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 wherein old times the stones were polished. Working conditions were unbelievably harsh. They had diverted water from the river to flow through a small workshop. The force of the water was used to make an enormous 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 their toll.
I tried this position myself and immediately got a cramp in my arms. Awful that people had to work like this.
Of course, we each bought a delightful piece of jewelry in the shop afterward. There was too much to choose from, so it took some time till we finally settled on a necklace.
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My entire life I have had a passion for stones. Going on a trip I will always try to find an interesting piece to take home for my collection. Some years ago, I got a rock-tumbler for my birthday. I save the empty yogurt buckets and put the stones from the different regions. I must say, lots of fun.
In About Me, I tell you about this passion and how it started.
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