Wanted an opinion if this piece is authentic

Hi,
Hope you’re all are doing great! I recently purchased a piece of rough nugget. Could you please help me verify its authenticity? I can still return them.

I’m sure that this piece has been dyed and stabilized. But does it look authentic?

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I have to say I am a little skeptical. I’m thinking dyed magnesite That tends to have a gray or brown matrix. Dyed howlite tends to have a black matrix. If it was cheap enough and you like it enjoy it ! Most testing methods will damage the piece. Here is a pricing guide to maybe tell you if you payed enough to get the real thing.
https://turquoisesky.com/pages/turquoise-price-guide-2014
Hope this helps, Kyle

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Does the rock have a good weight?

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Thanks, Kyle. :-):slight_smile:

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As per the seller, I have 66.8 grams.

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To give you an idea of how difficult it can be this is a strand of fake turquoise and coral.

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I was pretty skeptical about buying this piece, but the seller gave me a laboratory report (which can be really faked). I guess, the clayish brown matrix was the only thing that convinced me. But again, all the fakes come with really fancy matrix nowadays. I just hope it’s real. :smile:

Also, these type of fakes are pretty common here in India. Especially those nugget kinds. I have seen a lot of those. But the piece that I have feels a little different than the howlite fakes. I have a couple of pieces getting shipped from Kingman mines, Arizona. Then maybe I’d get a better idea about how far off my piece is. Till then, fingers crossed!!

Here is a little more info from my shop about magnesite and howlite. The first picture is a selection of magnesite starting with ruff tumbled nodules, then dyed and stabilized, then cut and eventually polished. Magnesite is really a good stone to work with and makes nice jewelry. I buy this material to teach students how to cut the more expensive turquoise. They work the same in my book. Notice in the rough how the matrix is brownish. This makes for a more gray tone in the finished product.

Magnesite can come in some large pieces that offer a variety of textures and colors like this big piece. Notice in the third picture how stones with matrix patterns come from the edges because normally magnesite nodules are pretty solid in structure but porous enough to take on dye. so If I want patterns I go for the edges and if I want clear cut pieces I use the center if it has dyed well like this one.


This last picture is howlite, also used as a turquoise substitute. Notice the black matrix as opposed to the grays of magnesite. Also notice how the “grain” of the stone continues through the nodule and creates a good pattern for cutting. Sometimes the dye enhances the fissures and creates a look very similar to the skystone turquoise. Howlite is not as common in the market due to the fact there is much more magnesite in countries that manufacture turquoise substitutes. Hope this helps, Kyle

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That was extremely informative and profoundly helpful, Kyle. Thank you so much for sharing. This single comment holds a lot more content than entire pages dedicated to debunk turquoise copies. :slight_smile: The photographs of magnesite you shared, look a lot like the turquoise I see around that sell for dirt cheap prices. Do you have any tests to distinguish between genuine Turquoise and Magnesite?

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It looks to me like there is a whitish spot on this stone, possibly where the dye didn’t take up fully on the surface or got rubbed off.

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Even I saw that in day one. But still went ahead with the purchase.

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Thanks, there are some definitive tests but they go way beyond a persons capabilities at home like the Raman spectroscopic exam. It has to do with the mixture of copper and aluminum content of the stone. These are absent in magnesite which is a magnesium carbonate mineral.
The element manganese, Causes many minerals to glow under florescent UV light therefore mangnesite and howlite glow under UV light. Elements like copper and iron dampen UV reflection therefore the copper in turquoise keeps it from glowing like other minerals. I can’t speak to way the stabilizing or dying process would affect the florescence.
The use of hydrochloric acid can help determine the difference between howlite and magnesite but it seems to have a similar affect on turquoise so no help there.
For me the best way to learn what is good turquoise is to buy what you know is the real thing and live with it. Carry it. Look at it often. Feel it and heft it. become intimate with its texture and feel. By knowing the real thing all others become suspicious material.
When buying rough turquoise it might be good to know the goal for the seller is to retain as much of the original rock ( because he is selling by weight) as possible and still make it attractive to the buyer. therefore it would appear very rough or may just have a polished corner so you see the gem quality. Other than that you would not find much tumbled turquoise larger than a bead for a necklace centerpiece. What’s the point of tumbling off stone weight. Many imitations will be sold with a very smooth and nodular appearance. That is clue #1 for me. Here is a photo. Magnesite on the right. Turquoise that is stabilized on the left. some turquoise has a bubbled surface but as you can see it is way different.

Hardness tests and weight can be tricky. Turquoise can be chalky and soft to the fingernail as well as gem hard and heavy. The soft or unstable turquoise is normally impregnated with resin to make it harder and workable. This will add tons of weight to the stone. So water displacement, volume / weight tests don’t work. The same goes for magnesite if it is stabilized. The light blue stone on the left I stabilized because it was somewhat chalky. It doubled in weight after the process. Hope this helps Kyle
P.S. I really don’t mind answering questions but I do get a little long winded :slight_smile:

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Thanks again for your insights, Kyle. It really helped me actuate myself, ever so slightly, within your experience of working with the rock! Moreover, it wasn’t long winded at all. :slight_smile:
So, right now, I’ll just learn to live with for sometime as I have really bonded with the mineral and I really don’t feel like returning it away. I have shortlisted a set of authentic sellers and I am planning to acquire all my future rough specimens from them (for as long as I can afford them). I am not into jewelry or cabochons, but I love to collect rough specimens of different minerals and see them under a loupe. It’s a whole new world out there when our world gets a size too shy. :slight_smile:

Maybe, someday to bury the hatchet, I’d get this specimen tested at a reputed lab. I’ll let you know the verdict, personally.

Thanks again!

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In the meantime, these two pieces came in today.


These are stabilized pieces from Royston.

I also got lucky to find another spiderweb which is in transit.


Hopefully, this one isn’t stabilized. I guess the other piece is a chrysocolla.

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Nice, I think you are right about the chrysocolla…another fine stone to work with. Hey a quick non-destructive test to see if it is stabilized is to wet your bottom lip and see if the stone sticks to it. If not it is probably stabilized because stabilized stones are water proof and don’t pull the moisture from your lip. Kyle

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Kyle, I had a handle on the differences from past experiences but your insights into how to choose a dealer and the chemistry on stabilizing and how to test for stabilization were invaluable to me too! That was really a perfectly written and not at all longwinded explanation…not at all as bad as my continually bad run-on sentences! :laughing: lol
I wish you were here! I’d love to take a class on cutting with you! Btw do you cut rough if we send it with no specific expectations? I am sure we can pick bad pieces so thats why theres no expectations necessarily.
~Koliopee

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I think I can cut stones for you…It depends on the material. I am not set up for stones harder than biggs jasper because I do not have a good cerium oxide setup here in Spain. I would charge $20 an hour. Normally I can cut 1 cab every 15 minutes and you might see up to a 30% loss in material. Once again depending on the material. I can stabilize materials for you too. You buy the resin through me, I do the work $10 an hour because the machine does the work. I just monitor it. :laughing: Kyle

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Very cool! Ill see what I can muster up!