Iran has remained an important source of turquoise for at least 2,000 years. It was initially named by Iranians “pirouzeh” meaning “victory”, and later the Arabs called it “firouzeh”. In Iranian architecture, the blue turquoise was used to cover the domes of palaces because its intense blue colour was also a symbol of heaven on earth.
Persian turquoise from Iran
This deposit is blue naturally and turns green when heated due to dehydration. It is restricted to a mine-riddled region in Nishapur, the 2,012 m mountain peak of Ali-mersai near Mashhad, the capital of Khorasan Province, Iran. A weathered and broken trachyte is host to the turquoise, which is found both in situ between layers of limonite and sandstone and amongst the scree at the mountain’s base. These workings are the oldest known, together with those of the Sinai Peninsula. Iran also has turquoise mines in Semnan and Kerman provinces.