Island-hopping at the German Gemstone Polishing and Goldsmith Market


In Idar-Oberstein, the first weekend in August every year is reserved for the German Gemstone Polishing and Goldsmith Market, which is the only one of its kind in Germany. Even in what was a difficult year amidst the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the market, including a theatre festival and a sales Sunday, was successfully held by the Idar-Oberstein syndicate by implementing a new hygiene system.

Below the Felsenkirche church, the artisans of this gemstone city ply their wares across multiple locations in the historic old town of Oberstein, showcasing all the gemstones and jewellery that the Idar-Oberstein region is famous for. Around the market square, there are four distanced jewellery islands on Kirchplatz, Max-Rupp-Platz, Museumsplatz and the Schneider car park, where visitors could not only chat to more than 30 artists, but also watch them at work.

There is no other place in Rhineland‑Palatinate with as many gemstone polishing and goldsmith workshops as there are in Idar-Oberstein. Traditionally, the artisans in the town and the surrounding villages focus on processing gemstones, as has been the case for hundreds of years. Each of them has their own style, and no two pieces of art or jewellery are the same.

Amazing jewellery created in Idar-Oberstein, EdelSteinLand

Amazing jewellery created in Idar-Oberstein, EdelSteinLand

Visitors to the German Gemstone Museum can trace the long tradition of this craft based on pieces of jewellery and gems found in Idar-Oberstein. Open Studios, an event held on the weekend before Easter every year, gives visitors the opportunity to get to know the artisans, their studios, their workshops and their fascinating work. This stroll through the jewellery workshops gives an interesting look behind the scenes of jewellery design in and around Idar-Oberstein. There is now also the option of a virtual experience on the www.echtedel.com website operated by the EdelSteinLand tourist information office. The newly designed jewellery shop on the echtedel website is also an opportunity for various regional jewellery makers to present their unusual pieces on a single platform.

Creative jewellery design in Idar-Oberstein, EdelSteinLand

Creative jewellery design in Idar-Oberstein, EdelSteinLand

A fifth island on Platz auf der Idar is reserved for the street theatre festival with performances from six different theatre groups. Each one spreads its own kind of magic. ‘Nakupelle’ features a mixture of circus, slapstick, comedy, magic and clowns. ‘Theater Picante’ tells stories, sometimes with the help of penguins. ‘Carmela’ is a dancer and acrobat who balances on tins and is a virtuoso with a hula hoop. The character acrobats in the ‘Kraft’ ensemble play the role of an amusing police force concerned with ensuring people are having a good time. The trapeze dance theatre turns everyday events into elements of dance. ‘Bodecker & Neander’ produce cartoon theatre full of magic, humour and music.

The historic 'Weiherschleife' in Idar-Oberstein, EdelSteinLand

At work in the historic 'Weiherschleife' cutting mill in Idar-Oberstein, EdelSteinLand

Weekend guests could combine a trip to the German Gemstone Polishing and Goldsmith Market with a visit to the gemstone mines in Steinkaulenberg, the Historic ‘Weiherschleife’ Cutting Mill, the gemstone museums in Idar-Oberstein or a walk on the Saar-Hunsrück Trail. And they should definitely try the Nahe wines and the spit roast, which is practically a national dish.

More recommended excursions in Idar-Oberstein:


More information about holidays in Idar-Oberstein

Find out everything about events, sights and more destinations in Idar-Oberstein at the EdelSteinLand Tourist Information.

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