Common "Faked" Crystals & Stones
There is nothing worse that
purchasing a lovely crystal online for
healing or in jewelry only to find upon arrival it is a fake. Many
people never realise the item they have is a different stone, a tinted
or dyed stone, or is in fact plastic. This means not many
people ever complain after receiving a fake crystal, making it
harder to spot a bad seller.
Pictured right: Fake citrine
point (which is a lemon tinted and symmetrically cut 'clear' quartz).
On eBay, many sellers are sending fakes and blatantly advertising them
as 'natural' and real. Countries to watch for are China especially but
also India. So
many stones these days are dyed to look pretty but we aren't actually
getting the stone we pay for. More and more faked products are turning
up all the time. With a little help, we can avoid these stones
entirely if we know what to look for in product pictures that
show the tell-tale signs of a fake.
Fake "Glass" Crystals
There seems to actually be a market for fake crystal,
especially in jewellery, both fine and fashion jewellery. For those of
us who want the real thing however, do your research. If the price on
an item is too good to be true for a natural crystal, then it probably
isn't real. Some jewelry items will contain a few real stones and the
rest are plastic, and this can catch us out. The makers of these items
are becoming more and more sneaky, and it is difficult to tell from the
picture alone in some cases.
It is easy to tell the glass quartz varieties because they have no
inclusions and appear too perfect for real quartz. Some contain
bubbles. The colours are always a bit off. Such glass quartz can be
rose, citrine, peridot, amethyst and many others.
In many market places (especially China) you can find ridiculously
cheap beads for
sale that are in fact plastic, not even glass. As sellers get more and
more bold, they begin to price quite expensively for the plastic beads.
If you shop in a market like eBay, you
always check the feedback, for even if only one person says the
products are fake, they usually all are. Some sellers of jewelry make
it difficult by selling a small percentage of real crystal jewelry, and
the rest are fakes. It muddies the market and makes it confusing for
Disturbingly, as the fraud gets more bold, some sellers are sending
plastic rings to the unwary! Do not buy jewelry from China (warning too
about India). These rings are sold as either gold plate or 925 silver
with 'natural' stones. You can pay a pretty price only to receive an
actual plastic ring (both band and stone). Strangely many buyers seem
not to notice the fake. Always check for the 925 stamp, or take to a
jeweler if unsure if the stone is real. Do warn others if you can by
leaving appropriate feedback.
Commonly Dyed Fakes
Below is a list of commonly dyed fake stones and crystals that are
flooding the market. Some are low qualit
y stone that is dyed to appear
high quality, others are different stones altogether that are dyed to
appear as something else.
- Producers take
grayish lapis or other stones and dye
it a brilliant blue (pictured right). Some people may not mind if the
result is a beautiful looking stone for jewelry, however it may be
useless for healing.
- ALL citrine in
jewelry is in fact amethyst that has been heated until it turns orange.
You can even do this at home by putting amethyst in a hot oven - it
goes orange and can burn. Real citrine is a white wine colour, or a
dullish yellow. Natural citrine
is never orange or bright yellow. Heat-treated amethyst does still have
healing qualities similar to the natural citrine and many people like
this bright, sunny stone in jewelry.
Citrine points are often simply
clear quartz points that are dyed a wine or lemon colour. This dye
washes off in water. Most are not natural points but are cut into a
point shape and are strangely symmetrical. To see a picture of a REAL
citrine, go to Citrine
. The top of page picture of a citrine point is one that
is dyed in solution and also artificially cut into a point shape.
- These points
may be dyed, and many are not real points but are cut into a point
shape and are very symmetrical.
- Most turquoise on
the market in jewelry is blue-dyed 'howlite' (a white stone). The
colour is never quite right and is too uniform.
- It is rare to find
this stone nowadays. A lot of what is sold as carnelian is actually
plain white or gray agate that is dyed red/orange.
- Usually white or gray
coloured, almost all agate that is sold is dyed very bright neon
colours, so know the colour is not natural. Agate is still a healing
stone even if dyed but of a low quality. You might find a few natural
ones like blue lace agate for example.
Pink & Purple Jade
often dyed. If the jade is light coloured or faded looking, they will
add a dye, which is obvious much like with lapis.
are some stones where it is accepted that they are heat treated or
irradiated. For example blue topaz is treated to create the stunning
blue colours, like Swiss blue and London blue topaz. This is a given
and buyers should know this. It is not a dishonest practice when it is
disclosed by the seller and is a given market practice.
Research Your Crystal of Choice
If something you are buying
online seems too cheap
be true then it probably is. If a stone is too perfectly coloured
with no variation, it could be dyed. Some fakes are so
obvious such as fake rutilated quartz which look
nothing like the real product. If you know your product and do some
research , it should
be easy to spot the fakes. Google the stone you are interested in and
look at pictures so that you can learn the colour hues it comes in and
get an instinctive feel of the stone. Then when you see a fake, you
won't be tempted to buy it.
Also watch for colour enhanced photos
from reputable sellers. Some normally trustworthy sellers will enhance
the photo so the colour appears more pleasant but the stone or jewelry
you get is a paler or gray colour. Unfortunately, it is difficult to
pick a colour enhanced picture of a crystal after it is cleverly photo
shopped. We all need to complain when such practices occur to
discourage sellers from this practice.
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