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>> Group(s) : silicates
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Discovered in 1868 in California, its name honors the Canadian chemist H. How (1828-1879).
Its porosity allows the dye it, but only in blue to imitate the turquoise. Cabochon cut, in its natural color it is wrongly called "white turquoise".

Exploited sites

It is found in deposits of borates: California, Canada, Turkey and Germany.

See pictures of the mines / other pictures

Use in jewelry

It is cut cabochon. His black veins resemble those of the turquoise matrix and when it is dyed blue, it is difficult to distinguish one from the other. It is used to make decorative objects because it is easy to carve and stain.

Daily care and precautions

It is more fragile than the turquoise but beware the color can rub off depending on the dye used to tint it.

Looking alike stones

chrysocolla , turquoise

Historical healing properties

It would be a stone of balance that would be related to hydration, water retention, it would have a role in the exchange of fluids. It would favor the elimination of water overload.

Imitations and treatments

The howlite is dyed as easily as magnesite, it is made as an imitation of turquoise, lapis lazuli, coral, etc...

Chemical characteristics

boron silicate mineral

Physical characteristics

Main color : white

Other colors : grey, colourless

it is dyed blue to resemble turquoise

Color of streak : white

Luster : greasy

Hardness : 3.0 to 3.5

Density : 2.45 to 2.59

Cleavage : none

Fracture : conchoidal, uneven

Optical properties

Transparency : opaque

rarely translucent

Refractive Index : 1.586 - 1.606

Double refraction : 0.019

Definite, biaxial (-)

visible double refraction : no

Pleochroism : absent

Number of colors : 1

Fluorescence : none

Sometimes fluorescent due to colorants


Aggregates with black veins

Crystal system : monoclinic

Other informations

Astrological sign : Libra

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