How to differentiate between Turquoise and dyed Howlite?

By Gemexi Team | Healing Crystals
  • Updated On Feb 22, 2023
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How to differentiate between Turquoise and dyed Howlite?

According to recent research, approximately 80% of the turquoises available in the market are not the real one, but they are dyed Howlite. Howlite is a gemstone that can absorb any color available or dyed by any color on its white surface.

It is believed that Turquoise is one of the gemstones which has been mined first. The word Turquoise comes from the French word Turquoise which means Turkish as it has arrived in Europe from Turkey. At first, this stone has been founded in Iran.

Howlite is a white color mineral, first founded in Canada in the year 1868 by Geologist Henry How. It is one of the soft stones with a rating of 3.5 on the hardness scale. It is generally found in chalky white color with dark color veins or web-like markings on it.

Nowadays, most of the Turquoise available in the market are either fake or dyed Howlite. Sellers sell this dyed Howlite as Turquoise to make money.

Reasons behind selling dyed Howlite as Turquoise

  1. Howlite is much cheaper than Turquoise, thus to make more profits, people start selling dyed Howlite as Turquoise.
  2. Only Howlite can absorb any color and also dyed easily.
  3. Natural Howlite has webbing or matrix, which makes crystal look similar to Turquoise. It is impossible to make these webbing and matrix artificially rather than use the other mineral, which has matrix on its surface already.
  4. Howlite is an affordable substitute for an expensive turquoise.

How To Tell if Turquoise is Real

Moreover, there are three main points by which one can differentiate whether Turquoise is real or fake. These are as follows:

  1. Appearance:

    The vibrant blue color of Turquoise is Copper. Apart from that, it is a mixture of water, aluminum, and phosphorus. When all of these elements come together, form a beautiful turquoise. The properties can vary according to the amount of these elements used. Turquoise can found in color range from vibrant blue to green and brownish-green. The hardness of this stone in the MOHS ranges from 4.5 to 6. It is difficult to find a real Turquoise along with even distribution of color, which is very rare, that is why they are very expensive. But nowadays everyone is claiming to have real Turquoise with evenly spread colors, which is almost impossible. They sell dyed Turquoise as a real one. The next observation by which real Turquoise can be identified is the hardness of the stone. The hardness level of Real Turquoise is between 5-6, whereas Howlite are about 3.5 on the hardness scale. It is hard to identify the real Turquoise by its hardness level, but if it is easily scratched or broken, it is more likely to be a dyed Howlite.

  2. Color:

    There are two ways to find out the natural Turquoise by its color. The first way is to identify by its color distribution. It is rare to find a natural Turquoise with evenly spread vibrant blue color, and every dyed Turquoise will have even distribution on its surface. It is not necessary that every Turquoise with vibrant blue color, which is evenly spread, is not real or dyed Howlite. The second way by which one can definitely able to find the colored Howlite and sell as natural Turquoise. If you have a Turquoise and want to find whether it is real or dyed Turquoise, if it is dyed, you can test it with the help of cotton and Nail paint remover. Put a small amount of it on cotton and gently rub it on the edges of the stone. If cotton turns blue, then it proves that stone is not real Turquoise, it is a dyed Howlite, or if cotton doesn't turn into blue color, then the stone is real Turquoise.

  3. Price: Another way to find whether the Turquoise is Natural or dyed is by its price. For example, if you find some perfectly matched Turquoise beads, which are hard to find and, most importantly, the same colors stone or beads. It is clear that they would be more expensive. If someone out there is trying to sell them at less cost, it indicates the stone's dyed version.

If you are planning to buy Turquoise, it would be advisable that you should go and buy them from the seller you trust the most. Before buying the stone, you must enquire about the origin of the stone.

Write Comments
  • bryn
    Sep 29, 2022, 6:18:10 AM

    Howlite is a white color mineral, turquoise is a blue color gemstone. This is a big difference between howlite and turquoise.

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