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Mubarakiya stone market thrives as customers flock in droves

Gemstones are on display at a shop in Souq Mubarakiya.

KUWAIT: Gemstones are unique in every way. They are part of human history and tradition – people use these stones as ornaments, for healing or merely for decorative purposes. Some believe precious stones can be used for both physical and spiritual healing – from balancing the energies of the heart to producing soothing energies and awareness. Others believe gemstones have mystical powers, although in a country like Kuwait, such beliefs aren’t accepted due to its Islamic faith.


Kuwait Times met a woman who’s convinced of the mystical powers of precious stones. The woman, who did not want to be named, wears gem-studded bracelets and earrings almost every day, and finds them very powerful in terms of protection. She believes gemstones bring luck, good fortune and prosperity.


“I started using the stones as ornaments, but eventually a friend gave this beautiful bracelet to me, which I have been wearing since. Now I feel it gives luck – if you believe in luck. Then onwards, I looked for stones that are believed to give good fortune to people,” she said. “I read and researched a lot about precious stones, and have been a collector since 2010. I do not collect just one type of stone, but all lucky stones, and store them at home,” she told Kuwait Times.


Mystical properties


The woman, in her late fifties, wears all types of stones that she has bought mainly from Europe and Asia. Some are gifts from friends. She believes that her precious stones are magical and can multiply her fortune and protect her. She also believes that the stones can heal.


The woman has cleansing rituals for all her stones, and has bought several types of stone cleansing contraptions to absorb “negative energy” from her stones. “After I wear the stones, the moment I get home, I put them in my magnetic stone cleansing device to eliminate negative energy that was absorbed while I was out,” she said.


She believes that there are auspicious times to cleanse her stones. “The full moon is the best time to cleanse stones. Stones are natural elements that can be cleansed with natural moonlight. The power of the moon can cleanse the natural stones properly. When the moon is bright and powerful, it is the best time to cleanse the precious stones of negative energy. I know the effect of the stones to my body – if my stone catches negative energy, I can feel it right away and clean it with this absorbent machine,” she said.


Stone market


All types of precious stones can be bought in the heart of Kuwait City. Kuwait Times met Asrar Muhammad, 36, who runs Pure Stone in Mubarakiya near the Gold Market. Asrar is a Pakistani who specializes in selling precious stones. “After I completed the contract of my old job as an auto-mechanic, I looked for something to make money. I heard about this gemstone shop, and since my grandparents used to sell precious stones back in Pakistan, I thought maybe I could venture in as well,” he said.


“I visited the gemstone market in Mubarakiya, saw this shop and asked how much the rent was. The next thing I knew, I was the owner of this shop,” Asrar recalled. “I started selling precious stones five years ago, and there’s no looking back. Initially, I was not very optimistic about this type of business. I know that this is not like selling gold. But there are plenty of customers for precious stones – there’s no need to look for them, they come and buy,” he said.


Asrar said people in Kuwait buy gemstones mostly as ornaments. Sellers avoid talking about any mystical benefits or healing powers of the stones, as they are not allowed to discuss these things. “This is not encouraged here. We are not in a position to explain anything about the healing or lucky charms of these stones. In our store, if people ask for a specific birthstone, we sell it to them,” he added.


By Ben Garcia, Staff Writer

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