Fig. 1: Lookalikes: howlite [left] and magnesite [right]
Foto: K. Sieber, www.makrogalerie.de
The mineral howlite is not well known because of its beauty, but has a dubious reputation of being an excellent imitation for turquoise when artificially dyed. Especially in the 60s to 90s of the last century large quantities of these fake turquoises were offered. After the deposits dried up, genuine howlite has become a rarity in the gemstone sector. As a substitute material, the mineral magnesite is available, which misleadingly is declared as "howlite" or (in the colored state) as "turquoise".