The Ultimate Guide to White Buffalo Turquoise

The only place in the world where white buffalo turquoise is found is in Tonopah, Nevada. This beautiful white stone is not turquoise but rather a dolomite stone.


White Buffalo Mine | Photo by Turquoise Moose




White Buffalo Mine | Photo by Turquoise Moose



The name derives from the Native American belief that white buffaloes are pure and rare like the white buffalo turquoise stone.

This stone lacks the defining teal green color of classic turquoise but its black spider webbing pattern is reminiscent of turquoise.

Blue turquoise grows in copper mines and therefore develops its blue-green color whereas white buffalo turquoise grows next to magnesium that bleaches the stone's pigment.

White buffalo turquoise is a symbol of Native American culture and is one of the rarest stones on the market. Its scarcity usually marks up the price but because it makes such beautiful jewelry, this albino turquoise is usually in high demand.

White buffalo turquoise is a beautiful stone with an incredible history. Learn all about this rare stone here, including where to buy it and how to spot fake stones.



The History of Native American Jewelry

The production of Native American jewelry began almost 12,000 years ago with stones, bones, coral, and shells. Natives turned these materials into wearable jewelry and traded them for other goods between tribes.

Jewelry was also a marker of status within Native American communities. Individuals of the ruling or elite class typically wore more elaborate pieces to indicate their significant place in society.

Native Americans even carved tiny beads out of shells and bones to wear as necklaces or bracelets, similar to the ones we wear today.

They wore pendants on leather strings, rings, and earrings from materials in their surrounding environment.

Much jewelry that is on the market today has been influenced by these early jewelry makers.

This tradition of jewelry making has been kept alive throughout centuries and there are still a plethora of Native American silversmith and metalsmith stores and workshops today.



White Buffalo Turquoise History


Also known as sacred white buffalo, this precious black and white stone is found frequently in Native American jewelry. It was first discovered in the Dry Creek Mine in Tonopah, Nevada by the Otteson family in 1993.

This family was scouting turquoise for over 50 years when the discovery was made. They initially thought the stone was a variation of turquoise due to its veiny property which is similar to classic turquoise.

It was named after the Native American legend of the rare white buffalo, a powerful spiritual belief.

In this legend, a beautiful Lakota woman appeared to two natives who were searching for wild game amidst a famine.

She gave them sacred tobacco and taught them how to use it in prayer. As she was walking away, she then turned into a rare white buffalo.

They continued to use the sacred tobacco in her absence and soon thereafter an abundant herd of buffalo appeared to abate the native's hunger.




Healing Properties of White Buffalo Turquoise

This albino turquoise stone is said to purify your energy and is considered a powerful strengthening stone. It was traditionally used as an amulet for protection because this gem absorbs negative energy with its pure properties.

Many believe that wearing this stone today will protect your lungs from the harmful smog in the unclean air, so we suggest wearing white buffalo as a necklace.

This stone also aids with communication. It allows you to speak freely and clearly without blockages.

Better communication will help improve relationships in your life and allow you to have healthier interactions with strangers.


Traditionally, white is the color of purification. White symbolizes new beginnings and forgiveness.

Because white buffalo turquoise is so rare, you will experience the purest form of cleansing with this stone.


Many believe that because white is so pure, it can be associated with all 7 chakras. It can regulate any unbalanced energy in your body and align all of the chakras.

It is especially powerful on the seventh crown chakra and will allow you fully experience peace and meditation.

According to Native Americans, white buffalo turquoise also establishes a connection between both the physical and metaphysical world not only due to its color but also its origins.

This stone was named after a mystical Native American legend and retains its mysticism as a result.


How to Spot a Fake White Buffalo Turquoise


White buffalo turquoise is technically not turquoise because it does not have any copper content nor a blue hue. White buffalo is a unique stone and not "white turquoise."


White Buffalo Turquoise or White Buffalo Dolomite?


Photo by Turquoise Moose


Some people mistakenly identify howlite and magnesite as "white turquoise." Keep in mind that these gems are all distinguishable.

Here we will go over some stones that are wrongly labeled as white buffalo turquoise so you don't make the mistake of purchasing fake white turquoise.


Howlite is a white and black veiny stone similar to white buffalo turquoise but has different properties. It is a porous mineral that is found in irregular nodules.

The uncut shape resembles cauliflower and is sometimes dyed blue or green to pass as fake turquoise.

It has a Mohs hardness of 3.5 whereas turquoise has a hardness of 5-7.

One way to test if this stone is fake turquoise is to drag it across a hard surface. If it flakes, then it is a soft mineral and not likely turquoise.

Howlite is typically an inexpensive stone, so some jewelers will try to make a heftier profit by purchasing this stone for a small sum and then selling it as white buffalo turquoise with an immense markup.


Commonly mistaken as white buffalo turquoise or white turquoise, magnesite is a calcite mineral. It is comprised of magnesium carbonate and forms convex crystals.

This stone is usually chalky white but can also be gray, brown, yellow, orange, pale pink, and colorless as well.

Its hardness is 3.5 to 4.5 whereas white buffalo's (dolomite) hardness is only 3.5-4.

White buffalo turquoise is only found naturally in Nevada but magnesite is found all over the United States, Europe, Africa, Brazil, and China.

This stone also has dark veins and is sometimes dyed blue to resemble classic turquoise or fake white turquoise.




Questions to Ask to Avoid Buying Fake White Buffalo Turquoise

Sometimes, even the dealers and sellers are unaware that they have fake minerals so be wary of what you are purchasing and always ask questions.

Ask sellers where the stones came from and where they were mined. If they cannot tell you specific mining information, then you should shop elsewhere.

Be skeptical of dealers who do not know the sources of their products because they are most likely sourcing and selling fake stones.

When buying white buffalo turquoise, always ask the seller where the stone came from. If the answer is somewhere other than Nevada, do not buy the stone.

Remember that Nevada is the only place where white buffalo turquoise is found naturally, so if a dealer tells you that it was sourced elsewhere they are likely to be lying.






Where to Buy White Buffalo Turquoise

Real jewelry and stone hounds love to buy gems at the source. Buying white buffalo stones and white buffalo turquoise jewelry in Nevada ensures that your product is real.

In a place where the mineral is abundant, you are less likely to encounter fake turquoise.

To confirm that you are purchasing real white buffalo turquoise, we recommend buying from Native American retailers or accredited wholesalers.

If buying your stones from wholesale companies, be sure to check their accountability by researching for permits and reading reviews.

Purchasing white buffalo turquoise directly from a Native American silversmith or gem retailer is a safe way to acquire real turquoise.

You are supporting their small business and are sure to get a one-of-a-kind piece because the silversmith trade is a Native American tradition that has been passed down for generations.

Turquoise Moose sources our white buffalo right from Tonopah mines in Nevada.

This way, we can be sure that all of our stones and gems are 100% legitimate. We offer high-quality white buffalo turquoise cabochons in a variety of shapes and sizes.

We have predominantly black or predominantly white stones, each that are completely customer satisfaction guaranteed.



Get Your White Buffalo Turquoise Today!

The Native American origins and history of white buffalo turquoise make it an exceptionally unique stone. Its metaphysical properties help balance and purify your emotions and energies, making it a sought-after gem.

Everyone will admire your new white buffalo turquoise jewelry so don't wait any longer to purchase yours today!

Also available in rough form - take a look at our collection of rough white buffalo turquoise which are all natural :) Hello, lapidary artists!

Feel free to contact us with any more white buffalo turquoise questions or other jewelry inquiries.



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