Turquoise City Of Iran ,Neyshabur
Neyshabur holds the world’s oldest turquoise mine
Neyshabur turquoise mine, located 53 kilometers northwest of Neyshabur, is among the general mines of this city and its visitors are not too many. Tourists can pay entrance fee and take a tour of this 7000-year old mine.
The oldest turquoise discovered in the Neyshabur plateau so far is located in the Borj Hill region with 6600 years of historical precedence. As a result the history of Neyshabur mine can be traced back to 7000 years ago and thus it is considered the oldest turquoise mine in the world. This mine, with regard to production rate, is the largest turquoise mine in the world and also the oldest active turquoise mine in the world today. This mine has been open and continuously mined throughout these 7000 years. With the recent assessments carried out on the turquoise deposits in this mine, it is said that it has enough deposits to last for the next 200 years at the current rate of extraction. Since 2003, this mine has been under lease for 25 years by the Turquoise Town Cooperative comprised of 342 members from the Ministry of Industry and Mines.
Turquoise is cut mostly in three cities; one is the city of Firoozeh (turquoise) itself in its Upper and Lower hamlets, and is done mainly by the housewives. The other cities involved in cutting turquoise are Neyshabur and Mashhad. Turquoise inlay in the hand arts is also done in cities like Isfahan and Neyshabur.
Turquoise mines in the world are few. After the Neyshabur mine, the United States can be referred to as among the main producers of turquoise in the world; however, US mines are not of long history and can be traced back only 30 years. Among other old turquoise mines, one can refer to a mine in Afghanistan; however, its deposits have been in great decline. Another mine is located in the Sinai Desert; but, it is no longer in production. None of these mines have a recorded history of 7000 years like the one in Neyshabur.