Gemstone Spotlight: Howlite

Howlite Meaning, Properties and Benefits

bold text on wood background with howlite stones around edges

The Myth of “White Turquoise” and What You Are Actually Buying

Have you ever heard of “white turquoise”? This stone has seen a HUGE boom in popularity over the past 5 years. However, don’t you find it interesting that large jewelry companies such as Tiffany’s and Zales don’t sell such a seemingly popular stone? That’s because although white turquoise does technically exist, it’s very rare, not entirely white and too soft for use as jewelry!

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So what is the mystery stone being sold on all the fashion websites? Most commonly, if you are purchasing a real stone (not resin or plastic), that stone is howlite. Some other names you may have heard include “white marble”, “white buffalo”, “white buffalo turquoise” or “sacred buffalo”.

collage of howlite stones

What is Howlite?

Although you may not have heard of howlite, you have most likely seen it around. It’s one of the more common gemstones and is mostly mined in the US. It’s generally seen as an opaque white stone with grey veins running through it. Slight variations do exist, spanning from all white to white with black or brown veins. The rarest form of howlite is actually transparent and can only be found in California or Nova Scotia.

Howlite is infamous for being an “imitation stone”. This is because it’s naturally porous, giving it the ability to pick up dye extremely well. Howlite is frequently passed off as other semi-precious stones or sold as imitation turquoise, both traditional and the white buffalo variety.

Physical Properties

When most people hear the word “crystal”, they think of elongated pyramid shapes. Howlite stands out against the norm. This crystal forms naturally in bulbous shapes similar in appearance to a fluffy cloud. Odd, huh?

When handling any gemstone, I think it is important to note it’s particular Mohs hardness. Howlite comes in at a moderately low 3.5 (a little squishy for being a “stone”). This means that although you can’t scratch this gem with your fingernail, you could scratch it with an actual nail. For this reason, howlite used in jewelry is often stabilized, making it more durable for daily use.

As mentioned earlier, this is a porous stone, so keep it away from excess water. For regular cleanings, just wipe howlite with a soft cloth. If absolutely needed, you can wipe it with a soft cloth dipped in mildly soapy, lukewarm water. Pat dry.

Like most gemstones, howlite can be damaged by chemicals found in household cleaners. Did you know normal household dust contains quartz? Quartz has a mohs hardness if 7.5, which is very durable! This means leaving your howlite jewelry about for months, with long term exposure to dust, could potentially scratch your jewelry. For a comprehensive look at how to care for your gemstone jewelry check out our jewelry care guide.

multiple howlite necklaces laying flat on stone surface

Howlite Jewelry

Howlite jewelry has a clean, modern look to it. Naturally, it’s a very pretty stone that can easily match with any color. Classic two tone marbling gives it a sophisticated, professional feel when worn as jewelry. 

In the past, howlite had been popular amongst jewelers for its ability to hold bright, bold dyes. Recently, it has had a resurgence in popularity, thanks to “white turquoise”, and now there is large demand for undyed howlite. Today, howlite gemstones are associated with polished, minimalistic style as well as southwestern apparel. 

Howlite Meaning

Every gemstone is said to have “metaphysical” properties. That’s a fancy way of saying gemstones are thought to enhance certain feelings or character traits. Each stone has unique qualities that can affect you in unique ways.* 


Howlite key feature summary:

      • Overall calming effect
      • Relieves stress
      • Improves patience
      • Desire to learn
      • Alleviates insomnia
      • Boosts ambition

Howlite is a powerful calming stone. It helps to relieve stress by soothing overactive minds. By calming the mind, it is said to be an antidote for insomnia. This stone can help dissipate anger or judgmental thoughts. It strengthens your patience, allowing your positive character traits to shine through.

Howlite can also be used as a motivational boost. It is said to instill a need for knowledge. It heightens awareness of goals and aids you in finding the motivation necessary to achieve them.

To benefit from howlite properties, you can keep a polished stone in your pocket or sleep with it under your pillow. Here at Kcrafts, we recommend wearing gemstone jewelry. Jewelry is a practical and creative way to be connected with metaphysical properties.

(Personally, howlite is one of my favorite gemstones! If you are interested in learning more about metaphysical properties of gemstones, one of the best reference books I use is “The Crystal Bible” by Judy Hall. Click the link to to check it out on Amazon.)

bracelet for stress relief made out of howlite stone

In need of improved focus or building self confidence?

Maybe you just need some good luck?

It’s easy to discover new gemstones and their properties on our Gemstone Page.

*Medical Disclaimer: Gemstones should not be used as substitute for medical treatment. Just because a crystal or stone is alleged to have one or more healing properties, either physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, it does not mean that you, personally, will definitely experience, or benefit from, any such properties. Gemstones are not proven to help with any illness. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing a medical issue, seek professional medical advice.

Zodiac (1)

Did you know gemstones align with zodiac signs? Not to say you can’t benefit from a gem that’s not associated with your zodiac sign, but each sign seems to be especially receptive to these certain gems.

Howlite is the gemstone of Gemini and Virgo. Geminis are known for being outspoken and for their lack of focus. Howlite resonates with Geminis by teaching patience and directing pent up energy towards productive causes. For Virgo, constantly analyzing and trying to maintain order can be exhausting. Howlite’s ability to calm the mind can bring much needed relief to meticulous and over skeptical Virgo thoughts.

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Meet the Author

Hi there! My name is Karina. I am the creator behind the handmade jewelry website, It’s my goal that my customers feel comfortable and project confidence everyday! I accomplish that by sharing knowledge about gemstones and jewelry (mixed with a dash of motivation and fashion inspiration!).  Follow Kcrafts on social media or check out the shop to see what it’s all about.

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