Eilat Stone is exclusively from copper mines in the Timna Valley located 24 kilometers north of Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat, near the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea. Its mines are believed to have been the copper mines of King Solomon, hence its colloquial name.
Copper mining occurred in the Timna Valley as early as 1800 BC and the area was later conquered by the Egyptians making Timna a very important source of copper. There are many ancient copper mines in the valley, some look like holes in the ground, while others are caves hewn with stone. Timna was also the first known location for copper smelting by the Egyptians and in some places, there are remains of copper-smelting ovens.
Due to the deposit’s unique geological formation, Eilat Stone is only found in this particular area and should not be confused with similar looking gemstones from other countries. When copper mining at Timna became unprofitable in the 70s and 80s, the mining of Eilat Stone ceased, and the deposit is also believed to be ostensibly depleted.
Having the distinction of being found only in Israel, being the country’s national gemstone, and no longer mined, Eilat Stone has become increasingly valuable, with existing, dwindling supplies exceedingly scarce and difficult to source.
Receiving no enhancements or treatments, Eilat Stone is also one of the few gemstones that are entirely natural.