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Fake and Dyed Turquoise

Clearly dyed turquoise. The color is too blue and has an unnatural look to it.


(Above) Travertine 
aka, Mexican Onyx


     (Right) Pilot Mountain Turquoise

(Above) Travertine, also called Mexican Onyx, and reconstituted turquoise is being sold as Pilot Mountain Turquoise. In reality, there is very little turquoise in these beads and turquoise is never, ever found in travertine. The photo on the above right is what Pilot Mountain (located in Nevada) turquoise actually looks like. 

Howlite (courtesy of Wikipedia photos)

Dyed Howlite (courtesy of Wikipedia photos)

No question, this is dyed Howlite, but being sold as high end turquoise on the Internet. The seller of this piece would not respond to my e-mails asking what mine this turquoise is from.

Example of one type of "Sleeping Beauty Howlite" being sold on the Internet. There is no such thing as Sleeping Beauty Howlite.


Plastic Beads and Authentic Turquoise


These are plastic "turquoise" beads purchased from Walmart

Up against the fake beads, even spherical turquoise has some color variation which is apparent in all natural color beads (i.e. the little swirls of color variations and the beads are not all exactly the same color). (Plastic beads are shown here with round Sleeping Beauty Turquoise beads.

You can easily pick out the fake beads when they are shown next to authentic turquoise beads. It is hard to tell for sure, though, when you have nothing else to compare them to when shopping online. This is a great reason to "get it in writing"; have the beads certified by the seller. (Plastic beads are shown here with Sleeping Beauty Turquoise chunky and nugget style beads)

Again, natural color turquoise beads will always be somewhat variegated in color and, depending on the turquoise, you can usually see some of the host rock (matrix) as well. (Plastic beads are shown here with Nacozari (Sonoran) long flat style beads)

All of our turquoise beads are natural color

A Certificate of Authenticity Provided With Each Turquoise Purchase 

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Albuquerque, New Mexico


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