What on Earth Is Howlite?

Howlite is a calcium borosilicate hydroxide, and a borate mineral found in evaporite deposits. It was discovered in 1868 by a Canadian chemist, mineralogist, and geologist Henry How.

The Physical Properties of Howlite

It’s rare to find crystals of howlite, which score a 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. The nodules in which it forms resemble cauliflower heads. They’re most often white with black or gray veins, and opaque. Howlite is common for cabochons, beads, and other jewelry components, as well as decorative objects and carvings.

When dyed blue, it resembles turquoise, which is why it is sometimes a turquoise substitute. Thanks to its white color, it’s easily dyed, and often waxed as well. It lacks regular cleavage and has sub-vitreous luster. It can be fluorescent, emitting orange glow with shortwave UV light and brownish-yellow radiance with long-wave UV light.

The History of Howlite

In 1868, Henry How went to Windsor, Nova Scotia to examine an unknown mineral found by miners in the gypsum quarry. It turned out to be howlite, or silico-boro-calcite as he called it initially before it was renamed to howlite by James Dwight Dana. The borate mineral is in Canada and parts of the United States. Most of it comes from California and Los Angeles, with known deposits in Turkey, Mexico, Russia, and Germany. As for the crystals, they have only been found on two locations so far — Iona, Nova Scotia and Tick Canyon, California.

The Lore of Howlite

Since it was discovered relatively recently, there are no legends surrounding howlite.

The Metaphysical Properties of Howlite

Howlite is a stone that is probably best known for its effects on self-awareness, including improved creativity and the individual’s sense of well being. It’s often connected with decency, character building and developing positive personal traits by decreasing rudeness and offensive behavior.

When it comes to removing negative emotions, howlite is said to work well with decreasing anger, over-critical tendencies, resentfulness, and selfishness by opening us up to our insight. It’s a calming stone, considered to aid with insomnia by calming overactive minds. One of the uses of howlite is in inducing lucid dreaming by placing it under the pillow before sleep.

Physical benefits of using howlite reportedly include relaxing the body and releasing muscle tension. It helps eliminate any pains caused by chronic stress. Ulcers, rashes, and heart problems are said to be diminished by the use of howlite. Calcium levels in the body can be improved and balanced by the use of howlite according to some sources.

It’s often used to stimulate the third eye chakra — when placed over it, it’s said to unlock memories of previous lives. Howlite is also thought to work well with the crown and heart chakra by purifying the blood and helping cleanse your aura.

It’s a beautiful protective and stress-reducing stone that can prevent and heal insomnia, as well as balance our lives and help us achieve peace. As such, howlite will be a worthy addition to any gem collection.


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