IRAN ART EXHIBITION: “MASHHAD” THE CITY OF ART MEKHRAJ KARI
Mashhad, the capital of Khorasan Razavi province, has many gemstone mines. That is why a prospering handicraft of this province is jewelry made of gemstones, also called “Mekhraj Kari”.
Some of the most important gems are aquamarine, agates, quartz, jasper, turquoise, garnet, and zeolite, among which turquoise and agate are the most popular. Turquoise specialists believe that no two pieces are the same, just like fingerprints, and they cannot be compared to each other.
The most important stone-cutting workshops of Iran are located in Mashhad where tones of agate and turquoise stones are cut each year. Traditional as well as modern methods are used by Mashhad workshops.
When it comes to making jewelry from gemstones, all the steps including designing, manufacturing, and others require both experience and skill, however, the most difficult part is attaching the stone to the metal, which is called “Mekhraj Kari”, “Morasa’e Kari” or incrustation.
Among all the steps in making jewelry that includes gemstones, Mekhraj Kari is the most delicate and important. Various methods are used to attach the stones in Mekhraj Kari.
Some of them are “Reili”, “Ghalamzani”, “Kaseh’e” and “Changi” for small gems, and “Nabshi”, “Changi” and “Divareh’e” for large gems.
No glue is used in this craft, to preserve the beauty and natural streaks of the gems. In order to attach gemstones, the base is designed so that it will not damage the gems.
Gems can be broken, scratched, or cracked by a bit of pressure. Mekhraj is applied to pieces of jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, rings, brooches and etc.
Mashhad was recognized as the global city of precious and semi-precious stones by the World Council of Handicrafts in 2018.
IRAN ART EXHIBITION: There are many gemstone mines in Mashhad, the center of Razavi Khorasan province and its surrounding cities. An interesting matter about Turquoise is that until a few decades before, they were used as seals. It is mentioned in a poem by Hafiz: “If, with the color of red cornelian, my tear be, what wonder / for like red cornelian, is the seal of the seal-ring of my eye.” Today the most important stone cutting workshops of Iran are located in Mashhad where tones of Agate and Turquoise stones are cut annually. Mashhad workshops are working by using both traditional and modern methods.