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Gold Jewellery





Turkish Gold Jewellery, now ranks second in the world trade

Turkey has a great jewellery tradition. Anatolia is a place where jewellery has been

produced for 5000 years. In fact, gold was refined first in Anatolia and the first coins were

minted again in Anatolia.


All of the civilizations which have inhabited Anatolia have produced numerous objects for

both religious and artistic purposes. People worked with metals, sometimes including

precious and semi-precious stones. The Hittites, Urartians, Phrygians, Ionians, Lydians,

Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans all established their rule in Anatolia and

created their own jewellery styles.


The most significant style among the different types of jewellery was brought to Anatolia by

the Seljuks. Their great influence on the Turkish jewellery tradition is demonstrated by

Turkoman jewels which originated in Central Asia. These are still produced and worn in

Turkoman tribes. Although they are produced with the simple tools of traditional

technology, these objects display exquisite craftsmanship which challenges contemporary



In Istanbul the jeweller’s art gained importance with the growth and prosperity of the

Ottoman Empire. During and after the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, Istanbul became

one of the world’s most prominent centres for jewellery. Historical sources state that

jewellery fairs were held in Istanbul during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent.


Today, the Turkish gold jewellery industry reflects this rich cultural heritage combined with

latest technology, outstanding craftsmanship and modern designs. The unique heritage

and level of proficiency in the Turkish jewellery sector allow any design to be created and

produced at any amount with supreme craftsmanship, excellent finishing, flexible

production and immense variety. Turkey today is fast becoming one of the preferred

suppliers for international buyers of gold jewellery.


Traditional Turkish jewellery making techniques include filigree (telkari), niello (savat) and

wickerwork (hasir). Filigree is a technique in which the artist creates motifs by soldering

together fine silver or gold wires. Since the wire used is often extremely delicate, this

technique requires an almost infinite degree of patience. The niello technique is based on

tiny, delicately-worked pieces of hand-painted enamel which are partitioned by precious

metals. In wickerwork, another technique used by Turkish jewellers, delicate wires are

woven together.




Today, Turkey is one of the global leaders in gold jewellery production, ranking

among the top three countries in the world in this aspect

Turkey has the total capacity of producing 400 tons of gold annually. The industry is a

significant one amongst the Turkish manufacturing industries and employs about 250

thousand people currently. There were only one or two workshops with 100-200 people

working in the ‘90s whereas now, there are many huge factories employing a thousand

workers or more. The machine park of the industry has been upgraded and a high level of

technology has been reached.


In the mid 90’s, firms started to employ designers and now most of the world’s largest

design teams work in Turkey. The World Gold Council’s Office in Turkey organized yearly

design competitions between 1994 and 2010 in the industry in which hundreds of designs

and products were displayed. There are several design departments in the universities and

vocational high schools in which designers and qualified employees are trained for the



Currently, the major firms can produce 10 new models per day and taking into account the

variations of these models, 70-80 new products can roll out every day in the sector.

Hence, the sector has a great level of production flexibility and this is a great advantage for

supplying the special design demands of importers.


At present, there are about 5 000 producers and 35 000 retail outlets in the industry. The

centre for gold jewellery production is Istanbul, however production in Ankara and Izmir is

extensive, as well. In some cities in East and South East Anatolia gold jewellery is also

produced to some extent.


Approximately 250-300 tons of jewellery is produced every year in Turkey. Turkey is

among the three biggest gold jewellery producers in the world together with Italy and India.

Turkey annually imports an amount of gold varying in between 100-200 tons in recent

years. However, the imports were approximately 80 thousand tons 2011, probably due to

the ongoing effects of economic crisis of 2008. Only the Central Bank of Turkey and

members of the Istanbul Gold Exchange who have the relevant certificate can import gold

into Turkey.


Domestic demand for gold jewellery is high because most Turkish people buy it both for

adornment and as a means of saving. In the 90’s some 4 -5 thousand tons of gold was

believed to be kept in homes in Turkey. In this respect, Turkey ranked second in the world

following India in personal gold investment.


Istanbul Gold Exchange - IGE was established in 1995 at Istanbul with the objectives of

liberalising the Turkish gold sector and integrating with international markets. There are 91

authorised members of the Istanbul Gold Exchange ( which consists of

commercial banks, precious metals companies and currency offices that obtained their

membership certificate from the Undersecretariat of Turkish Treasury. Only these

members are eligible to import and trade gold and other precious metals on the market.


The Istanbul Gold Refinery - IGR ( started production in 2002. The refinery

has the technology to produce 999,9/1000 purity gold and has the capability to convert

scrap or doré gold bars into 995/1000 purity bullions. IGR operates in the Jeweller’s City

(Kuyumcukent) and a Display Center for its products in Istanbul's famous Grand Bazaar

(also known as the Covered Bazaar) which for centuries has been the heart of the Gold

Trade and jewellery production in Turkey. IAR have services of precious metal sales, dore

gold refining, supply of gold bullions and alloys.






The world’s largest, integrated goldsmith centre is in Istanbul

A gold jewellery production and trade center, the so called “Kuyumcukent” in Turkish was

been inaugurated in 2006. It is a complex of 328 000 square meters on a plot of 186 000

square meters. Kuyumcukent has 2 500 production units and shops. The Istanbul Gold

Refinery is also located in the complex. (




Today, Turkey is one of the global leaders in gold jewellery exports, ranking 2nd after

ItalyThe gold jewellery sector of Turkey has turned its attention to exporting over the last few

decades. The saving habits of Turkish people have changed due to developments in the

Turkish economy and they have started using other ways of investing besides buying gold

jewellery. In addition, in 1993 the export and import restrictions on precious metals were



Although gold jewellery is relatively a new sector on Turkey’s export scene, its

performance has been outstanding and export value has increased significantly in the last

twenty years. Exports totaled 1,847 million US Dollars in 2011, the major destinations

were being the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, the USA,

Lithuania, Germany, Italy, Israel and Hong Kong. Turkish gold jewellery was exported to

more than 100 countries all over the world in 2011. The Turkish gold jewellery companies

have started to establish their own distribution channels abroad.


The major companies in the industry have shops/corners in the USA, in Europe and in

Dubai in the Middle East and in other countries in different regions of the world.

The Turkish gold jewellery industry also enjoys large sales to the foreigners visiting

Turkey. The exports and sales made to the tourists in the domestic market altogether

constitute 70 % of the industry’s total output.


Turkish jewellery is recognized worldwide for its beauty, innovation and quality. There

were more than 438 export companies by the end of 2011, some 50 of them being the

major ones.




Five major jewellery fairs are held in Turkey

􀂃 The “Antalya Jewellery, Silver and and Watch Fair”
takes places in Antalya in April


􀂃 The “Istanbul Int’l Watch, Clock, Jewellery, Machinery and Equipment Fair” takes place in February


􀂃 “İstanbul Jewellery Show – IJS” takes place in March, both in İstanbul


􀂃 “Izmir JEWEX” takes place in Izmir


􀂃 “Cukurova Gold and Jewellery Fair” takes place in Gaziantep in May


Useful Links


􀂃 Istanbul Minerals and Metals Exporters’ Associations (IMMIB)

􀂃 Turkish Jewellery Association


TAGS: Turkish gold jewellery sector , Turkish gold jewellery manufacturers, buy gold jewellery from Turkey, import jewellery from Turkey