HOW TO SPOT FAKE TURQUOISE
Unfortunately, some unscrupulous dealers are trying to pass off fake turquoise as genuine stones. So in this article, we’ll look at how to spot fake turquoise - so you can be sure you’re getting the real deal!
1. CHECK THE PRICE OF REAL TURQUOISE
One of the easiest ways to tell if you have real turquoise is by checking the price tag. If the item you're looking at's price is too good to be true, it's likely, not real turquoise. But of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. However, real turquoise will generally cost more than imitation stones. So, beware if it seems too good to be true.
Imitations are inexpensive because they contain much more common materials than authentic turquoise. For example, howlite (a common imitation) is a sedimentary rock found worldwide, while genuine turquoise is quite rare. As a result, items made with fake turquoise cost very little to produce and sell for very low prices.
2. CHECK THE APPEARANCE OF TURQUOISE JEWELRY
Real turquoise jewelry varies widely because of its formation in nature, so fake turquoise jewelry that does not appear precisely like the real thing is difficult to spot. Still, some visual cues may help you determine whether a stone is real.
You can sometimes tell faux turquoise gemstones by their appearance, but you may not get the most consistent results because fake turquoise comes in various materials. For example, in some fake turquoise gemstones, you may notice where the dye builds up in the cracks of the "turquoise," or if you can't feel the cracks of the questionable stone, the appearance of cracks is most likely painted on with dye. Hence, fake turquoise is often called dyed turquoise.
3. USE THE FINGERNAIL TEST TO SPOT GENUINE TURQUOISE
4. ACETONE TEST
The acetone test is another helpful technique. First, rub a cotton swab with pure acetone ( nail polish remover). Then apply it to the questionable turquoise stone and wait 10 minutes to see if any green or blue color transfers off the stone along with the liquid. If the turquoise you're examining is real turquoise, the blue color will not rub off. However, if the stone is dyed howlite, you'll see blue on the cotton swab.
5. THE SCRATCH TEST
The scratch test is one of the oldest and most reliable ways to test a stone's authenticity. Turquoise should have an unusually hard surface that won't receive scratches easily. In contrast, fake turquoise will usually exhibit signs of wear and tear or will be soft enough to nick with a tool such as a knife blade or another piece of genuine turquoise. If you can scratch it easily, the stone in question is likely, not fake turquoise.
Turquoise is a naturally soft stone, but howlite crystal (a common turquoise substitute) is even softer. So if you scratch a questionable stone with real turquoise and it scratches easily, there's a good chance it is howlite crystal, a.k.a dyed turquoise.
6. THE HOT NEEDLE METHOD
Here is another method to tell if turquoise is real. The hot needle method is probably the most effective test for telling authentic turquoise from fake turquoise. Use a jeweler's torch to heat a needle and press it into an inconspicuous part of the turquoise stone's surface. It is either plastic or resin jewelry if it begins to melt or produces a burnt smell. This is because plastic and resin can't withstand the heat of a torch.
WHAT IS FAKE TURQUOISE?
It is difficult to spot the difference between real and fake turquoise jewelry (even we have difficulties sometimes!) since turquoise varies so much from stone to stone. For example, 90% of the turquoise on the market is dyed howlite crystals (also called white turquoise) made to resemble real turquoise. Other common imitations include dyed magnesite, plastic, epoxy, and resin.
Reconstituted turquoise is another form of imitation turquoise that dupes buyers by mixing tiny bits of genuine stone with other minerals to create sizeable fake turquoise. This type of jewelry is usually lower quality and not as expensive as pieces made with 100% real turquoise and no other stones, but it can still be challenging to spot.
In the end, telling between real and fake turquoise is still a tricky process. However, you can spot counterfeits easily with the right guidance and a keen eye. The best way to protect yourself from buying fake turquoise jewelry is by doing research before shopping or buying from a reliable retailer. Stay vigilant and remember to use some of the tests above to verify the authenticity of your turquoise. Good luck!