Howlite is a borate mineral found in evaporite deposits. Howlite was discovered near Windsor, Nova Scotia in 1868 by Henry How, a Canadian chemist, geologist and mineralogist. How was alerted to the unknown mineral by miners in a gypsum quarry, who found it to be a nuisance.
The most common form of Howlite is irregular nodules, sometimes resembling cauliflower. Crystals of Howlite are rare having been found in only a couple of localities worldwide. The nodules are white with fine grey or black veins in an erratic, often web-like pattern.
As well as Nova Scotia, other areas where Howlite is mined are California and Nevada in the USA and Turkey.
As a very porous stone Howlite is very commonly dyed. In particular Howlite is very commonly used as a substitute for Turquoise. Although sold in its natural state as well Howlite has also been dyed a deep blue to resemble Lapis Lazuli or red to imitate coral. In fact, it could even be fair to say that Howlite is more famous for imitating other minerals than it is in its own right.
Here are some gorgeous examples of Howlite jewelry from some members of the JET team: