The main difference between howlite and magnesite is that howlite is a borate mineral that belongs to the hydrous calcium borate group, whereas magnesite is a carbonate mineral composed of magnesium carbonate with the chemical formula MgCO3.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Howlite
– Definition, Appearance, Features
2. What is Magnesite
– Definition, Appearance, Features
3. Similarities Between Howlite and Magnesite
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Howlite and Magnesite
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Howlite
Chemically, howlite belongs to the hydrous calcium borate group and has the chemical formula Ca2B5SiO9(OH)5. It consists of calcium borosilicate and features a distinctive porous texture. One of the most notable features of Howlite is its color. It is generally white or colorless, which provides a clean and neutral base for jewelry design. However, what truly sets Howlite apart is its intriguing vein-like markings that often resemble the patterns found in turquoise. These grey or black veins are a result of inclusions or impurities within the mineral. The unique appearance of howlite has made it a popular choice for jewelry makers seeking to create pieces that mimic the look of turquoise without the hefty price tag.
Beyond its use in jewelry, howlite has found applications in various other fields. Its porous nature makes it an ideal material for making diffuser beads or pendants. Howlite beads can be infused with essential oils, allowing the aroma to be slowly released throughout the day, promoting a sense of well-being and relaxation. Additionally, howlite is sometimes used in decorative carvings and sculptures, showcasing its beauty and unique patterns.
What is Magnesite
Magnesite is a carbonate mineral composed of magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) that showcases an array of colors and patterns that make it a popular choice for jewelry enthusiasts and collectors.
One of the distinguishing features of magnesite is its color. It occurs in a range of hues, including white, cream, beige, gray, yellow, and even brown. This variety of colors allows for creative and diverse jewelry designs, making magnesite a sought-after gemstone in the industry. The stone often showcases intriguing vein-like patterns or mottled appearances, adding depth and character to its overall aesthetic.
The uses of magnesite extend beyond the realm of jewelry. Its natural properties and affordability make it a versatile stone for various applications. Magnesite is used in the production of refractory bricks, which can withstand high temperatures and are commonly used in steel and glass manufacturing. It is also used in the production of magnesium oxide, a compound with various industrial applications, including in the production of cement, fireproof materials, and environmental remediation.
Similarities Between Howlite and Magnesite
- Both howlite and magnesite often act as substitutes for more expensive gemstones due to their similar appearance to turquoise or white jade.
- Both gemstones are popular gemstones in jewelry making.
- Howlite and magnesite are associated with metaphysical properties and are believed to have calming and soothing energies.
Difference Between Howlite and Magnesite
Howlite is a borate mineral that belongs to the hydrous calcium borate group, while magnesite is a mineral and gemstone that belongs to the carbonate group.
Howlite is typically white or colorless, although it may feature grey or black vein-like markings that resemble turquoise. Magnesite occurs in a broader range of colors, including white, cream, beige, gray, yellow, and brown.
Moreover, howlite is known for its distinctive veining patterns, which resemble the patterns found in turquoise. These grey or black veins are a result of inclusions or impurities within the mineral. In contrast, while magnesite can exhibit vein-like patterns or mottling, they are generally different in appearance from the veining seen in howlite.
Howlite has a hardness of around 3.5 on the Mohs scale, making it relatively soft and more prone to scratching. Magnesite has a slightly higher hardness, ranging from 3.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale, which makes it slightly more durable than howlite.
Howlite and magnesite are both mineral gemstones that act as substitutes for more expensive gemstones like turquoise or white jade. The main difference between howlite and magnesite is that howlite is a borate mineral that belongs to the hydrous calcium borate group, whereas magnesite is a carbonate mineral with the chemical formula MgCO3.
1. “ Magnesite.” Encyclopedia Britannica.