Iranian handicrafts: Mekhraj Kari of Mashhad

July 14, 2021 - 1:59

TEHRAN – 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.

ABU/MG


 

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