Large Nuggets - Real, Fake, Real Dyed?


I recently purchased a bag-lot of nuggets at an estate sale. I’m sure they’re not high-quality stones, but thought they might at least be stabilized, color-enhanced but possibly real turquoise? I’ve tried a Q-tip and acetone and no color came off. The deep veins have a lot of sawdust-type residue (perhaps a soft-stone polishing/tumbling media?) Lightly scratching with an X-acto blade scrapes off a powdery dust but doesn’t seem to change the color of the remaining stone. When I look at through a loupe the color seems slightly grainy, with stronger pockets of color in some scratches and depressions which leads me think that there is some dyeing involved. Any ideas? I only have $1 in the lot so it’s not a loss if they’re nothing.

Thank you for any suggestions!

They look like dyed pieces. You might cut one in half?

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These are going to be either dyed magnesite or dyed howlite


These looks stablized. Easy to judge. You can try another test. Try to write something on them with ballpoint and then remove ink with finger or thumb. Ink will not be removed easily if they are stablized and if they are natural then surface will be clear as before writing , by wiping once or twice. It’s quick test to identify turquoise.

Thanks @Jason and @Bigbree43. Hammer test proved conclusive. Not terribly surprised.


This is a great post to learn from @SeekrFindr. Thank you for updating us with the results.

Love the hammer test:sweat_smile:

So…questions for you guys (and ladies), something like this, being actual rock, seems like it would pass the needle test and looking at the above picture and how far the dye soaked into it, looks like you could scratch into its surface pretty deeply and still not see the white. I’m I correct in my thinking that the only way to know for sure is to cut deeply into one?

When I saw the picture, the intense blue color and the wax-like shimmer shine raise my suspect. when I look closer, the unevenness of the blue color also suggest color wax infusion.