Oltu Stone

Erzurum's claim to fame is the native Oltu stone, which is black in appearance. However, in some cases it may also sport blackish brown, grey or greenish hues. One of the purest instances of semi-precious stones in the world, Oltu stone carving is renowned all over the world.

Erzurum marketplaces are flooded with Oltu stoneware in the form of exquisitely carved jewelry pieces, tie-pins, pipes and prayer beads. However beware of fakes.

To judge whether an Oltu product is real or not, try to pierce it with a heated pin. If it is real, it will not yield to the pin. Also genuine Oltu stone preserves the vapor when you blow on it.

Not surprisingly, the best keepsake of an Erzurum holiday has to be an Oltu carving. Apt souvenirs can be cigarette holders, bracelets, necklaces, prayer beads, brooches, earrings and hairclips made from Oltu stone.