A Fascinating Visit to a World-Famous Stone Museum
In 2010 I visited a dear friend in Germany. One day we made a 2- hour car trip to a town called Idar Oberstein. In the past it was the place to go for precious stone merchants, they would come from all over the world to buy and sell. Nowadays India and Thailand have taken over, still, Idar Oberstein is visited by many, be it, merchants or tourists.
The world famous stone museum in Idar Oberstein
At 10.00 o’clock sharp we were in front of the entrance to the world-famous museum, just as well as at 10.15 o’clock a full bus arrived. We were able to visit the fantastic stone museum, room by room, at leisure. The museum has amazing pieces, small to huge, polished and in their natural state, some even mentioned in the Guinness book of records.
How stones were polished in old times
Close to the museum is the place where in old times the stones were polished. Working conditions were unbelievably harsh. Water had been diverted from the river to flow through a small workshop. The force of the water was used to make a very big stone wheel rotate. On a small platform, a person would lie on his belly and with both hands hold a stone to be polished against the rotating wheel. It should not need mentioning that in this humid environment a worker would not live past the age of 40, arthritis and lung disease would take its toll.
Of course we each bought a nice piece of jewelry in the shop afterward.
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