Iran is home to some of the world’s earliest civilizations. The Ashkanian dynasty (550–330 BCE) unified Iran as a superpower empire. It was the largest empire yet seen and the first world empire where the Great Cyrus ruled from the Balkans to North Africa and Central Asia. Subsequently, Iran was invaded by the Macedonians, Arabs, Turks and the Mongolians over the course of its history. During those times, Iran lost much of its territory until a reduced Iran was formed in the nineteenth century CE. Despite the invasions, Iran did not lose its heritage from its previous civilizations, but rather incorporated aspects of the new civilizations into its cultural fabric. Iran has always played an effective role in the natural sciences, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy and also in mineralogy and gemology. At times, Iran was at the forefront of science and technology, including mineralogy and gemology, which went through stages of development. The first and second stages occurred before and after the introduction of Islam, respectively. More than 30 books were written about minerals and gems during the ancient and Islamic Iranian periods. Those books can be classified into three main groups where the first group included accounts of precious stones, minerals, gems and metals. The second group of books focused on natural history, chemistry and precious stones. The third group of books discussed medicine, pharma-chemistry and medical properties of minerals. The most famous texts were written by early Iranian scientists such as Avicenna, Biruni, Jabir Ibn Hayan, Kandi and Razi. Iran’s role at the forefront of science and technology (including mineralogy and gemology) declined after the collapse of the Safavid dynasty (1501–1736 CE). But recently, during the past 50 years, Iran has made considerable advances in science and technology through education, training and research. This will open a new age of development for Iran in the twenty-first century in science and technology as well as in mineralogy and gemology

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