A to Z 2022, Blog

H is for Howlite – #atozchallenge

H is for Howlite

Howlite is a borate mineral – a mineral containing the element boron. It was first discovered in 1868 when miners, complaining of an annoying mineral impacting their mining in a gypsum quarry, brought it to the attention of chemist and geologist Henry How.

With a hardness of only 3.5 on the Mohs scale, it is not suitable for use as a cut gem. It is more often tumbled or cut and polished and used in either beading or used for small carvings or other decorative objects.

Howlite is white with gray or black streaks and the rough shape resembles a head of cauliflower. Because it is extremely porous, it is often dyed to look like turquoise. Since Howlite is often used in beaded jewelry, it is easy to find often pre-drilled for stringing onto wire for jewelry.

I love the organic shapes of sliced Howlite, although I do not care for it dyed – it never looks natural to me. Also, dyed porous minerals can often ‘bleed’ onto skin or clothing. It makes an interesting necklace and is often a great conversation starter. There is an excellent photograph of Howlite from Nova Scotia here on minedat.org.

I still have a beaded necklace I made WAY back when I first started making beaded jewelry. I love how well it works with brighter colored beads. The photo is attached below.

Howlite necklace with Earrings




29 thoughts on “H is for Howlite – #atozchallenge”

  1. I just asked my wife if she has any Howlite, and she said she has a small angel carved out of Howlite. It is supposed to be good for sleep, but doesn’t seem to be working for her in that capacity. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Howlite that wasn’t tumbled or carved – seeing the “cauliflower” brain piece was cool. Your necklace and earrings are lovely,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I am drawn to it because it looks more rustic hearkening back to a time when adornments were less refined.


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