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,” or  “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….