Like polished marble, the earthy appeal of natural howlite draws us in with a soothing presence. You find a white rock with dark veins running through it. Shaped like a head of cauliflower, it feels solid with a chalky texture. In your hand, you’re holding a genuine howlite stone. Often used to imitate turquoise, learn how to identify howlite and how to tell howlite apart from turquoise and other gemstones.
While howlite can exist in a crystal form, this is extremely rare. Crystal howlite has only been found in a few locations, and these specimens are tiny, measuring less than one centimeter. Howlite used for carving, or in gemstone jewelry, forms in nodules with a distinct cauliflower appearance.
The hardness of howlite ranges between 3.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. The soft nodule form has the lowest portion of the Mohs hardness. It breaks apart into grains that are later used for shaping or carving. Crystal specimens possess the harder ranking.
Determining Howlite Value
The value of colored stones is typically determined by a combination of its color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. This is no different when determining what howlite is worth. These guidelines will help you choose howlite stones for your collection.
• Howlite Color
Natural howlite occurs as a white, marble-colored material. Dark veining runs throughout the rough, which is also known as its matrix. Howlite matrix bears a strong resemblance to a spider web, and it will range in color from a dark brown, gray, or black.
When choosing natural howlite, the color of porcelain is most preferred. Most howlite veining is gray, but any color is acceptable based on preference. Tastes differ between material that is relatively free of, or deeply saturated with, matrix. It’s best to choose what you like the best. Most dealers look for a balance between the two, preferring specimens that have an appealing white color and even spacing of matrix.
• Howlite Clarity
Howlite used for carving or jewelry is opaque, and light cannot pass through the material. Polished stones possess a semi-gloss luster. These stones approach glass in their shine.
• Howlite Cut
The most popular shapes for howlite stones are cabochon and beads. It may also be carved into decorative shapes.
• Howlite Carat Weight
Popular due to its size, finished howlite is found in a wide variety of carat weights. Specimens of over 30-carats have been recorded. Expect to see howlite available in practically any size you desire.
Some might ask, “Is howlite real?” What is really being asked is whether the stone is treated. Howlite exists as natural stone, free of treatment. But many stones also undergo enhancement.
Highly porous, howlite takes dye exceptionally well. Combined with its appealing spider web matrix, dyeing howlite to imitate turquoise is extremely popular. Besides a turquoise color, you can find howlite dyed in practically any color available. Shop LC offers howlite in white, blue, purple, pink, green, red, orange, and many more colors!
Besides dyeing, in rare instances, howlite may be impregnated with a colorless resin. This stabilizes the material, making it easier to shape.
Who Can Wear Howlite?
With its compelling variety of dyed stones, howlite is a gem anyone can wear. Natural white howlite is popular in Southwestern influenced jewelry, such as the Santa Fe Style Collection. When used to imitate turquoise, you’ll find howlite set in a variety of metals, with sterling silver and stainless steel among the most popular options.
In its original color, white howlite is natural and neutral. It’s an excellent option for anyone who wants jewelry with a more subdued approach. Dyed options take this further, opening the doors of possibility.
With a stone that’s so versatile, it’s merely a matter of choosing a color you love!
How Does Howlite Compare to Other Stones?
White, opaque stones tend to be unusual and infrequently seen. With its pleasing luster and ceramic color, the closest comparison to howlite is white opal. White opal stands apart with its play-of-color and glossy finish.
What is White Buffalo Turquoise?
Where Does Howlite Come From?
Howlite occurs in many locations throughout the world and is frequently found in deposits of borate. Countries like Canada, Germany, Mexico, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey, and the United States all host sizeable deposits of this material.
Who Discovered Howlite?
The discovery of howlite easily traces back to its namesake, the Canadian mineralogist Henry How. It was discovered in the province of Nova Scotia, near the city of Windsor, in 1868. After being notified of a nuisance material by miners, further investigation lead How to discover howlite.
Initially, How described his find as silico-boro-calcite, a simple explanation based on the mineral makeup of the material. An American contemporary, James Dwight Dana, would soon rename the find to honor How and his discovery, calling it howlite. Dana is best-known for creating the Manual of Mineralogy, a text that is still continually edited to this day.
How is Howlite Mined?
Occurring within borate deposits howlite is not usually mined on its own. Instead, it’s a byproduct of mining for other material, such as gypsum. Supplies of howlite are abundant, and the stone is very easy to acquire.
What Does Howlite Mean?
From a metaphysical perspective, howlite is seen as a calming stone. Gem therapists utilize howlite in their practice to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and the other tensions that seep into our daily lives. Once calmed, they feel, howlite opens the door to other means of elevation and elation.
Besides improving mental health, crystal healers also tout the ability of howlite to improve physical functions of the body. Wearing howlite is said to reduce the physical aspects of stress, such as soreness, by releasing the tension within one’s muscles. Some also suggest that howlite aids in the absorption of calcium into the body.
Advocates of the stone insist that treatment of the stone does not diminish its potential.
Disclaimer: For informational purposes only. These remedies, approaches, and techniques are not a substitute for professional medical care or treatment. They should not be used to treat any ailment without prior consultation with a qualified health care professional.
Is Howlite a Birthstone?
In the modern birthstone list, howlite does not represent any particular month. Howlite does not have a strong association with the tropical zodiac and does not pair with any specific sign.
• Howlite ranks 3.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
• Naturally occurring howlite is white with dark veining in a spider web pattern.
• Significant deposits of howlite are in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
• Howlite frequently is dyed to create additional colors. Rarely, it may be impregnated to make the material easier to shape.
• White howlite may be incorrectly sold as “white buffalo turquoise.” Howlite dyed to resemble turquoise may be incorrectly called “turquenite.”