Gemstone Turquoise – Real or Fake?

Turquoise is one of my favorite gemstones and I’ll bet money (Monopoly money anyway!) that it’s one of yours too. It’s gorgeous, it’s flattering, it’s not hard to find, it looks good all year round and with all skin tones…. you know what I mean!

And sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re looking at the real deal, or a pretty fake. Of course if it’s pretty enough you might not care – unless you paid for Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and got assembled crap instead. (And if you paid for Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, believe me, you’ll care).

This post just gives a few examples of the good and the (not as) good. Take a look below – here’s a couple examples of real versus not:

Turquoise Magnesite Genuine Arizona Turquoise Teardrops
Turquoise Howlite Beads Turquoise Howlite

Only one of these examples is real turquoise – the teardrops at upper right. I know they’re genuine because (1) I bought them in Arizona in person, and (2) I do this for a living and after a while you can tell.

The other pics show very attractive beads – they’re just not real turquoise. Upper left is ‘turquoise magnesite’, a much easier to find stone and it fools a lot of people. Lower left is dyed howlite. Once again, easy to find, and it’s pretty – but not turquoise. The lower right is what I think of as “felt” in the stone world – it’s stone dust (probably howlite again), dye, and glue, and all pressed together. Pretty. Not turquoise.

Tricky, ain’t it?

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