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Daily Wire Tip Nov. 4: Kiwi Lapis and Chinese Turquoise
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
November 4, 2010
What are Chinese Turquoise and Kiwi Lapis? My customers always ask me if this is “real” turquoise or “real” lapis, and I don’t know the answer. Thanks!
-Kathy in Ormond Beach, Florida
Thanks for asking a question that had me stumped! As a rockhound and one who studies minerals on a regular basis, I had never heard of Kiwi lapis (obviously I don’t use many beads, so I didn’t know that we carry such a huge supply of Kiwi Lapis). My research resulted in finding that what is being called “kiwi stone” is identified by some as natural pale green quartz that has black and white specks throughout (similar to a slice of kiwi fruit). Evidently this material easily takes dye and polish well.
Therefore, anything that is labeled Kiwi Lapis is a quartz stone that has been dyed in lapis blue hues. Being termed “stone” separates this product from the “fruit” quartzes such as blueberry, cherry and pineapple, as fruit quartz is really glass.
True Chinese Turquoise is a different matter, as it is more than likely genuine. The main difference between Chinese turquoise and similar material from other parts of the world is that most of the turquoise from China has been enhanced. These treatments can include waxing and /or oiling the natural stones, and dying and/or stabilizing the material with plastic resins to make it more durable. If you would like to know more about the history of turquoise, may I suggest reading Turquoise.
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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