past & present

D*S Gem Handbook: Howlite

by Amy Azzarito

Design*Sponge | Gemstone Handbook: Howlite
Howlite is a bit of a “new-to-me” stone, but it captured my attention due to its resemblance to one of my all-time favorite materials – marble. (We even have an entire pinterest board devoted to marble). Howlite is not only just new to me, it’s actually a relatively new mineral, discovered in Nova Scotia in 1868 by Henry How, a Canadian chemist, geologist and mineralogist. It’s a soft stone and actually takes dye very well, making it a frequent substitute for turquoise. (It’s relatively easy for an expert to discern the difference between the two – the dyed howlite can’t replicate the subtle tones of beautiful turquoise.) It is also sometimes called “white turquoise,” “white buffalo turquoise,” orĀ  “white buffalo stone.” Howlite is believed to have a calming effect on its wearer, even reducing insomnia. I don’t know about you, but I could use a little bit of that sleep magic. –Amy

Suggested For You


  • Oooh, this one is new to me too! I LOVE gemstones/crystals…I usually wear a piece of lapis or sodalite around my neck. There is something really gorgeous about this howlite – I will have to go to my local new age store and pick up a piece that speaks to me!

  • I looove howlite, just plain and white like that. I think it’s beautiful for its earthy yet modern quality. Thanks for showcasing it! I’ve had some in my studio for a while now just waiting to get incorporated into a jewelry design….

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.