Home Knowledges [Revealed!] Is White Buffalo Turquoise Real Turquoise?

[Revealed!] Is White Buffalo Turquoise Real Turquoise?

by Madonna

Turquoise, a gemstone prized for its striking blue and green hues, has been revered for centuries. Its unique beauty and cultural significance make it a sought-after gem in jewelry and art. However, there is a unique variety known as White Buffalo Turquoise that has piqued the interest of gemstone enthusiasts and collectors. In this article, we delve into the world of White Buffalo Turquoise, exploring its authenticity, origins, properties, and the reasons behind its growing popularity.

The Allure of Turquoise

Turquoise, a hydrous phosphate mineral, is famed for its vibrant blue and green colors, often with intricate veining and matrix patterns. This gemstone has been cherished by various cultures, from Native American tribes to ancient Egyptians and Persians, for its ornamental and spiritual significance. Turquoise has been used in jewelry, art, and even architecture for centuries.


The name “turquoise” is thought to have originated from the French word “pierre tourques,” which means “Turkish stone.” This is because the gemstone was brought to Europe through trade routes that passed through Turkey.


The captivating colors and cultural importance of turquoise have led to its continued prominence in the world of gemstones. Its history, symbolism, and scarcity have contributed to its enduring value.


What Is White Buffalo Turquoise?

White Buffalo Turquoise is a unique variety of turquoise that is characterized by its stark white or pale background color with distinctive black or brown matrix patterns. It is primarily sourced from the Dry Creek Mine in the Lander County, Nevada, USA. This particular mine is known for producing high-quality White Buffalo Turquoise.

The term “White Buffalo” is a reference to the mine’s location and the gem’s striking white appearance. This type of turquoise is particularly popular for its stark contrast between the white base and the dark matrix, creating a bold and dramatic visual impact.

See Also: What is white turquoise: A Gemstone of Beauty & Serenity

The Authenticity of White Buffalo Turquoise

The authenticity of White Buffalo Turquoise has been a subject of interest and debate in the gemstone world. The primary concern revolves around the question of whether White Buffalo Turquoise can be considered “real” turquoise.

Turquoise, in its traditional sense, is valued for its blue and green coloration. However, White Buffalo Turquoise deviates from this norm by displaying a white or pale background with black or brown matrix patterns. This distinct appearance has led to inquiries about whether White Buffalo Turquoise is indeed genuine turquoise.

It’s important to note that White Buffalo Turquoise, despite its unconventional appearance, is classified as a form of turquoise due to its chemical composition. Both traditional blue and green turquoise and White Buffalo Turquoise belong to the same hydrous phosphate mineral family. They share the same chemical composition, which includes copper and aluminum, and have similar crystalline structures. Therefore, from a mineralogical perspective, White Buffalo Turquoise is indeed a form of turquoise.

The variation in color is primarily attributed to the presence of different trace elements and minerals during its formation. For example, the stark white color is associated with the presence of zinc and iron, while the black or brown matrix results from manganese or iron. These variations in trace elements and minerals influence the coloration of the turquoise.

In essence, White Buffalo Turquoise’s authenticity as turquoise is grounded in its mineral composition and geological origin. However, its unconventional appearance sets it apart from traditional turquoise varieties.

Properties of White Buffalo Turquoise

White Buffalo Turquoise possesses several distinct properties that contribute to its appeal:

1. Color: The most defining characteristic of White Buffalo Turquoise is its striking white or pale background color, which provides a stark contrast to the dark matrix.

2. Matrix Patterns: The gem is known for its intricate matrix patterns, which can range in color from black to brown. These matrix patterns create a visually appealing and bold contrast with the white background.

3. Hardness: Like traditional turquoise, White Buffalo Turquoise has a hardness ranging from 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, making it suitable for jewelry and decorative use.

4. Transparency: White Buffalo Turquoise typically has good to excellent transparency, allowing light to pass through and enhancing its visual appeal.

5. Cutting and Polishing: White Buffalo Turquoise is often skillfully cut and polished to showcase its matrix patterns and enhance its visual impact.

See Also: Where Does White Buffalo Turquoise Come From: A Full Guide

The Value and Popularity of White Buffalo Turquoise

The unique and dramatic appearance of White Buffalo Turquoise, along with its authenticity as a form of turquoise, has contributed to its growing popularity. This gemstone has become highly sought after by jewelry designers, collectors, and individuals who appreciate its bold and unconventional look.

The value of White Buffalo Turquoise is influenced by several factors:

1. Color and Contrast: The most valuable White Buffalo Turquoise features a stark white background with bold and well-defined black or brown matrix patterns. The striking contrast between these elements enhances its desirability.

2. Quality of Cut: The skillful cutting and polishing of White Buffalo Turquoise can significantly affect its value. A well-executed cut that highlights the matrix patterns while maximizing its beauty can enhance its worth.

3. Origin: White Buffalo Turquoise sourced from the Dry Creek Mine in Nevada, USA, is highly regarded for its quality and authenticity. Gemstones from reputable sources are generally more valuable.

4. Carat Weight: Larger White Buffalo Turquoise gemstones are rarer and, consequently, command higher prices. However, the value is not strictly proportional to carat weight.

5. Transparency: Gems with excellent transparency are more desirable and valuable.

6. Treatment: While some White Buffalo Turquoise may undergo treatments to enhance its appearance, untreated or minimally treated stones are typically more valuable.

Can white buffalo turquoise be made into jewelry?

White Buffalo Turquoise can be made into jewelry, just like traditional turquoise varieties. In fact, it is a popular choice for jewelry designers and collectors due to its unique and striking appearance. Here are some ways in which White Buffalo Turquoise can be used in jewelry:

1. White Buffalo Turquoise Rings: White Buffalo Turquoise is often used to create rings, whether as a solitaire stone or as part of a more intricate design. The bold contrast between the white background and dark matrix patterns can make for eye-catching and elegant ring settings.

2. White Buffalo Turquoise Necklaces and Pendants: Pendants and necklaces featuring White Buffalo Turquoise are popular choices for those who want to showcase the gem’s beauty. The gemstone can be cut into various shapes, such as oval, round, or teardrop, and set in a pendant with a simple bail or a more elaborate design.

3. White Buffalo Turquoise Cabochons: Gem cutters often create White Buffalo Turquoise cabochons, which are polished, rounded gemstones without facets. These cabochons can then be used in a variety of jewelry pieces, including rings, pendants, and earrings.

4. White Buffalo Turquoise Beads: Beads made from White Buffalo Turquoise can be used in necklaces and bracelets. These beads can be mixed with other gemstone beads or metals to create one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.

5. White Buffalo Turquoise Inlay: Inlay jewelry involves setting small pieces of gemstone, like White Buffalo Turquoise, into channels or recessed areas in metal or other materials. This technique allows for intricate and artistic designs in rings, pendants, and other jewelry items.

It’s important to work with experienced jewelers and gem cutters when using White Buffalo Turquoise in jewelry designs. They can help you select high-quality gemstones, choose suitable cuts, and create settings that complement the unique appearance of White Buffalo Turquoise. Additionally, due to the gemstone’s slightly lower hardness compared to some other gemstones, it’s essential to handle White Buffalo Turquoise jewelry with care to prevent damage or scratching. Proper cleaning and maintenance are also important to ensure the longevity and beauty of your White Buffalo Turquoise jewelry.


White Buffalo Turquoise, with its distinctive appearance and mineral composition, is undoubtedly a genuine form of turquoise. Its dramatic white background and bold black or brown matrix patterns have captivated the hearts of gemstone enthusiasts and jewelry designers. While it deviates from the conventional blue and green turquoise varieties, its authenticity is rooted in its geological origin and chemical composition.

White Buffalo Turquoise’s growing popularity is a testament to the evolving preferences in the world of gemstones and jewelry. Its striking contrast, transparency, and unique aesthetic qualities make it a valuable addition to the world of gemstones, offering a fresh and unconventional choice for those who appreciate its bold and captivating appearance.


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