Quick Tips to Identifying FAKE Stones and Crystals on the Market
This has been a topic that has come up in many of our LIVE feeds and discussion boards throughout our community in the last year or so, and I have been compiling a list of little tips and tricks to help all of our customers and clients. I was going to wait to release this until it’s completion, but instead, with this being such a popular topic, I will release several updates to this series of FAKE crystals and stones being misrepresented on the market!
First, there are several people that question quartz and glass. We do not sell glass as quartz. With this said, we understand the different between the two, and you should too. When dealing with certain stones on the market, like cherry quartz for instance, you want to be sure that you are getting quartz, and not glass. Glass has the characteristic little bubbles that you do not see in quartz. Glass is amorphous. It goes through a cooling process. Therefore, bubbles form within its body and give is away from being quartz. This should not be confused with enhydro quartz, which is quartz that has tiny air bubbles full of water that move within the inside of the quartz. Sometimes you need to hold the quartz in your hand to physically warm the water inside, and with enough practice you will get the chance to see the pocket of water move! It’s extremely gratifying the first time you spot one successfully! Dyed quartz has become a popular process over the years and will appear on the market in a variety of colors but know the difference between dyed quartz and glass. We know, for instance, to spot what the China vendors are calling “smelt quartz” as they are actually referring to glass, and we only buy authentic quartz.
If the color seems SUPER saturated and too bright to be true, it probably is. We attended a gem show last year with a vendor that tried to sell us some of the most saturated fluorite towers we had ever seen. Upon closer examination and allowing our intuition and combined knowledge of mineralogy be our guides, we were able to locate a near the bottom area of the towers where a colored powder was emerging from underneath, indicating that these “fluorite towers” were chemically synthesized. NOT a purchase we would make for our customers. One giveaway for us, as sellers, is when the vendor is offering us a “new find” name for a stone and it’s not ringing any bells with us. Not to toot our own horns about knowing all, and we certainly learn of new mining discoveries monthly, but it is unlikely that a super saturated mystery stone is authentic, and we have yet to be proven wrong. There are many beautiful dyed agates on the market that have been chemically saturated and are being represented properly as “dyed” but don’t be duped by any seller telling you that those pink and purple agate slabs are natural and unmodified.
You will also likely see “blue turquoise” or “blue howlite” on the market. This is likely magnesite, and sometimes magnesite is also sold as howlite or turquoise, even without being dyed. Reconstituted compositions of turquoise tend to be passed off as true turquoise, and it’s always good to do your research before purchasing turquoise. If your turquoise contains resin, meaning it’s reconstituted, it is likely going to fluoresce under UV light! That’s one quick way to distinguish it, another being to be very familiar with magnesite’s deep grooved crack structure, which if you have seen enough, will help you identify it when you see it!
Jade has been a constantly FAKED stone on the market with its recent popularity, so if you are purchasing online, you want to be sure you trust your source. If you are shopping in person, one thing to look for is the tiny hair looking like structures, which are easiest seen if you have a magnifying glass with you. Since jade comes from a variety of reputable locations, and in several shades of color, our best advice is to pick a vendor/seller that you trust as they have likely already done the work of making sure they are purchasing through an authentic site. We always make sure that we know exactly where our jade is coming from, and we steer clear of sketchy locales and vendors that don’t know enough information about what they are offering, especially when it comes to jade.
Malachite has been a topic of crazy issue with the creation of synthetic fake malachite coming out of China. Just an FYI, for those of you who have heard the term “red malachite” this is truly just a poor choice of names, as red malachite is not remotely malachite, and is just a banded red carbonate composed mineral that had not been given any other name, and resembled some of the banding that is seen on malachite, and thus the name was born. Very misleading. Real malachite is heavy, hard, and cool to the touch. The banding is not patterned in any real uniformed way. Speckles, swirls, lines, thick and thin banding is common. Fake malachite, which is commonly created with glass, warms right up in your hand, and usually has a crazy consistent style of striping and banding that is too uniform to be true! Do not get duped by fake malachite! Real authentic malachite is not cheap. It’s a relatively pricey stone. If someone is selling you malachite carvings at a killer deal, it is likely that they are trying to offload some fake malachite that they accidentally bought as well! Please be advised, not all sellers are aware that they have acquired fake malachite, so we just advise that you educate yourself in the difference of its look so you can be sure you are purchasing authentic malachite!
These are just a few of the commonly misrepresented stones appearing on the market! We will be adding additional articles for you to use as a way to educate yourself as a consumer and crystal collector so you can be sure you are receiving only the best!
Always in the Light,