Lab Created Howlite
Total: $24.64 – $102.86
- Origin: Grown in Lab. Also known as reconstructed stone.
- Chemical Composition: Natural mineral compound + Resin
- Dimensions: 2mm to 12mm
- Grade: AAA
- Clarity: Opaque
- Shape: Can do all shapes
- Make: Very Good
- Symmetry: Very Good
- Cut: Very Good
- Polish: Very Good
- Stock Postion: Not all sizes are in stock at all times. You can email us to check for stock position before placing your order.
Lab Grown Howlite
Natural howlite forms in cauliflower shapes and is available in massive deposits that have the texture of raw porcelain. Most earth-mined howlite deposits have white streaks across its structure with several webbed veins throughout.
Currently, it is the only white gemstone suitable for use as jewelry, sculpting pieces, and many other purposes. Such massive use cases makes it quite unsustainable to rely on natural howlite, so jewelers and artisans seek synthetic variants often.
Lab-made howlite has all the physical and chemical properties of its natural variant. Some synthetic variants also possess improved elements to offer superior features when compared to natural howlite.
In this article, we’ll get to see essential information about lab-grown howlite, how it’s made, its origins, and much more. Such information is essential, especially if you plan to add howlite to your jewelry or art collection.
History of Howlite
Gypsum miners in Nova Scotia, Canada are the first persons on record to discover a mineral far denser than many earth-mined stones. The mineral gets its name from Henry How, the first chemist to study howlite and its properties in 1868. How was the first to call this mineral silico-boro-calcite, a combination of elements in this first crystal he inspected.
How is Lab-Grown Howlite Made?
Chemists make lab-grown howlite with a mixture of calcium, boron, silicon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The mixture, commonly called calcium borosilicate hydroxide (Ca2B5SiO9 (OH)5), forms howlite crystals under a controlled environment with its signature streaking and similar properties to its natural variant.
Uses of Lab-Grown Howlite
Howlite is useful as a loose gemstone for exhibition, a base material for sculpting, centerpieces on jewelry components, and much more. The mineral’s porous texture also makes it useful as an imitation of other gemstones, particularly turquoise.
Chemical Properties of Lab Howlite
- Birefringence: 0.017
- Cleavage: None
- Common streak: white, webbing
- Crystal system: Monoclinic
- Diaphaneity: Translucent
- Fracture: Conchoidal, uneven
- Luster: Sub-vitreous, glimmering
- Main element(s) formula: Ca2B5SiO9(OH)5
- Mohs scale hardness: 3.5 – 4
- Optical properties: Biaxial and colorless (under transmitted light)
- Refractive index: 1.583 – 1.600
- Specific gravity: 2.53 – 2.59
- Typical colors: White, colorless
Maintenance Tips for Lab-Grown Howlite
You can maintain your lab-grown howlite with:
Cleaning and drying
You can’t wash your lab-grown howlite in a liquid soap solution with concentrated ingredients. High-quality lab-grown howlite might disintegrate over time when it encounters chemical solutions regularly.
Clean your lab-grown howlite with a damp cloth and allow it to air-dry before storage or use. You can also dust your lab howlite with a brush or piece of clothing to remove dust and non-sticky dirt from its surface.
Howlite doesn’t do well under intense heat and might lose its appearance and signature shine after prolonged exposure. You need to protect your howlite in a storage container whenever it isn’t in use.
Placing your lab-grown howlite in an airtight box with cushions also protects it from humidity that may cause grime to form around its edges.
Make sure you never expose lab-grown howlite to commercial jewelry cleaners. Some commercial jewelry cleaners might weaken or damage the internal structure of your howlite gems. Howlite reacts poorly to mechanical maintenance tools like steam or ultrasonic cleaners too.