Mindat Logo
bannerbannerbannerbanner
Welcome!

"White Turquoise'

Posted by BobK  
"White Turquoise'
February 21, 2012 11:36AM
Hi Everyone-

We all know turquoise is a phosphate mineral that is colored mainly by copper and sometimes - iron, zinc,etc. The latter elements would explain the variations in color. Sometime you can find a seam in a turquoise mine completely devoid of color.
Since this is white, it seems logical it doesn't have any copper or other elements that are responsible for the coloration.

This is marketed as "white turquoise". My question is this- how can something be identified and sold as "white turquoise" if it doesn't even contain the necessary elements for the basic definition of turquoise. If it's not turquoise, exactly what is it?

BobK
avatar Re: "White Turquoise'
February 21, 2012 02:01PM
Usually clay minerals, such as Kaolinite.
avatar Re: "White Turquoise'
February 21, 2012 02:40PM
    
"how can something be identified and sold as "white turquoise" if it doesn't even contain the necessary elements for the basic definition of turquoise." - there's a word for that - fraud.
Re: "White Turquoise'
February 21, 2012 05:14PM
    
At the Color Back Mine in Nevada there are two other minerals identified as chalcosiderite and variscite. The chalcosiderite is usually pale yellow-green but is sometimes so pale it is nearly white.

The miners there can't seem to distinguish one from another so they sell everything as turquoise. The more blue, the higher the grade, reaching prices in excess of $1000 per pound. The lower, paler grades (chalcosiderite) sells for up to $200 per pound.

They have never used the term "white turquoise" as far as I know.

I have uploaded pictures of us collecting there as well as many specimens of chalcosiderite, variscite, and turquoise.

Rick
I know I am in my own little world, but everyone knows me here.
Re: "White Turquoise'
February 21, 2012 09:01PM
I can't speak for seams of "white turquoise" in situ, but my parents (who own a rock and mineral shop) are constantly having to deal with wholesalers marketing howlite and magnesite as "white turquoise," or, worse yet, dying those minerals blue and calling them "turquoisite." I would avoid "white turquoise" specimens.
Re: "White Turquoise'
February 21, 2012 10:15PM
    
Dan,

I didn't mean to insinuate that the white material in the ground is really turquoise. I am fairly sure it is not. I can't stand it either when people bring in the magnesite or howlite and try to pass it off as white turquoise or Buffalo turquoise. The dyed stuff just makes me crazyangry smiley

Rick
I know I am in my own little world, but everyone knows me here.
Re: "White Turquoise'
February 21, 2012 11:29PM
Hi Rick. My comments were mostly directed towards the original poster, not you. I understood your comments perfectly, but thanks for clarifying anyway. I think there is consensus here: "white turquoise" is not turquoise at all.
Re: "White Turquoise'
February 21, 2012 11:30PM
    
First it was dyed howlite being sold as turquoise, then it was dyed magnesite being sold as tourquoise.
Now I see offerings from china of magnesite dyed to match dyed howlite...it really cracks me up sometimes.
Re: "White Turquoise'
February 22, 2012 12:38AM
    
Dan,
No worries. I was just adding my 2 cents worth of what I have seen at that mine.

Rick
I know I am in my own little world, but everyone knows me here.
Re: "White Turquoise'
February 24, 2012 01:35AM
There is an interesting website www.turquoisefacts.com that has info on most American turquoise mines. It says that the White Buffalo turquoise which I think is where the whole white turquoise thing started is actually calcite. I am curious what other minerals are includes in the phosphate seams where turquoise is found.
Re: "White Turquoise'
February 24, 2012 05:21AM
    
Dave,

I have seen lots of jewelry labeled Buffalo turquoise and White turquoise and it has all been howlite or magnesite. I haven't seen any that looked like calcite.

That web site looks good. I am always sad that sites like this miss the Bingham Copper Mine as a producing high grade turquoise. All they have is Utah variscite.
avatar Re: "White Turquoise'
February 25, 2012 11:08AM
Pick any strange looking rock. Make up a name preferably one that includes the name of a more valuable mineral or gem. Take some pictures of it and stick it out there at a big price and claim all sorts of wonderful things it is good for and get a movie star to wear it and show that picture on the net and you are on your way to fame and fortune. This technique has used with various degrees of success thousands of times in the past and will continue to be use as long as greed exists in the human species. I have learned to accept these things as a matter of daily living and don't get excited or upset by them though I will comment about them if asked.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Author:

Your Email:


Subject:


Attachments:
  • Valid attachments: jpg, gif, png, pdf
  • No file can be larger than 1000 KB
  • 3 more file(s) can be attached to this message

Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically. If the code is hard to read, then just try to guess it right. If you enter the wrong code, a new image is created and you get another chance to enter it right.
CAPTCHA
Message:
Mineral and/or Locality  
Search Google  
Copyright © Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau 1993-2014. Site Map. Locality, mineral & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. Site hosted & developed by Jolyon Ralph. Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all. Mindat relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters. Mindat does not offer minerals for sale. If you would like to add information to improve the quality of our database, then click here to register.
Current server date and time: August 21, 2014 12:09:56
Mineral and Locality Search
Mineral:
and/or Locality:
Options
Fade toolbar when not in focusFix toolbar to bottom of page
Hide Social Media Links
Slideshow frame delay seconds