More Crystal Fakes & Misrepresentations

Hibiscus Moon fakes 19 Comments

Yep, we’ve got more crystal fakes to talk about today. 😀 Yahoooo!

On my most recent trip out to the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show I attended a lecture on Fake Minerals.

Oh my gosh…this was so right up my alley! Can you make a Crystal Hottie/Nerd any happier? I mean… finding an academic lecture to attend while hanging out at the biggest most glittery gem show in the world, teaching about mineral frauds. Whaaaaa? You better believe I was front row & center, glasses pressed down tight on my nose, notebook & pencil in hand! Poor Frankie (my hubs) suffered through too. He’s such a good sport! 🙂

I like to stay current on my geo-geekiness so I can continue to bring you the most up-to-date & valuable info + sparkly content.

Plus I just looooove learning!! ♥

One of my greatest joys is educating our #CrystalHottie community on what’s available out there. This way we can all make informed decisions when adding specimens to our sacred collections. If you feel passionate about this too, please share this post in any way you prefer. (***There are some handy-dandy “SHARE” buttons you can use at the bottom***).

And if you haven’t already done so, you can download my free eBook on this subject so you can grab my entire “Fakes” blog series in 1 convenient place & have a reference guide all your own.♥

So, today I have 3 more fakes or common confusion-makers to talk about. Let’s dive in!
Ruby Zoisite
This stone is highly sought after as it’s often recommended to help support people dealing with some serious illnesses. Quite a chakra-verstile stone, it helps to balance the heart chakra as well as the root & the third eye while also boosting vitality & a joy for life.

Here we have some gorgeous real-deal Ruby Zoisite (photo below) with HUGE chunks of hexagonal ruby in the middle of the stones. YUM!!

But it more commonly expresses itself like this (photo below) …

[caption id="attachment_19617" align="aligncenter" width="700"] By Parent Géry (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]HOWEVER…

many sellers are selling Ruby Fuschite as Ruby Zoisite and they are simply not the same thing!

I think most sellers are totally not aware & are simply repeating what they’re being told from whoever they’re buying the minerals from. **It happened to me & I was part of the problem at one point.**  Yep, I was selling ruby fuschite as ruby zoisite about 8 years ago simply b/c that’s what the wholesaler told me it was! So I just believed him & went with it. Then a fellow geo-geek pointed out my mistake. *Thank you!* I did some research & testing & found out what was up.
I then discovered that most sellers out there at the time were also perpetuating this same exact misinformation.
I mean, you can see how the confusion would happen, right?

Although, I do notice this mix-up happening less often these days…I do still see it happening so I had to include it here in this post.

Ruby Fuschite (seen below in that giant sphere) is relatively plentiful…unlike Ruby Zoisite, which is much harder to come by and is usually a bit more expensive.

(BTW…don’chya luv how dry & wrinkly my hands get in the Tucson desert? It’s a thing of beauty!)

Fuschite is a type of mica (variation of Muscovite) & you can see it’s a sea-foam green color (in the above photo).

Zoisite is a totally different mineral…(the most expensive form of Zoisite is Tanzanite!) and it’s a deeper sparkly green color usually accompanied by some black amphibole hornblende (shown below).

[caption id="attachment_19720" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Amphibole Hornblende[/caption]

***Spotting those black dots of amphibole hornblende is the easiest way to tell them apart if the differences in the green hue are iffy.***

Now that you’re in the know… it’s pretty easy to tell the difference, right?

Just wanted to set the geological record straight on that one. 😉
Pink/ Purple Chalcanthite
This, Crystal Hottie, is a straight up lab-created FAKE.

I spotted these all over the place at 2017’s Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. They seemed to be the new HOT ITEM this year. BOOOO!

Small natural Chalcanthite crystals are actually a natural by-product of dry area copper mining (will usually be a smallish bit of blue/green crust). It usually forms on the mine walls due to acidic surface waters interacting with the copper veins & can be found in copper mines located in Arizona, Greece & France.

I’ve not personally worked with it so I don’t have much to say about the metaphysical aspects of this crystal in its natural form. However, the natural blue crystals would be ideal for harmonizing with the throat chakra light wavelength. If you try it out in that way, please let me know in the comments below!

[caption id="attachment_19721" align="aligncenter" width="357"] Natural Chalcanthite. Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]But! These larger pink or purple (or even neon blue) fake towers are easily grown in tubs from a hydrated copper sulfate… and are potentially TOXIC.

This person was selling theirs online as “Rose Quartz”!!! REALLY?! ***that one pisses me off!***

Super-Dye-Saturated Quartz
I’ve seen this stuffs for a number of years at the gem shows and thought it looked obviously dyed…

But, apparently, it ain’t so obvious…

I heard lots of comments from people walking by them (again at the most recent Tucson Gem Show) …oooh-ing & ahhh-ing over it & wondering how all those pretty colors got in there from the Earth.

**cringe**

NO, I don’t say anything or bother to correct them. I’m not super forward like that. If someone asks for my opinion, I’ll give it. But usually, I just keep my mouth shut. However, here on my blog, I have an open forum! So, I’m here once again to burst the fun glitter-filled rainbow unicorn bubble…
These quartz clusters are saturated with dye.
And be forewarned: the dye wears, washes off or fades quite quickly too!

I already talked about dyed quartz agate here so I won’t spend any more time on that in this post.
Always use your common sense & the best protection from this is to be well-informed yourself.

**Please SHARE this info with other Crystal Hotties so that we all stay in-the-know & well-informed. No duping us with FAKES!!!!**
Do your thing
If you choose to work with man-made crystals & you enjoy them just fine or it’s been working for you…as I always say:
“keep on ‘truckin’”. Don’t change a thing!
I just want us all to have the geo-knowledge first. Then you can make an informed decision regarding how you choose to use these “stones”.

And as always, the moral of the story here is…Buyer Beware: Who are you buying from? Are they reputable? Do they know what they’re talking about? Are you doing your own due diligence & research? The best way to protect yourself is education.

You got this Crystal Hottie!  We all love the beautiful jewels that mama earth creates & you don’t know what you don’t know…until you know better.  So, I hope you enjoyed this new info and have learned something new.  Have you seen any of these or new fakes that you sleuth-ed out recently?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Crystal Blessings,

Hibiscus Moon

BTW…like this sort of stuff? Then grab your FREE handy downloadable Crystal Fakes Reference eBook!

This is the EXACT eBook you need in order to navigate the gem shows, crystal shops & eBay, get the REAL thing & get what you pay for. Don’t get scammed or duped into buying FAKES…unless that’s exactly what you want!

Click here now to download your free copy!

 

More Crystal Fakes: Healerite, Larimar & Galena Geodes???

Hibiscus Moon Crystals, fakes 31 Comments

I have more “FAKE CRYSTALS” updates for us today! I think this has become one of my fav blog posts to write. ♥

I really want to educate our #CrystalHottie community on what’s available out there so we can make informed decisions when adding specimens to our sacred collections. If you feel passionate about this too, please share this post in any way you prefer. (There are some handy-dandy “SHARE” buttons you can use at the bottom).

And if you haven’t already done so, you can download my free eBook on this subject below so you can grab all my “Fakes” blog posts in 1 convenient place & have a reference guide all your own.
Galena Geodes aka Berber Geodes
OK, these are becoming more popular on the metaphysical market right now.

I mean…they’re gorgeous, right?

[caption id="attachment_17316" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Photo credit: By Guy Courtois (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]They’re often touted as being from Morocco.

Well sorry Jelly Bean,  no such thing!

What’s being done here is a natural quartz geode (or even a fake clay one may be used!!) is broken open & crushed lead-based Galena is sprayed inside.

Whaaaaa? Don’t be fooled!

How to Spot a Fake Larimar

Yes, sadly larimar  is so freakin’ HOT on the market that it’s now being faked. 🙁

It’s a semi-precious stone that is extremely rare due to supply & demand and mining it is extremely difficult. Although geological surveys either haven’t been done or were not able to determine the exact size of the mine so no one is really sure just how much larimar is left for us, since it’s only found in this 1 place. So what I’m saying here is that there just isn’t that much of it to be had & there’s a fear that it could be exhausted at any time. 

Some have taken to whipping up plastic or reconstituted fake larimar in the lab.  (Ickk…I know). 

Luckily, these lab-fakes are pretty easy to spot as they look NOTHING like the real deal. If you familiarize yourself with the genuine stones by looking at lots of photos of it you’ll be able to easily pick out the lab created fakes.

[caption id="attachment_18436" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Genuine Larimar[/caption]

Larimar is a type of pectolite; a sodium calcium silicate that forms in cavities of basaltic lava.  It’s found in only 1 place on the entire planet: the Barahona region mines in the Dominican Republic.

The mines are really difficult to access  AND the area may be closed off 5 months of the year due to the torrential rains & hurricane season making it very unsafe to dig.

[caption id="attachment_9125" align="aligncenter" width="570"] This is the REAL DEAL![/caption]

So you can probably now easily see the motive to fake this stone. Right?

Some sellers desperately get a hold of some lower quality larimar intermingled with some silicate/quartz containing rock material and sell that off as larimar. Well, technically, they’re not entirely wrong here & energetically this is still a gorgeous energy to work with! LET’S BE CLEAR ON THAT.

My purpose here is to inform you & make sure that you’re armed with all the knowledge to make a highly informed purchase decision & that you’re not paying unnecessarily higher prices for something that is not entirely what it’s being claimed to be.

True-Blue Larimar (*Yep! Pun intended*) should not be mixed in with any of that translucent quartz material at all…as seen in my photo below. This, Chick Pea, is not larimar but was being sold as such in a shop I was in.

See the translucency?

I tested it & it’s Mohs Hardness was a 7 telling me that is a copper-bearing quartz rock (chyrsocolla most likely?)

{GEO GEEK FACTOID: Larimar’s Mohs Hardness is between 4.5-5}
3 Easy Tips to Spot Fake Larimar

  • Is the stone translucent at all? Lift the stone up to the sun. This is an extremely reliable way to tell. If  you can see ANY light through any part of it, no bueno! Real-deal high quality larimar is opaque. Light does not penetrate at all.
  • Does it have any white veins, streaks or what look like clouds? This is a hallmark trait of genuine larimar and part of what makes it so beautiful.  White streaks are also very common in larimar stones and are key-markers that distinguish the stone from turquoise or other copper-bearing silicates. Be wary of any supposed larimar stone that doesn’t have some hint of a white streak, veins or clouds.
  • Ask about the mining location. Some unethical sellers try to come up with new & exotic locations for stones to make a great new story to help sell them. Yep, they just make something up. If it doesn’t come from the Dominican Republic, it ain’t the real deal. Walk away, Jelly Bean.

BTW, I have a whole blog post devoted entirely to luscious larmiar here if you’d like to learn more about it. 🙂
Healerite
This is another one of those trademarked jobbies.

I feel there’s no good reason to trademark this stone, b/c it’s part of a well-known subgroup of mineral that already has a perfectly good name: that would be “lime green serpentine”.

My take on the whole trademarking of stones is here.

[caption id="attachment_18437" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Healerite. Photo generously provided by Crystalline Cohort, Carla Gitto.[/caption]

See, I really don’t like when sellers do this…someone takes a subgroup of an already known mineral, slaps a new name on it & trademarks it. 😛

“Healerite” is simply a yellow-green serpentine subgroup being relabeled & sold for $50/piece (depending on size) instead of around $6.00/lb as it should be at any gem show you go to. 

But, apparently, subgroups are being trademarked all over the freakin’ place.  Something to watch out for!

Use your common sense here.
If it’s too good to be true, then yeah, it probably is.

**Please SHARE this info with other Crystal Hotties so that we all stay in-the-know & well-informed. No duping us with FAKES!!!!**
If you choose to work with man-made crystals & you enjoy them just fine or it’s been working for you, I always say “keep on ‘truckin’”. Don’t change a thing!

I just want us all to have the knowledge first & then you can make an informed decision regarding how you choose to use these “stones”.

And as always, the moral of the story here is…Buyer Beware. Who are you buying from? Are they reputable? Do they know what they’re talking about? Are you doing your own due diligence & research? The best way to protect yourself is education.

Do you have any fake-out stories to tell? Please post in the comments below & help us all out!

Crystal Blessings,

 

 

P.S.…like this sort of stuff? Then grab your FREE handy downloadable Crystal Fakes 40 page Reference eBook!

This is the EXACT eBook you need in order to navigate the gem shows, crystal shops & eBay, get the REAL thing & get what you pay for. Don’t get scammed or duped into buying FAKES!

Go here now to download your free copy.

More Fake Crystals to Watch Out For! (I’ve got some new ones for ya…)

Hibiscus Moon Crystals, fakes 49 Comments

Hey, Hey, Hey!!

I have more “FAKE CRYSTALS” updates for us today.

The artificial mineral market is continuing to grow & it seems there’s a “gap” in good reliable info on this sort of thing in general.

I get really super-duper passionate about getting this info out there & I feel I’m in a very unique position to do just that, being a former science department chair, having studied geology at the Masters level & being a Crystal Healing Teacher with a pretty large platform  gives me a great advantage…so how could I NOT heed the call?

I’m so honored to be able to serve in this way & grateful for being given the opportunity to do so!

I really want to educate our #CrystalHottie community on what’s available out there so we can make really informed decisions when adding specimens to our sacred collections. If you feel passionate about this too, please share this post in any way you prefer. (There are some handy-dandy “SHARE” buttons you can use at the bottom). 😉

And if you haven’t already done so, you can download my free eBook on this subject below so you can grab all my “Fakes” blog posts in 1 convenient place & have a reference guide all your own.
Vibrant Pink Tourmaline
Mostly, I’ve seen these at the most recent Tucson Gem Shows or popping up on eBay from the Middle East.

The color really pops so it really catches your eye! Not to say that pink tourmaline of this color doesn’t exist in nature. It so totally does!

BUT I can tell these in the below photo are FAKES.

HOW can I tell?
Well, let me tell you…b/c I want you to be informed & be able to catch this shiz too.

No more duping us!

Now it is HARD to pick out the fake pink tourmalines, but this one made it all too easy. It was coupled with an easily identified irradiated smokey quartz. Dead give away!

See the dark 6 sided points up there? Yep, that’s quartz &, as you can see, it looks like black quartz, Morion quartz even…BUT ITS NOT!

The above quartz is clearly artificially irradiated quartz.

And since the pink color of the tourmaline & the black of the quartz is so strong, I’m going to assume that this specimen (and others like it) would be considered “HOT”; meaning that it could still be giving off significant amounts of radiation!!

Another tell-tale sign would be that the color fades over time & very quickly when exposed to sunlight. Of course, you’d have to own the piece for a bit of time to catch that though.
Opalite
This stuffs is often mistaken for moonstone b/c of its luminous blue-ish glow.

But it ain’t nothin’ more than manmade glass (or sometimes even plastic!) 🙁

It’s usually flawless with no inclusions & blue-ish clear or milky colored. You may sometimes see little air bubbles from the synthetic manufacturing process or even scratches on the surface.

Just know…it has NOTHING to do with real authentic opal.
Fake Ajoite & Papagoite!!!
I’ve lumped these 2 together b/c they are very closely related.

This one really has me fired up & ticked off today b/c I was recently selling my last 2 pieces of ajoite from my private collection. So in the process of that, it gave me the opportunity to have my nose shoved into this new fake situation that’s reared its UGLY head: FAKE AJOITE & PAPAGOITE! No duping us with FAKES!!!!

Yep, this one really pisses me off! Probably b/c I have such a love affair with ajoite most especially. I’ve now realized I’m really protective of it.

Both ajoite & papagoite are extremely rare & expensive…when they are genuine.

I first became alerted to this issue recently when someone told me on 1 of my FB livestreams that they had just purchased a papagoite necklace of beads for a reasonable price.

*Ding, ding, ding!!* Red flag up!

Papagoite & ajoite do not come in beads…if they do then they are not the real deal.

They should be in the form of a natural quartz point.

If they are in a quartz mass or tumbled quartz stone of any sort then it’s most likely some form of chrysocolla. Some of these fakes are simply low-grade chrysocolla masses or tumbled stones.

If it’s a fake quartz point being touted as “ajoite” with an off-color it’s most likely fake chlorite lab-grown quartz or dye injections we’ve been seeing as of late! Yuck.
Remember that ajoite is a very specific very vibrant shade of blue turquoise (the EXACT shade seen in the below photo), and the AUTHENTIC naturally included quartz points are all from the Messina Mine in Musina, South Africa:

Also keep in mind, these blue inclusions are always found in natural quartz crystal points, not beads, masses or cut & polished points.

[caption id="attachment_18029" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Ajoite. Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]

Here’s a grouping of some of my ajoite collection in the above photo. The 4 points on the top are indeed the real thing. The 2 stones on the bottom are chrysocolla rocks.

If it has more of a green hue…sorry, but it’s not the real deal. Match yours up with the photos above. Not quite right? A bit off? Then it’s NOT ajoite.

ANOTHER VERY IMPORTANT TIP!: The blue inclusions are usually somewhere between the apex & midway up the shaft…not near the base of the crystal point. I’ve seen many of the fakes with the fake color gathered somewhere between the mid-shaft & the base. In authentic ajoite & papagoite, somehow the blue inclusions like to rise to the top of the apexes (apices) & even very often form phantoms!

Someone was trying to pass this (below) off as ajoite. Puh-leeeeez! You can see the difference now, right?

Same with papagoite; also a very specific vibrant color sky blue (bordering on Royal Blue) embedded in a natural quartz point.

[caption id="attachment_18030" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Papagoite. Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]Price is another indicator to authenticity here too. Not to say that if it’s super expensive that it means it’s the real deal!
Ajoite Tips to REMEMBER:

  • Look for the green hue. Greenish? Not the real thing.
  • Does it look like most REAL ajoite & papagoite specimens you’ve studied before?
  • Is it a naturally included quartz point?
  • Where is the color saturation gathered in the specimen?
  • Is your seller trusted & knowledgeable about the minerology (not just the metaphysics)?
  • Then use price point as your next indicator

Why so rare?
Although ajoite & papagoite microcrystals were originally discovered in Ajo, Arizona the highly coveted quartz-included points only come from the Messina Copper Mine in South Africa, which stopped production & closed in 1992. 🙁

The expensive price of ajoite & papagoite reflects the extremely high demand & low supply.

Basic economics.

Sellers of authentic ajoite & papagoite know what they have & fully understand their worth.

Some of these sellers may know full well they are passing off fakes & others may have no idea. So I feel its up to us, Crystal Hotties, to inform such sellers so they can know in the future & pay it forward by educating their customers. ♥

Use your common sense here. If it’s too good to be true, then yeah, it probably is.

**Please SHARE this info with other Crystal Hotties so that we all stay in-the-know & well-informed. No duping us with FAKES!!!!**

Yes, I’m VERY passionate about this.

If you choose to work with man-made crystals & you enjoy them just fine or it’s been working for you, I always say “keep on ‘truckin'”. Don’t change a thing!

I just want us all to have the knowledge first & then you can make an informed decision regarding how you choose to use these “stones”. And as always, the moral of the story here is…Buyer Beware. Who are you buying from? Are they reputable? Do they know what they’re talking about? Are you doing your own homework? The best way to protect yourself is education.

Do you have any fake-out stories to tell? Please post in the comments below & help us all out!

Crystal Blessings,

 

 

P.S.…like this sort of stuff? Then grab your FREE handy downloadable Crystal Fakes 40 page Reference eBook!

This is the EXACT eBook you need in order to navigate the gem shows, crystal shops & eBay, get the REAL thing & get what you pay for. Don’t get scammed or duped into buying FAKES!

Go here now to download your free copy.

Tucson Gem Show Insider Shopping Tips for Crystal Hotties

Hibiscus Moon fakes, gem show, tucson 11 Comments

So what’s reeeeally going down in Tucson? I’m here to share super-sparkly shopping tips just for Crystal Hotties specific to shopping in Tucson.

I’ve been visiting the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show for many years now & documenting what I’ve been up to while out there on my blog. Here are a couple of my posts from more recent trips:

  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015

First, read my general crystal shopping tips here.

One thing you’ll notice right away in Tucson, being the largest Gem & Mineral Show on Mama Earth you’ll find the place crawling with geo-geeks, miners & fossil freaks. ‘Tis exciting stuffs! And, now in more recent years I’ve noticed it getting more & more popular with the metaphysical community too. It’s becoming Crystal Hottie Central. If you’re willing to really keep your ears & eyes open this is a great opportunity to learn so much about the crystals & stones. It’s like an accelerated course on the subject. That’s 1 reason why I love going so much. There’s always more to learn.
WATCH THIS FIRST for a General Overview of what the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show is Like:

The “Tucson Gem & Mineral Show” isn’t one show or convention but really more of an “event” or “happening” that kicks off in December, but really gets going in late January to early February & fizzles out towards the end of February. 

The official show is the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show™, held at Tucson Convention Center Exhibition Hall and Arena. It’s always held on the 2nd full weekend of February. This show sets the gold & silver standard for the year & showcases the most supreme specimens from around the planet. They also host academic talks…if you’re into that sort of geekery (like moi). I try to make it to this show each year, but it’s not a must. You won’t get your best prices here as its a retail show but its great for learning more about the minerals! Also a great spot if you’re looking for very high quality hard to find specimens.

Here’s some footage from the official show in 2013:

To find out more about the other shows in the area check out the Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau website or grab the latest issue of Rock & Gem magazine on your newstand. They always have lots of ads for the largest shows & where they’ll be located that year (as I mentioned in the above general overview video…they tend to move about).

When you get to town go grab a show magazine; I like the Tucson Show Guide (you can pick 1 of these suckers up for free in almost any hotel in town) & that will give a good list of the main shows & where they’re located.
TRAVEL STUFFS
It’s not easy to find a hotel/motel room during Gem Show time unless you plan ahead. I book my travel about 6 months in advance. Or you can book your room outside of Tucson-proper & then drive in to visit the shows. 

Pack your stuffs in a rolling luggage that can pull double-duty for you while you shop the shows & stuff it with your crystal & stone purchases! Those crystals get heavy & you do not want to use a back pack for this….your back, neck & shoulders will thank me later.

[caption id="attachment_15533" align="aligncenter" width="600"] all packed up in Florida & ready to fly out to Tucson with my fav. rolling luggage![/caption]

Oh! Make sure you call & confirm all travel arrangements beforehand. I’ve had problems before showing up to a hotel that had no record of my reservation & then the hotel was completely booked and there was no room at the inn! Good thing though I had my email confirmation printed out on PAPER & insisted on seeing the hotel manager. They magically found me a room. Booo-yah! So, my big-tip here is always get an email confirmation then print it out & bring it with you. TRUST!

Are you flying in? Depending on where you’re coming from its usually easier & cheaper to fly in to Phoenix, rent a car & drive the 2 hours into Tucson. The drive is lovely & usually sans traffic.

If you don’t rent a car, you can take advantage of the GemRide!! It’s a free shuttle that drops peeps off at the major gem shows. Very convenient. There are different routes so it is important to find out which route you’d prefer.

And…when traveling anywhere I make sure to follow my regular crystalline travel tips.
TIPS FOR SHIPPING CRYSTALS HOME:

If you don’t want to use USPS, you can bring your UPS or FedEx account numbers with you and ask where the shipping locations are as soon as you get into town. Some shows have a shipping booth right there for convenience.

Here’s a Google Map of the local post offices.

We gather up old newspapers while in Tucson to use as shipping filler for the boxes we’ll be sending home.

[caption id="attachment_15531" align="aligncenter" width="600"] packing crystals up for shipping home in the local USPS post office parking lot using the rental car as Packing Central![/caption]
Watch All My Tucson Gem Show Video Footage from over the Years in this Playlist:

 Insider Secret Gems I’ve Learned the Hard Way:

  • I pack my shipping tape dispenser to use for packing boxes with later after I’m ready to ship the crystals home
  • Bring a notebook & pen for taking notes while shopping
  • I have a Tucson Folder that I add important notes, ads & buyer info to throughout the year & then each year I’ve added favorite buyer info (in hopes that they’ll be in the same spot again next year or that I can contact them outside of the show) or good spots to eat, etc.
  • Call your credit card company BEFORE  you get to the show and let them know where you’ll be & how much you plan on spending so they don’t “freeze“ your account due to “unusual activity”.
  • Bring cash! $$$ Some venders take credit cards, but you’ll get the best deals with cash. Try to avoid having to go to an ATM, b/c the fees can be $6/withdrawal. Ouch. I don’t travel with cash but once I get into town I stop at a bank & withdraw what I think I’ll need to get me through the show or at least that day.
  • Create a shopping list ahead of time  so you don’t forget anything…as we can get quite distracted & forget why we’re even there!!
  • Unpack all your clothes from the rolling luggage you used to travel with & get it ready & empty for shopping. It’s best if you can use one that zips open on the top so that you can quickly unzip & pop your glittery purchases in it w/o having to lay it down in the middle of the gem show & opening it up sideways.
  • Bring a ton of biz cards (for both crystal biz networking & some venders actually ask for them). I had some cards printed up with my resale number right on them just for the show; just to make things quick & easy. If you don’t have biz cards, that’s OK. It’s not mandatory.

    [caption id="attachment_15534" align="aligncenter" width="600"] My mini biz cards. I got these printed up @ moo.com[/caption]

  • Bring extra copies of your reseller license. Most shows won’t ask to see this to get in but some vendors will ask to see it & may even want to keep a copy so have extra copies on hand.
  • Wear comfy worn in shoes or sneakers. You’re going to be walking a lot! And a lot of times you’re walking in desert sand/dust or gravel. This is not the time to show off you’re new adorable unbroken-in cowboy boot purchase (note to self!!!)

  • Wear & bring sunglasses, lip balm, sunscreen, & layers (scarf or sweater) b/c you’ll go from hot to cold in a jiffy.
  • Be friendly & talk to  other buyers or don’t be shy to ask “Where did you get that?” You never know who you’ll meet & you’ll get some great buying tips. 🙂
  • Walk around the entire show & look at everything before you start buying. Even make some notes (in your trusty notebook) of the item, price & where it was located so you can go back & find it again. Why do you want to do this? You’re gonna notice really fast that several vendors may be selling the same stuff for wildly varying prices, quality or both! Your goal of course is to locate the best quality for the best price & not get duped with any fakes. BUT BEWARE…while you take the time to do this, that same sparkly super-large pink Lemurian wand with your name written all over it may not be there when you get back (yeah…something I’d rather forget ever happened!) so use your intuition here, Crystal Hottie. 
  • Hey, it’s OK to negotiate prices here…usually. It’s expected. So don’t be shy to talk to the vendors. You’ll get much further when dealing with cash & purchasing in bulk or buying several items from the same seller.
  • Consider bringing a jeweler’s loupe with you to check the clarity of stones, look for chips, inclusions or enhydro bubbles!
  • Bring extra baggies so you can keep your purchases organized (some venders don’t use bags at all). Also bring a sharpie so you can mark the bag with whats contained inside. Then as you make your purchases, tuck each receipt into the corresponding bag. Hear me now, thank me laters on this one.  If you really want to get organized; I love having a little ritual of spreading out my purchases for the day on the bed & making a list of  what I bought from each vendor & its price. Then I keep that in my trusty Tucson Folder.
  • Stock a fanny pack or light back pack (nothing heavy here) with things you’ll need while out & about like tissues, hand wipes (or hand sanitizer b/c rocks can be dirty), aspirin, snacks, a water bottle (don’t forget…you’re in the desert, Baby).

    [caption id="attachment_15529" align="aligncenter" width="600"] I’m never w/o my fanny pack while shopping. *Hanging out with the Busse’s of Prospectors Reality Show.*[/caption]

  • Be very aware the whole time! There are a lot of people around you. Its’ like being in a crazy airport while all the glittery objects around you distract you constantly!! Keep checking your stuffs & make sure you haven’t lost anything (your last purchase), left anything behind (your credit card) or had anything stolen. It can happen.

BEWARE THE FAKES
Lastly, all shows have both great venders & those that may sell fakes (not a ton but they’re there). The best tool you have is just knowin’ your stuff. My Hibiscus Moon Advanced Crystal Masters go through special geologic training that teaches  them how to test & identify so they’re well-informed about this sort of thing.

I’ve heard from them again & again how gaining that knowledge has proven to be quite empowering!

Then once you’ve been properly educated, the rest of your gem-buying-confidence just comes with experience; getting out there & doing it. You may get burned a few times, but oh…the lessons you learn from that! Invaluable. If you stick to the big/main shows & avoid the little off shoot ones (although there are great deals to be had there), you’ll usually be better safe-guarded against any possible fakes.  

And hey…be sure to read my FREE Crystal Fakes 40 page Reference eBook before going so you’re extra prepared.

This is the EXACT eBook you need in order to navigate away from any possible fakes that may cross your path. I don’t want you getting scammed or duped into buying FAKES! With this reference guide, you’ll be well-informed.

>>Click here now to download your free copy!

I hope this post has been helpful & if you have more tips to share or ideas for more info to add, please pop it into the comments below!

Crystal Blessings!