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I would like to thank to Mr. Rasim Firat, the head of  Chamber of Craftsmen and Jewellers of Erzurum for sending me some Oltu stones to work with and the information about the stone.

From the information Mr. Rasim Firat has sent me I translated;

"Oltu stone is a kind of lignite that is black, shiny, dense and homogenous. As it can be polished easily since ancient history it has been utilized by craftsmen in Anatolia, specifically in Erzurum, in the manufacture of jewellery such as rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, as well as worry beads and cigarette holders.

Oltu stone, sometimes referred to as Erzurum stone or black amber, is principally mined in the villages of Tutku and Tutmaç in Erzurum's Oltu county. In this regent the stone is produced from approximately 40 locations.




My note; as you can see in the picture below the stone is formed in layers. Initially I thought it will be difficult to work with because it seemed very brittle. But when you cut a nice piece and start working on it you see that it follows your wishes. Be carefull with the sharp edges. Try to round and soften them to avoid breakage. It is a very easy and enjoyable stone to work with. 

If you use a lot of black in your designs why don't you try this stone....