Turkey: Stone craftsman hits road in search of valuable gems

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ANKARA

A stone craftsman living in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, has begun traveling around the country in search of unique and valuable stones.

Ayhan Arikan gathered his hammer and some living supplies and embarked on a journey to find precious rocks. He extensively studies his area of research ahead of departure and collects stones which he later shapes at his workshop.

A tree fossil he found nearly three decades ago became a source of inspiration for his love of stones.

Arikan said he began his career as an amateur but improved himself over time and eventually started collecting and processing stones in a professional manner.

“I collect, process, shape and polish the stones by myself,” he said, adding he would then sell them in his shop or exhibit them at fairs.

Arikan said precious or semi-precious stones are generally found in hot water beds and volcanic regions and he traveled around most of the Anatolia region in pursuit of such gems.

“Turkey is rich in stones, as there are many precious stones,” he said, noting that he is planning to prepare a map of locations of unique stones in the country.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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