Stone Q&A - Chinese Puzzle Stone

Thursday, January 17, 2008
I recieved this question from Dharma Designs...
"I'd love to know more about Chinese Puzzle Stone. Is it white turquoise, howlite, or something all together on its own."

Personally I am not familiar with Chinese Puzzle Stone, so I had to hit the books and the web. There was surprisingly very little info out this stone - even when stones are actually imitation of other stones there's usually something out there.

However, I did find a mention that called Chinese Puzzle Stone 'White Turquoise'. Now there is actually no such thing as 'White Turquoise' - in fact it is none other than regular old Howlite (and occassionally Aluminite). Since Howlite is often dyed blue and used as an imitation of 'Turquoise', a new trend has started to call the white Howlite, 'White Turquoise', and sometimes also labeled 'White Buffalo' or 'Sacred Buffalo' Turquoise. This is simply done to make the stone appear more valuable.

On the left is regular Howlite, on the right is Howlite that has been dyed blue to imitate turquoise (ironically these are shaped as a buffalo!)

I did compare online photos of Chinese Picture Stone with Howlite, and other 'White Turquoise' stones, and they indeed look alike. Hence, my best guess is that Chinese Picture Stone is in fact Howlite. So Dharma, I hope this answers your question! If anyone who reads this knows any more about Chinese Picture Stone, please feel free to leave a comment on this blog!

Sneak Peek - This weekend's Stone of the Week blog will be about Obsidian!


Dharma Designs said...

You're my hero - THANKS for the info!!!!

Blue & White Wear said...

Thanks so much for the info on "white turquoise" - I have recently seen some lovely pendants with this stone. The shopkeepers told me it was white turquoise but I just had a feeling it was dyed howlite...Thanks again!