HOW TO SPOT FAKE TURQUOISE
How do you tell if turquoise is real? There are a few things you can look for to help determine whether or not turquoise is real.
1. CHECK THE PRICE
One of the easiest ways to tell if turquoise is real is by checking the price tag. If the item you're looking at is very cheap, it's likely not made with real turquoise. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, but in general, real turquoise will cost more than imitations.
Imitations are very inexpensive because they contain materials that are much more common than turquoise. For example, howlite is a sedimentary rock that's found all over the world, 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
You can sometimes tell an imitation stone by its appearance, but because fake turquoise stones come in various materials, you may not get the most consistent results. For example, in some fake turquoise jewelry pieces, you may notice where the dye builds up in the cracks of the "turquoise," or if you can't feel the cracks of the stone, then the cracks are painted on.
Genuine turquoise 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.
3.THE FINGERNAIL TEST
You can use this method if you have a rough natural stone. Simply scratch the turquoise stone with your fingernail. If your fingernail becomes caught in the webbing matrix, there's a good chance it's a genuine turquoise stone.
4. ACETONE TEST
The acetone test is another helpful technique. First, rub a cotton swab with pure acetone. Then apply it to the turquoise stone and wait 10 minutes to see if any color transfers off along with the liquid. If the turquoise stone you're examining is authentic turquoise, the color will not rub off. However, if the stone is dyed howlite, you'll see blue on the cotton ball.
5. THE SCRATCH TEST
You may attempt many tests to decide whether your turquoise is genuine, but many of them are quite damaging to the stone itself. The scratch test is the least damaging of all.
Turquoise is a naturally soft stone, but howlite crystal (a common turquoise substitute) is even softer. So if you scratch the stone in question with a real turquoise stone and it scratches easily, there's a good chance it's made of howlite crystal.
We recommend performing the scratch test on the part of the stone that isn't easily visible.
6. THE HOT NEEDLE METHOD
The hot needle method is probably the most effective test for telling real from imitation turquoise. Use a jeweler's torch to heat up 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.
WHAT IS FAKE TURQUOISE?
It is difficult to distinguish fake turquoise jewelry (even we have difficulties sometimes!) since turquoise varies so much from stone to stone. For example, today, 90% of the turquoise on the market is dyed howlite crystal made to resemble authentic 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 one large fake turquoise stone. This type of jewelry is usually lower quality and not as expensive as pieces made with real turquoise, but it can still be difficult to spot.
With so many imitation turquoise jewelry pieces on the market, it's important to know how to spot the real thing. Luckily, there are a few ways you can tell if your turquoise is genuine or not. If you're ever in doubt, we recommend taking your turquoise piece to a professional jeweler for examination.