Is Howlite man made? Find out now

Howlite is a matte opaque white stone that is ornamented with grey veins that are weaving all over its surface. 

This stone is composed of calcium silico-borate and belongs to the group of calcites. 

Howlite is considered a fine and semi-precious stone that can be found in an opaque state, varying in shades between pale yellow, and vivid whitse shade. Visually speaking, it can have the appearance of porcelain or marble.

is howlite man made

So, based on the information stated earlier, we can clearly say that Howlite is not man made, it is in fact a natural stone that is composed of Earthly minerals and it can be found in multiple deposits around the world such as Germany, Brazil, France, Canada, and the USA. However, Howlite can be easily modified by man made alterations such as dying the stone with blue-colored pigments. 

Do you want to know how Howlite can be “man-made”, what is the change that humans can do to this naturally occurring stone, and how to differentiate between a genuine howlite and a dyed one? then, keep on reading. 

Is Howlite man-made?

A little back story

As mentioned previously, Howlite is a natural stone that is found in multiple deposits around the world.

This stone was first discovered in 1868 by Henry How (1828-1879).

This stone is in fact a semi-precious stone that was hidden in a gypsum quarry near Windsor in Canada

During drilling and quarrying, the miners that were present in that quarry reported this unrecognized stone to chemist, mineralogist, and geologist Henry How.

This then newly discovered mineral was first called silico-boro-calcite, after that, the geologist James Dwight Dana (1813-1895) gave it the name of Howlite as an homage act to the first person who discovered and identified this new borate mineral which was Henry How.

Even though Howlite is a natural stone, it is considered a mineral that is frequently altered by humans.

Howlite has the distinct ability to absorb very well dyes and particularly the blue kind of dyes

This interesting feature is excessively used to dye Howlite and marketed as the “Blue” howlite or unfortunately as Turquoise.

Let’s first talk about the Blue Howlite. 

We need to keep in mind, that Howlite is only found naturally in a white state, so any other colors that you may see (apart from white, beige, and sometimes a very pale greenish-white) are actually dyed.

Now let’s tackle the Turquoise dilemma. 

When Howlite is dyed with blue color, it can be so similar to Turquoise, and in some cases, differentiating between genuine Turquoise and Blue Howlite can be quite the challenge. 

One of the essential things that separate the two is primarily the value

Turquoise is way more valuable and expensive than Blue Howlite. 

So, if you happen to see in the market “Turquoise” stones that are sold at a very low price, it is maybe an indicator that the stone is actually a blue-dyed howlite.

Plus, another thing that sets these two stones apart is the hardness

Howlite has 3 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, however, Turquoise on the other hand scores between 5 and 6. 

So, if we do a scratch test, we are going to notice that Howlite scratches way more easily than Turquoise.

Apart from being dyed, Howlite can be in itself artificially made. 

Artificial or man-made Howlite stone can be distinguished by well-defined very fine and saturated black veins that are evenly and perfectly distributed all over the stone. 

Plus if you notice that the black veins of the stone, they give the impression of copy-paste patterns, it is perhaps a telling indicator that Howlite is actually artificially made. 

So, how can you tell if White Howlite is real?

Genuine White Howlite exhibits an opaque white finish with faded black veins that are unevenly displayed all over the stone. Real white Howlite is not perfectly white, you may find some colorless or beige spots in the stone, plus the number of veins that mark the stone vary from one stone to another. 

Some white Howlite shows lots of veins and others are completely white with some few veins here and there. 

Summary

Howlite is natural and it is located in multiple locations around the globe such as Canada, it is a white opaque stone with faded black veins inclusions and it’s composed of calcium silico-borate and it was first discovered by the Geologist Henry How in 1868. 

Furthermore, White howlite is a highly porous stone so it can easily be dyed into other colors such as Blue. So, the Blue Howlite that we know is actually man-made because it is tinted with blue-colored pigment. 

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Yousra

Yousra is the owner and founder of Crystals And Joy and the author of the blog. She is a crystal passionate and she creates insightful, simple, and useful blog posts to share her crystal knowledge that she collected for the past several years.

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