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Author Topic: How to know if a crystal is fake?  (Read 8911 times)

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New-Simon

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How to know if a crystal is fake?
« on: November 24, 2011, 06:02:45 AM »

I'm living abroad right now and there are a lot of fake goods in the shops.

I've been trying to find a few crystals recently and they are hard to find.

I'd like a nice piece of quartz but how do I know whether it's not just a piece of glass?

The same goes for onyx?

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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2011, 08:29:45 AM »

Both Quartz and Onyx feel very different than glass.  If I'm not mistaken, glass would feel heavier than either of those two if you compared two of the same size.  The other way is to be able to tell energetically, but if you aren't already familiar with the energies of those stones then that may not work for you.  I'm not sure you would be able to tell based on price as both of those are some of your less expensive stones.  I'm sure someone else here will be a bit better help.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2011, 08:34:12 AM »

I am not an expert on crystals, but I can also feel the difference in the energy and spot a fake pretty quick.  I always hold a potential purchase in my receptive hand to see if it feels "right" whether it be lab created, fake, or real.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2011, 11:21:23 AM »

Are you able to find a rock shop? I would expect they wouldn't have fakes at the rock shop. Also I tend to go for the more natural looking crystals with imperfections (empathic or warriors), instead of the highly polished perfect looking points. I would question anything too perfect looking.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2011, 11:34:48 AM »

Shop online... And look for store reviews before you buy.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2011, 12:33:12 AM »

Look at the edges.

Glass needs to be polished and ground to the shape of crystals. This polishing process makes the edges a little rounded. They could grind and polish it like a diamond to get the same effect, but they usually don't since it is a time consuming process and is risky since glass not being a crystalline structure can chip and flake at non-rounded edges and become wicked sharp.

A real crystal has harder edges since they don't need to be ground and polished into shape. They just are that shape naturally.

Now this only is a good metric for crystal-shaped crystals. It won't help you on the tumbled smooth ones. For those you need to look at inclusions and flaws. You can not get it to look exactly the same in glass as it does in quartz.

Now if you are asking how to tell if they are lab grown vs naturally occurring ones, To that I ask "Does it matter?"

A lab grown crystal is chemically and structurally the same as one found in nature. The only difference is that I can get a lab grown sapphire (good sized one at that) on ebay for $20. A lab grown one, being new, often feels raw or undefined. Personally I prefer that since I don't have to try and figure out what energies are already in the crystal and whether or not they are compatible to what I'm doing. With a lab grown one they are blank slates and are easy to attune. They often feel like they're eager to please.
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New-Simon

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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2011, 12:41:35 AM »

interesting to say you can get a sapphire on e-bay for around $20. In the shops here I've seen small ones for around $120 and most likely to be green glass.
 I saw a small piece of quartz for sale for $450 but in another shop it was only $15 for about the same size!

No rock shops where I'm living, not a buyers market!

thanks for the advice - I'll probably wait till I get home and make do with the small piece of quartz I already have as my all purpose crystal.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 04:34:58 AM »

interesting to say you can get a sapphire on e-bay for around $20. In the shops here I've seen small ones for around $120 and most likely to be green glass.

On average you should be expected to pay about 20-30 cents per carat. And I can get a 200 carat boule (which can be made into quite a number of cut gemstones) for 40-60 depending on color.

That 200 carat Ruby boule only runs $44 plus shipping. Get someone to cut that to a long point for you or tumble it and you have a nice sized stone for working with.

Try getting a mined stone for that price.

Frankly there is a difference that a jeweler or a gemologist can see. Something about the process leaves a tell-tale that the trained eye can see. But I love them. They are new, eager to please, very attunable and in the case of jewelry for the missus...well I can get some serious "thank you" cuddling for cheap. She knows they're lab grown but they look feel just like the mined stones so she doesn't mind. And I can get her a beautiful Christmas present and keep saving for my new iPad.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2011, 08:09:10 AM »

does a cut gem or a man-made one have the same mystical properties as a natural stone?

I have a feeling that one from a jewellers is too man made and will lose some of its power?

The cheap rough bit of quartz I have seems to have a certain magic about it even though it doesn't look so hot.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 11:46:58 AM »

does a cut gem or a man-made one have the same mystical properties as a natural stone?

I have a feeling that one from a jewellers is too man made and will lose some of its power?

The cheap rough bit of quartz I have seems to have a certain magic about it even though it doesn't look so hot.

Cut or polished gemstones have the same mystical properties as the raw crystal or chunk of rock. Like Mongo said the more they are handled, the more they may pick up additional energies and require cleansing. Not a reason to avoid buying them though.

I have no experience using man-made crystals.  As Mongo says they should have basically the same properties if they have the same chemical structure; however, I would think they would not carry the same wisdom associated with being in the earth for the eons over which natural semi-precious and precious gemstones are formed. That difference may not matter to you, depending on your reason for using them. They would certainly have their own energies and lessons they could impart to you even if they didn't have a long history of existence.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2011, 12:48:40 PM »

I absolutely agree with EM.  There will be some differences between natural and lab grown, but it really just comes down to your personal preference.  For all the pieces I have picked up over the years, either for my own personal use or to use in a piece of jewelry, I rarely find myself attracted to the lab grown stones.  To me (and this is just my personal opinion and experience) the energy doesn't feel as deep and complex in a lab grown stone as they do in natural stones.  I think this may be due to what EM said about the lab grown not having that deep energetic connection with the earth that the natural stones have gained in the growing process.  That does not make them any less, just with a different feel.  Like Mongo said, the lab growns don't carry that extra energy so they can be easier to "program" than a natural stone may be.

interesting to say you can get a sapphire on e-bay for around $20. In the shops here I've seen small ones for around $120 and most likely to be green glass.
 I saw a small piece of quartz for sale for $450 but in another shop it was only $15 for about the same size!

The difference in price may be the difference between natural and lab grown.  It may also be the difference between shops gouging their prices.  The only real way to know the difference is to get reviews from other people and that is hard to do with a bricks and mortar store.

Where exactly do you live?  Some shops here in the US are capable of shipping overseas and I think that there are enough of us here to give you some recommendations for reputable places to start looking at.  I would offer to find you something if I didn't run into shipping restrictions (a lot of places have restrictions via USPS on shipping any kind of gems).
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New-Simon

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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2011, 04:19:31 AM »


Where exactly do you live?  Some shops here in the US are capable of shipping overseas and I think that there are enough of us here to give you some recommendations for reputable places to start looking at.

I live in Cambodia.

very risky buying jewellery here, especially gemstones.

The only thing that is ok to buy is sterling silver rings or necklaces (they cost about $10 - 20) although even with them you can be had with silver plate. Anything more expensive not worth chancing.

Fixed prices are not so common here - seller usually tries to get as much as they can.

Sending things here is not so easy either - looks like I'll have to stick with my small crystal now and luckily I like cheap silver too!  :rolleye:


to add :  just found a nice crystal today in a local market - cost me $10 for a nice piece of smoky quartz.

it seems you can find most things if you look hard enough!
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 03:32:10 AM by New-Simon »
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2011, 02:34:25 AM »

Cut or polished gemstones have the same mystical properties as the raw crystal or chunk of rock. Like Mongo said the more they are handled, the more they may pick up additional energies and require cleansing. Not a reason to avoid buying them though.

They need the cleansing to remove the traces of the people who made it, packaged it, put it on display and the like, but you'd have to do that for even a mined stone anyway so it's no real difference there.

Quote
I have no experience using man-made crystals.  As Mongo says they should have basically the same properties if they have the same chemical structure; however, I would think they would not carry the same wisdom associated with being in the earth for the eons over which natural semi-precious and precious gemstones are formed. That difference may not matter to you, depending on your reason for using them. They would certainly have their own energies and lessons they could impart to you even if they didn't have a long history of existence.

But on the same note...neither do I. I only have 40 years of experience on this planet and in paganism and working with the elements just under 13 years. The way I look at it if I can be taught so can a rock.

Yes Crystal Dragon, you can stop laughing now. :D

But in all seriousness, having a stone that is raw and willing to find it's place in the universe working with a person that is also looking for his place in the universe, means that we can grow together and learn how we best work together to accomplish our goals.

I do have mined stones that do have the feeling of eons of wisdom to impart. But my stones and I are a team. And as with all teams there are the veteran players and the rookies. They all are valuable and they all work together to achieve the win.

And over time even the rookies become veterans.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2011, 02:57:54 AM »

does a cut gem or a man-made one have the same mystical properties as a natural stone?

It does and it doesn't. If you take a mined stone that was created umptyscrunch millions of years ago it has the connection to the Elements, the Earth Mother, or whatever powers that be that are involved with rocks. Because of that connection it is already attuned for the purposes that it is going to be for.

A raw lab stone is a blank slate. It needs to be taught its purpose and be introduced to the powers that be. Working in rituals alongside mined stones of the same type are one way, doing rituals with the sole purpose of saying "This is a new [stone] and it needs your guidance as much as a stone created by your hand" is another. A third way is to leave it with other stones that have been in service for a while. They will pass on their knowledge.

A funny thing (going on the subject of how stones can communicate), I also have "trained" my stones by storing them with other crystals of the same type. I put a lab grown chunk of sapphire next to a mined one and asked if it would mind passing on its wisdom to the "new kid". I could feel the mined sapphire grumbling and grousing about it.

I apologized and started to take the newbie away. The mined one then started really hollering at me until I brought it back. I did and it went back to grumbling. I tried again and it started hollering again. So I put it back and left it there with the grumpy stone.

I was as if it was saying "mumbly, grumble, why do *I* get stuck with all the rookies? Stupid kids can't even blow their noses without mommy handing them a tissue. HEY! Bring that kid back here. How the @#$% do you expect me to teach him anything if he's not here to be taught!?!? mumbly-grumble stupid human. Boy you better make this worth my time! I don't teach just anyone you know."

Quote
I have a feeling that one from a jewellers is too man made and will lose some of its power?

Not lose power. They will pick up other energies that you'll need to cleanse before use, but you'd have to do that with any stone or tool that you pick up anyway.

And remember that your relationship with the stones is a personal one. You and I could look at two stones. One may feel right to you but feel off to me and vice versa. So while I have had good luck with man-made stones, not everyone else will.

Quote
The cheap rough bit of quartz I have seems to have a certain magic about it even though it doesn't look so hot.

Looks are not everything. I have some rough chunks of quartz that look like they were right next to the TNT used to blow them out of the rock face. Powerful suckers. I also have a pristine chunk of Herkemer Diamond (a really REALLY clear form of quartz) that is butt worthless. It's priss and just does not want to do anything more than sit there looking pretty. It's like a beauty pageant contestant

"I just want to say that being chosen as this month's Miss August is
like a compliment I'll remember for as long as I can."

But then I've also had pretty stones who were real hard workers and ugly ones that were just lumps. So as with everything, there are differences in personality.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2011, 10:32:25 AM »

does a cut gem or a man-made one have the same mystical properties as a natural stone?

It depends with the man-made stones.  If they have the same crystalline structure they usually do have the same properties but (as noted by others) will not have the wisdom to share that a naturally formed stone does.

Gems that have been cut or polished have the same properties and wisdom, but frequently also have trauma from the processes they've been subjected to.


I have a feeling that one from a jewellers is too man made and will lose some of its power?

??  If a natural stone (all the really expensive gem quality stones are natural) is just cut, how can it be man-made?  By "power", are you referring to its properties or something else?


The cheap rough bit of quartz I have seems to have a certain magic about it even though it doesn't look so hot.

If you hold this sort of mentality about any stone, it's very likely you won't get its cooperation.  Stones that don't feel appreciated have no reason to help us.  As with humans, stones are much more than meets the eye and every one of them has its own unique beauty.  You are doing both the stone and yourself a huge disservice by holding thoughts such as this.


Yes Crystal Dragon, you can stop laughing now. :D

 :rotflmao:  And why would I do that?  Somehow the thought of someone training Mongo tickles my funny-bone.  :biggrin:


Looks are not everything. I have some rough chunks of quartz that look like they were right next to the TNT used to blow them out of the rock face. Powerful suckers. I also have a pristine chunk of Herkemer Diamond (a really REALLY clear form of quartz) that is butt worthless. It's priss and just does not want to do anything more than sit there looking pretty. It's like a beauty pageant contestant

"I just want to say that being chosen as this month's Miss August is
like a compliment I'll remember for as long as I can."

But then I've also had pretty stones who were real hard workers and ugly ones that were just lumps. So as with everything, there are differences in personality.

I have never found any stone that is "worthless" in any way.  Mongo, it's likely that your Herk would be best as an anchor/activator for a grid ... they need to be programmed for that.  Stones good for this use tend to feel like they are sleeping but will kick butt when programmed for use in a grid.  Herks and DT quartz are especially good as anchor/activator stones.  ;)
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New-Simon

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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2011, 08:37:23 PM »

there certainly seems to be some magic in my new stone.

The last two nights I've had some very pleasant vivid dreams about it - quite strange in a way to have a dream that affected by a crystal (I've only just got into crystals so it's all new).

The stone seems to be a kind of guardian angel during sleep and especially to bring me through the lonely period of transition from dreamtime to awake.

It's quite awesome really and the new crystal seems to have livened up the old one that I said did not look so great - they seem to complement each other.

very strange! :)
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2011, 01:17:59 PM »

I just want to add a point here, since this is what I experienced when I was living abroad and had absolutely no spending money more than once a year.

Don't ignore your common stones off the street/park ground/river bed/etc...
Most of my more energetic and personal stones are in fact rocks I picked up off the streets in the UK. As I walked home from school, on occasion I would feel this calling to pick up a particular rock once in awhile. I still have them, and they don't look all that special, but I wouldn't trade them for any fancy crystal on the market.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2011, 04:28:18 AM »

I have never found any stone that is "worthless" in any way.  Mongo, it's likely that your Herk would be best as an anchor/activator for a grid ... they need to be programmed for that.  Stones good for this use tend to feel like they are sleeping but will kick butt when programmed for use in a grid.  Herks and DT quartz are especially good as anchor/activator stones.  ;)

Someone suggested that as well. This stone just flat out resists anything I've tried to get it to do. It called to me and I picked it up but bug me if I can figure out what it wants out of its existence. There are times I wonder if I didn't grab the wrong stone or if the person wrapping it up for me didn't give me the wrong one by mistake.

I've been tempted to take it to one of the rock-swaps and see if it wouldn't be happier in the hands of someone else. It may not be worthless, but it certainly is not of much use ot me other than being a pretty stone to place in front of one of my fairy and dragon resin cast figurines.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2011, 04:32:11 AM »

What sort of grid have you tried to put her in?  I'm thinking she doesn't want just any grid.  Perhaps a "happy home" grid that stays up long term?
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2011, 07:52:33 AM »

What sort of grid have you tried to put her in?  I'm thinking she doesn't want just any grid.  Perhaps a "happy home" grid that stays up long term?

I could try that. She is placed in the centerline of the trailer and our trailer is aligned East-West (she's west). It was the place that she was most happy being. Not certain if that is out of anything metaphysical or if that's simply where I placed the TV and the aforementioned dragon/fairy resin casts.
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2011, 10:00:10 AM »

Diva-ish stones can be a pain ... but when you find a "job" for them that they want to do, the can be extremely awesome.  They just either need some extra attention or to feel like they are "more important" than the other stones in the house.

Why yes, I do have a few diva-ish stones, why do you ask? :whistle:
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2011, 02:45:52 PM »

I personally prefer uncut, unpolished crystals that display their true crystal form. I personally feel like tampering with them removes some of their natural wonder... then again, I am a Geologist.

To see if a crystal is 'real,' I would look at the cleavage plains and angles between them, and measure the angles between the crystal faces. Then again, I am a nerdy scientist  :crazy:
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2011, 02:53:09 PM »

treeforest, you're a geologist? Cool! I love rocks. As far as I can see, I will probably end up as a paleontologist, so I guess that makes me half geologist?  :biggrin:
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2011, 10:57:06 AM »

treeforest, you're a geologist? Cool! I love rocks. As far as I can see, I will probably end up as a paleontologist, so I guess that makes me half geologist?  :biggrin:

Well, paleontology is a part of geology. In order to do any serious work with it your undergraduate degree would be in geology. Usually paleontology is a required class you take either as a junior or senior, my university has an optional lab. From there you can do graduate work in paleontology, either under the geology guise or from a museum studies slant. Go for it - it's super interesting - definitely my second favorite subset of geology (after mineralogy of course) :)
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Re: How to know if a crystal is fake?
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2013, 01:19:20 PM »

I'm 2 years late to this conversation, but the best and easiest way to determine if a mineral is as advertized is a Moh's Hardness Test, also known as a "scratch test".  Some of you may have had experience with this in Earth Science in high school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohs_scale_of_mineral_hardness

The trick is to find a set of materials (kits are cheaply available at a hobby store or chemistry supply house, online) that represent the hardness of the material in question.  Quartz has a Mohs number of 7.  Glass ranges from 5 - 7).  The softest mineral is talc, with a 1, and diamond is the hardest at 1600.

In this case, it's easy.  If you bring a piece of glass, try to scratch it with the crystal.  If the glass is scratched and the crystal isn't, it's quartz.  If both are scratched or the glass isn't scratched, it's fake.
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