How to Spot Real and Fake Turquoise—The Quick Way

Turquoise is one of the world’s most beautiful stones, thanks to its vivid hues. The stone’s splendid textures create a sophisticated style when worn as jewelry. 

But have you ever wondered if the turquoise you’re purchasing is genuine?

Because of its fame, turquoise is widely replicated on the market, with the bulk of it being colored Howlite or plain plastic! 

Thankfully, there are signs to look for when checking whether your turquoise is real, dyed, or stabilized. Read on to learn more. 

What Is A Real Turquoise? 

Turquoise, with its unusual opaque green-blue color, is a popular type of jewelry worldwide. Generally, turquoise is softer and more vulnerable to damage than other gems used in jewelry.

What Is A Fake Turquoise? 

It might be challenging to recognize fake turquoise as it varies greatly from stone to stone. Fake turquoise is usually constructed of Howlite, a soft mineral that looks like colored turquoise. Other imitated materials include magnetite, plastic, epoxy, and resin. 

What Are The Common Types of Fake Turquoise?

If you’ve ever bought a piece of fake turquoise, it was most likely one of these two:

  • Dyed Turquoise 

Howlite is a stone that appears white and has apparent black mineral veins, resembling genuine turquoise. As a result, when Howlite is colored, it resembles turquoise.

  • Plastic/Imitation

Another approach to making counterfeit turquoise is to use specially developed plastic or glass materials that resemble the actual stones’ colors. It is chopped or injected with various dyes to look authentic.

How to Spot A Dyed Turquoise  

It’s estimated that 90% of “turquoise” sold on the open market is dyed Howlite. There are two tests in determining whether or not a gem is a dyed turquoise: 

The Acetone Test: You can either soak the stone in acetone or rub a section of it with acetone to check if any color comes off. If it does, you’ve got a dyed stone on your hands.

The Destructive Test: This test works better if you have huge chunks of the stone rather than ones that have already been put into jewelry. The color of dyed Howlite merely saturates the top and does not penetrate the center. You can cut right into the stone with a lapidary saw to see if the hue is consistent throughout the specimen. You have a dyed stone if the core is colorless.

How to Check If Turquoise Is A Plastic Imitation 

Turquoise is a delicate stone since it is porous and often brittle, making it prone to shatter. The fragility of the natural stone contributes greatly to its relative scarcity—and thus its worth. With the advent of plastics, a whole new range of stabilizing turquoise emerged, many of which permanently altered the stone.

There is a method for determining whether a stone has been stabilized with chemicals, polymers, or plastics (or is a wholly synthetic stone created in the lab). You can try this test: 

The Hot Needle Test: Take a sewing needle and heat the tip with a lighter before touching it to the stone. The fragrance will indicate whether it includes plastic (at least in the area where the needle contacts it). 

Final Thoughts 

The easiest approach to knowing whether you have authentic turquoise is to seek a gemologist. However, these simple hints will help you detect if turquoise is genuine at its most noticeable level. Lastly, remember that if something seems too good to be true, it often is.