Thursday, January 27

Turqouise: The Real Deal

If you BUY Turquoise Read this Please
A little about turquoise: 

There is many forms and shades of turquoise out there today.  Some very beautiful solid pieces are coming from other countries.  But limited solid pieces are being mined in the USA - and a large portion of what is available is stabilized.
Stabilizing turquoise uses heat and polymers, small bits or dust from cutting or mining.
This picture is some my Turquoise stock, shows a collection of Genuine Turquoise from the Southwest except for the square bright blue, which is from China, BUT not Stabilized, dyed or altered by heat or chemicals in anyway. Colors run from a pale blue to forest green. Graining, streaks, or marbling are a way of identifying and grading the quality of turquoise.

The large white looking piece is the palest blue i have ever seen.
Here is a Fantastic link to Turquoise - with details of identifying, processing, and more.  Fabulous pictures.
Does this look Familiar?  It should.  It's often called White Turquoise or Buffalo Stone.  But in truth it is Howlite, or, even inappropriately Magnesite.  It is the stone used to fake turquoise...

Today you will find dyed Howlite or also called Magnesite in a rainbow of colors, being marketed as turquoise.

These 2 links are from a supplier, that I adore, that show examples of what i am talking about.  These folks Always mark their products as what they are.  But, they are the exception.

Turquoise color

Pumpkin Orange Color

I really love some of the fantastic colors out there today.  They offer a designer so many options, stimulate creativity.

Unfortunately the average buyer does not know the difference between Genuine Turquoise and Enhanced or Stabilized Turquoise.  The problem comes to light in pricing a piece.  1 artist's prices are drastically lower than another's for a very similar piece at 1st glance. 

The replicas, synthetics, enhanced stock are so wonderfully made, with attention to marbling as well as surface, weight that it is very easy to be fooled.

Sadly some artists, not just consumers, are fooled.  Home Craft Artists or a percentage Cottage Industry artists, thinking that they "got a Great Deal!" and will be able to be highly competitive on the Retail Market unwittingly buy the "enhanced" product, price it accordingly, market it as Real Turquoise, and invariably only the color is Turquoise

I can see my ancestor's faces now as they are unearthing a gorgeous streak of turquoise that suddenly turns Pumpkin Orange?

Howlite and/or Magnesite is the greatest Turquoise hoax today!  It is the predominate stone used to create fake or rather enhanced turquoise.  The texture, weight is so like natural turquoise from many regions.  With dyes, heat and other techniques any color Turquoise. 

This is from Wikipedia, clearly depicting and substantiating all of the above:

Howlite is commonly used to make decorative objects such as small carvings or jewelry components. Because of its porous texture, howlite can be easily dyed to imitate other minerals, especially turquoise because of the superficial similarity of the veining patterns. The dyed howlite (or magnesite) is marketed as turquenite.[8] Howlite is also sold in its natural state, sometimes under the misleading trade names of "white turquoise" or "white buffalo turquoise," or the derived name "white buffalo stone."

I hope this post will help both consumers and artists when working in the Turquoise Industry.  There is nothing wrong with using dyed stones - but there is a lot wrong with selling it as something it isn't and costing authentic artists sale

In the Southwest many native people's lively hoods stem from their work with Turquoise.  As the saying goes.... Buyer be Ware!  Seller be Fair!

When you see a $20 necklace next to a $200 necklace - Look Again.... Know what you are buying.
Walk In Beauty!
Howlite is Beautiful naturally.  I use it frequently in my pieces.  I use natural white Howlite.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Join Us! Please use this box to Join Us for a Free Project Sample or Tutorial, from the new Book - All your info is protected. I will not post your emails. Indicate what machine you do or do not have.
Thank You!