocks whose primary origin are igneous rocks take prefix Ortho.

In general, there are two types of metamorphosis:

One contact metamorphism is that  the placement of an intrusive mass (generally granite)in Depth of ground , interior of other rocks with considerable thickness, To the surface decreases of the rock degree of hardening.

The other is regional metamorphism its that the expanse much larger than the contact metamorphism. It has a high thickness, the degree of metamorphism decreases in this case is Bottom to up. This kind of metamorphism takes place in large depths in geosynclines (sedimentation environments).

Among the rocks’ maturation and their metamorphism, which are affected considerable heat and pressure, the minerals are separated and new groups of minerals begin to linked and crystallize, which ultimately forms these minerals New ones are called metamorphic minerals.

Minerals of metamorphic rocks can be divided into two major categories:

  1. 1. Some of these minerals are called magmatic minerals. Such as feldspars, zircon, kurdite, tourmaline, topaz, etc., which occur during the metamorphism.
  2. 2. The other group is formed in the contact metamorphism of silicate and argillic stones (argillaceous schists and clay), and are produced the minerals of andalusite, silimanite, and the like.

In summary, metamorphic rocks are rocks changed by temperature, pressure, and mix with solutions.

Demantoid Garnet in Kerman-Iran

5- Hydrothermal:

The formation of gems with the heat process is similar to the formation of gems from near-ground water.Solutions, rain water or water generated by cooling ,stuck the body of magma

When they face an open space, such as fracture, fill these fracture  and veins, and eventually crystallize gemstones. Gems like berille and tourmaline require unusual agents.

Turquoise in Kerman-Iran

6- Gems formed in the mentle:

Peridot crystals are formed inside the magma in the upper crust (55-20 mile deep) and It is brought to the surface by tectonic or volcanic activity, which we find crystals in Igneous stones of external.

Diamonds were formed at the maximum temperature and pressure in many millions years ago at a greater depth inside the crust (at a depth of one hundred to two hundred kilometers below the Earth’s surface).

  1.  Magma including diamond crystals, suddenly and explosively finde one way to the surface.
  2. As the lava goes up, some of them become cool and solid and rocks Kimberlite containing diamonds of crystallized are formed.

7- Alluvial gem deposits:

After the rocks is brought to the surface, gems may be separated from the rocks by weathering (some minerals are dissolved, some become to clay minerals, and some remain unchanged).

The number that remained unchanged may be washed by the flow of water, which is concentrated by the ocean / river process.

Gemstones are often minerals that resistant from weathering and chemicals minerals. They are usually concentrated in riverbeds and coastal sand, known as sedimentary deposits. Gemstones often have a high density in comparison to other minerals, so they are easily sink in areas of the river bed. This will make them more focused and easier to Mining. Resistant and valuable elements are focused like gold by this process.

Quartz Geod in Iran