Muscat: “Oman is filled with so many remarkable jewels,” said Ahmed Al Mamari. “But in order to find them, you must have patience and motivation.”
Omani stone collector Ahmed Al Mamari began his journey with gemstones 14 years ago.
“As a young boy in school, we regularly went up to the mountains here in Saham to look for honey,” he recalled.
“While searching for honey, I would find beautiful stones by chance, and so I started collecting them.”
To this day, Al Mamari ventures up to Wadi Bani Omar in search of unique stones.
“Every time I would go up to the mountains, I would return with stones, and so after a few years it became a hobby,” he shared.
His interest grew over the years, as he began collecting stones that looked more and more bizarre.
“As the years passed, I started buying books so I could compare the stones I had to the ones in the photos,” remarked Al Mamari.
However, he did not rely solely on books to verify the originality of his collection.
“It wasn’t easy for me to find a geologist or a specialist, but some two weeks ago, I spoke to Majid Al Maqbali, a geologist-researcher, who offered to come to my house to review my collection,” said Al Mamari.
“When he saw my collection, he was amazed. He couldn’t believe that I was able to find such stones.”
A week later, Al Maqbali brought a specialist with him to view the collection of stones.
“He told me that these are precious stones,” said Al Mamari.
For over a decade, Al Mamari has kept his collection of nearly 80 stones in a wardrobe.
“My friends make fun of my wardrobe sometimes because it is full of stones,” he shared.
“Even now, when we go in search of honey, they would come back carrying honey, while I would come back carrying stones.”
The stones he has collected so far include the gemstone Agate, Afo light, and Quartz. Al Mamari also collects trapped animal fossils and is waiting for specialists in the field to identify them.
Al Mamari intends to continue his hobby but hopes that in the future, authorities would provide lessons, tools, and courses to help people interested in such topics to learn more about them.