Spot Fake Turquoise

These days, it can be quite challenging to identify real turquoise versus fake turquoise. With all the imitation turquoise stones and turquoise jewelry, it’s worth knowing if what you’re buying is the real deal or not. 

In this article, we will be discussing a couple of tips and tricks in spotting fake turquoise. 

How To Spot Fake Turquoise


Fake turquoise is a material that does not even contain any turquoise presence. Typically, these are made using howlite, plastic, magnesite, and resin - which are all dyed to imitate the appearance of a real turquoise stone.


When buying turquoise cabochons, or even turquoise jewelry, we think the first step is to check out the brand or store you are buying it from. 

Important pointers to consider before buying turquoise: 

  • Does this seller have good customer reviews?
  • Is there enough transparency about their products? The more specific in describing their products, the easier to identify or know, especially when buying online
  • After that, check out its appearance and its price

Turquoise in itself is already relatively on the pricier side when it comes to gemstones. If someone is selling it for under $10, you might want to take a second look.

Here are some examples of fake vs real turquoise from the visuals.

We found a couple of fake turquoise product listings from eBay - here are a few screenshots. 

A sample of a fake turquoise listing on eBay marketed as Howlite turquoise

A sample of a fake turquoise listing on eBay marketed as Howlite turquoise | Screenshot via

Fake turquoise listing on eBay marketed as Howlite turquoise

A sample of a fake turquoise listing on eBay marketed as Howlite turquoise | Screenshot via

A sample of a fake turquoise jewelry listing on eBay marketed as Howlite turquoise

A sample of a fake turquoise jewelry listing on eBay marketed as Howlite turquoise | Screenshot via


Now, here are samples of real turquoise stone roughs from Moose!

A sample of genuine turquoise stones

Sample of Genuine Turquoise Rough - Giraffe Turquoise, Yungai Turquoise, and Royston Turquoise / Photo by Moose



For starters, stabilized turquoise is not fake. Jewelry-grade turquoise pieces are the ones that have been stabilized using epoxy. It is important to undergo this process so as to make low-grade quality turquoise hard enough for it to be shaped and polished. 

Turquoise is a soft and porous stone; environmental factors such as heat, humidity, and the like could change the color of the stone or even its density. 

Epoxy is used in order to fill the void and other porous areas of the turquoise stone. This way, the stone’s density and color can be enhanced. Remember, turquoise that is of the highest grade are the ones that can only be shaped and polished without undergoing stabilization. Why? Density and lack of porosity. 

Related: Read more about Calibrated Turquoise.


  • Plastic/Imitation Turquoise
    • As the name suggests, plastic turquoise is marketed heavily in department stores not just in the United States, but most probably worldwide. As mentioned above, if you find yourself looking at a $10 turquoise ring, look away! If the material looks heavy, jewelry manufacturers/dealers have most likely added metal. 
  • Dyed Turquoise
    • This one is called Howlite. Howlite is a type of stone that looks white and has visible black mineral veins which can be a bit comparable to genuine turquoise stones. Hence, once Howlite is dyed, it looks similar to turquoise. 


As mentioned a couple of times in this article, it’s always helpful to check the price of a certain turquoise stone, cab, or turquoise jewelry before purchasing. If it’s too good to be true, double-check. If you’re not particularly on the lookout for authentic turquoise jewelry, that’s totally okay! The purpose of this article is to help people who want to identify real versus fake turquoise. :)

In addition, take a closer look at it. One of the tell-tale signs of fake turquoise is that you could visibly see the dye pile up in the ‘cracks’ of the material. 

Lastly, try to scratch the material. Howlite will scratch easily compared to genuine turquoise as Howlite is softer. 


All of our turquoise cabochons, beads, and calibrated turquoise are genuine - after all, before we started Turquoise Moose, we have long been turquoise enthusiasts ourselves. With this, from one turquoise lover to another, we promise you, you’re getting the real deal :)

Check out our turquoise collection from different reputable turquoise mines.

Have something specific that you want to request? Get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to make it happen by placing a custom order here.

Please don’t forget to tag us on Instagram at @turquoise_moose. 


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