To this day, the region of Idar-Oberstein has specialized in working, manufacturing and refining gemstones. Only within 20 kilometers around, you will find the whole spectrum of jobs, machines and industries for gemstones and related fields. Just to name some, here are cutters, diamond cutters, carvers, engravers, bevellers, goldsmiths and so on. Mostly these are family-businesses existing for generations. Due to the great networking over centuries, there now exist the best networks to the entire world. Some of the local firms maintain their own mines in Africa, Brazil or Australia or travel directly to other mines to buy rough stones at the source. Also a lot of rough stone traders come to Idar-Oberstein to sell or work their stones here.
Idar-Oberstein is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, in the southern part of the idyllic Hunsrück-area. About 28.000 people live here. Within a 100-kilometer radius are the cities Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Kaiserslautern, Saarbruecken and Trier. The gemstone manufacturing in Idar-Oberstein has a long tradition. More than 500 years ago the locally found gemstones were worked at the Nahe and Idar rivers with “old-fashioned” grinding wheels.
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