I think it’s generally known that diamonds can either be genuine, or they can be lab grown, or they can be faked, but did you know that turquoise and other gems can be faked, as well? Yeah, I was pretty shocked to learn this, too. Especially with the cost of turquoise these days.

Turquoise isn’t faked in the sense that it’s grown in a lab. When turquoise is faked, it’s replaced with a whole other material entirely.

Fake turquoise can be hard to spot, especially since turquoise varies so much in appearance from stone to stone, but with a little bit of knowledge, you can avoid getting scammed when you’re buying jewelry.

Here are three tips to help you spot fake turquoise:

  1. Price – Genuine turquoise is expensive, and the price can go up if it’s a rarer type of turquoise. For example, that White Buffalo turquoise that’s popular right now? There is a limited amount of that material out there. Expect to pay more. I have individual turquoise stones that I have paid $40, $60, and even $80 for (at wholesale pricing). So if you paid $15 for a sterling silver and turquoise statement ring, you might have just paid for painted plastic. The bottom line: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Appearance – Sometimes you can tell it’s a fake just by looking at it. The most common way to fake turquoise is by dyeing a stone called Howlite. Turquoise can be imitated with plastic, epoxy, and resin. Cabochons can also be made from crushed up and epoxied turquoise. Examine your stones closely.
  3. The Scratch Test – I don’t recommend that you do this test, but it is one way to determine if your turquoise is genuine. Turquoise is a naturally soft stone, but howlite is even softer. If you scratch your stone and it scratches easily, or if there’s another color underneath, it’s probably a fake.


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