Oltu county of Erzurum is rich in culture and history. Jet stone processing is carried out as a beautiful handicraft in this county. As a highly precious commodity, jet is extracted from mines only in this area.
Its discovery and the start of processing the stone dates back 200 years. This beautiful handicraft gained in importance during the Republic Period. Performed only in one area, jet processing has survived to the present day, handed down from father to son.
With a high level of carbon, jet is a precious ornamental stone. When extracted, it is in a very soft form and it starts to harden as soon as it comes into contact with air. The processing of jet is simple, but it requires special tools because it can be easily broken or damaged during processing. The more jet is processed, the harder it becomes. Its color is generally brown or black and it gains more and more shine when used. Due to the materials in its texture, this stone pulls reflections into itself, becoming brighter and brighter when you rub the stone’s face. Thanks to its beauty and versatility, It can be turned into different ornaments and is often paired with gold and silver.
Natural stones are beneficial both spiritually and in terms of one’s health, and jet is one of the most beneficial natural stones. Various accessories such as prayer beads, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets can be designed from jet stone. It is said that people using prayer beads made of jet eliminate electricity accumulated in the body. That’s why those who want to stay away from stress prefer jet stone accessories. In addition to the bead parts, the head part of prayer beads can also be crafted from jet stone. Tassels can then be attached to the tip of the head, and metallic ornaments can also be used. A gold and silver mixture is seen in more involved and special examples.
Thanks to jet processing in Erzurum, special prayer bead shops opened in some areas of the province. Most of the business places opened in Rüstem Paşa Caravansary are related to jet stone. There are many processing factories in Oltu, again—the only place where jet stone is extracted. Manufacturers also export these products, and accessories and other souvenirs made of jet stone are easy to find and buy at the Grand Bazaar in İstanbul.
those who work in its extraction, processing, ornamenting, and marketing sectors significantly contribute to the economy of Erzurum.
Jewelry and accessories coming from Georgia to Turkey are put on the market as jet stone, but these stones are typically less valuable and lack the same quality. This trickery adversely affects the jet stone market in our country.