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Tuesday, 27 June 2006
Gemstones of Turkmenistan
Topic: Environment & ecology
Turkmenistan is rich in the gemstones deposits and occurrences. Many of Turkmen gemstones are well-known to collectors and connoisseurs in our country and abroad. The most famous one is the Karluk marble onyx deposit located in the Gaurdag-Kugitang region in the very east of Turkmenistan. By its colour and beauty of natural ornaments marble onyx has no analogues all over the world. Onyx is a banded variety of chalcedony. The colours of its bands are brown (varying from semi-transparent yellow to dark brown) and white. Onyx occurs in the caves as various dripstones and it is used for making souvenirs – caskets, candlesticks, vases. The stones of remarkable beauty are used for making jewelry. The beautiful druses of gypsum, calcite and aragonite crystals occur in the Kugitang caves.

Turkmenistan is also famous for the Beyneu celestine deposit located in the north-west of Turkmenistan. The transparent blue crystals (up to 2-3 cm in length) fill the cavities in the mass pink celestine layers from 5 cm to and 15-20 and more. The Beyneu celestine is very spectacular and popular among collectors and connoisseurs.


The Kafigshem occurrence of quartz-chalcedonic geodes are located in the north of the Tuarkyr Mountains. The Tuarkyr geodes are the wonderful collection stones. They occurred in the stratified rocks dated back to the upper Jurassic period. The geodes composed of chalcedony for the most part have the cavities with internal quartz and calcite crystal formations.

The geodes can form in any cavities that are buried. Mineral substances from groundwater or hydrothermal solutions allowed crystals to form inside the hollow chamber. Over millions of years the geodes make its way back to the surface through normal geologic processes. Their forms and shades of colour vary - making each geode unique. The beauty of stones is revealed when polished displaying the unique play of various colours and shades. They have the round shape and sizes which vary from 2-3 cm to 25-30 cm. The geodes composed of chalcedony for the most part are hollow. Usually the cavities are formed from rock crystals and amethystine quartz crystals. Besides calcite crystals, rarely blue calcite, barite and gypsum and acicular crystals of hydrate of iron occur in the cavities. The colour of chalcedonic shell is white, gray, rarely bluish, yellow and brown in various combinations. The geodes in the Kafigshem occurrences are the wonderful collection materials and decorative stones, brooches, pendants, necklaces and other jewelry are made from agathic diversities.

A jasper occurrence is located near the settlement of Kyzyl-Kaya (Tuarkyr). Turkmen jasper has rare saturated colours varying from yellow to red. Its gaily colored layers alternate with the dark-grey streaks of adjoining rock creating the landscape drawing. Tuarkyr jasper can be used for making jewellery.

Fossilized wood that is of particular interest to collectors and connoisseurs occurred in the Tuarkyr deposits. Fossilized tree occurred in the deposits of the Jurassic (170 millions years) and the Permian (260 millions years) periods.

A. BOYKO
Turkmenistan: the Golden Age
24 June, 2006

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 12:16 PM
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