Spotting Crystal Fakes & Frauds: Part 1

Hibiscus Moon Crystal Healing, Crystals, science 55 Comments

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Hey Crystal Peeps!  I get a lot of questions about this topic & have been working on a loooong article on this topic for a loooong time…it just keeps getting longer. A little bit ago I posted some of this in a newsletter about 6 months ago (you can subscribe up there on the right side of my banner!) I figured I need to get a bit more of this out there now  & perhaps 1 day it will mature into a grown-up full-fledged article! Yay!

So, is the crystal you purchased natural, enhanced or an all-out fake?

The only way to know for sure is with exhaustive lab tests, however, you can still use your mad-crystal-skills & a little geology to make a strong educated guess. I see lots of misinformed YouTube vids on some of these & just want to set the record straight so you can make wise & informed decisions when making your crystal purchases, My Sweets!

Glass vs. Quartz

Glass is an amorphous solid. Oooooo, BIG SEXY SCIENTIFIC WORD! Amorphous just means that due to quick cooling, the molecules didn’t have time to arrange themselves in a crystalline repeating geometric pattern. Quartz, on other hand, cooled slowly & does have the geometrically perfect molecular structure that all crystals do. That’s what makes a crystal a crystal, Sweet Pea!

Glass will often have tiny air bubbles, quartz won’t. End of story.

Fruit-Named Quartz (strawberry, cherry, pineapple, blueberry, C’mon guys!)

Fruity-named crystals is usually a tip off of FAKES! Not always, but I’ve found it to be true more often than not. These are typically dyed quartz or glass. Sometimes, natural red-colored fire or harlequin quartz may be dubbed “strawberry”  by the seller but since those in the geo-community equate the fruity name with artificial glass, most sellers in the know would stay away from calling it that.

crystal fakes

Fire Quartz from Africa- the real deal


Turquoise vs. Dyed Magnesite or Reconstituted

Magnesite looks very similar to turquoise…when it’s been dyed. So does howlite. Undyed howlite & magnesite may even be sold as “white turquoise!” SHEEESH! A telltale sign of Dyed magnesite is very deep cracks. Then we have “reconstituted” turquoise. Reconstituted is when small amounts of turquoise that would otherwise be wasted are recycled by grinding it into a fine powder.  Resins & dyes may be added & then pressed into a mold, carved or shaped.

Here are my tried & true tips for testing your turquoise:

  1. UV Light Test: turquoise containing resins will fluoresce; have a black-light? Check it out!
  2. Scratch Test: due to its Moh’s hardness being a 5-6, it can be scratched by a steel knife & under magnification the edges will look tattered, if they’re smooth as butter, it’s not the real deal
  3. Hot Needle Test: the tip of a hot needle will burn real turquoise, but reconstituted will melt

I really like DurangoSilver’s video on what exactly “White Turquoise” is:

Amethyst, Citrine or Rose Quartz with SUPER-saturated color

If your quartz is really vibrant & pretty uniform in color it may be dyed. A tell-tale sign of dyed quartz is excess dye collecting in cracks.

And that fuchsia, bright green & deep blue agate…you know that’s dyed, right?

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So the moral of the story, my Sweet Crystal Hotties, is…Buyer Beware. Who are you buying from? Are they reputable & do they know what they’re talking about? Be informed & cautious. Do you have any fake-out stories to tell? Please post below to help us all out!

Happy Crystal Buying. :)



BTW…like this sort of stuff? Then grab your FREE handy downloadable Crystal Fakes 40 page Reference eBook!thinpaperback_795x1003-237x300

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!

Click here now to download your free copy!

Comments 55

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  1. Amanda

    Miss Hibiscus!!! What a great article and I sooooo very much appreciate your easy going and lighthearted way of explaining things! I must share this on fb.
    Love to you and thanks for what you do!

  2. Linda Lewis

    Very interesting about the white buffalo. I love American Southwest Turquoise so have been very cautiuos when purchasing. There are so many mines and diffrernt color variations of turquoise but have to say, the faux stuff really looks faux! Would love to see (was it WildHorse white?) Thanks for sharing the video!

  3. Lisa

    Are the aqua aura/angel aura/ruby aura crystals considered fakes? They have been coated with various heavy metals and have remarkable colours, but it is said that the combination of crystal plus heavy metal produces an object with the qualities of both. I’d love to know what you think.

    1. Tao of Jonathon

      I love the coated quartz crystals. I have a few but do not work with them. I am very picky about natural stones. I normally do not want them tampered with and Never any synthetics, no matter how beautiful they are

  4. Joan

    Personally, I like howlite. I can see how it would be passed off as white turquoise. This is a very informative video. Thank you for posting it.

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  5. Lynn Easton

    Amber and moldavite are two others that tend to be faked…amber I believe creates static when rubbed. Fake moldavite is glass, not sure of any tests for it though.

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  6. Pingback: Uncovering More Crystal Fakes - Hibiscus Moon Crystal Academy | Crystal Healing | Crystal Healer | Crystal Therapy | Crystal Grids | Crystal Healing Course

  7. stephanie valhalla

    I make stone jewelery and many placees like michaels sell fake stones as jewlery. Education education education.

  8. roseanna

    Hi Moon,
    I still cannot tell if my crystal is real. I didnt really get much information from you advice in figuring out if its fake or real.

    1. Post
      Hibiscus Moon

      This is a guide. Its impossible to figure it all out without proper mineral testing which you can possible ask your seller about or see if a geo museum will graciously honor your request.

  9. Katie

    Thanks for the info! My question is just because an agate or other crystal has been dyed or heated to make the color brighter or prettier, does that mean it is useless to work with? Does it negate the metaphysical properties of said agate or crystal? I have a great rock shop I go to, they are honest about what’s been modified, but I must admit I am drawn to the pretty, bright stuff.

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  10. Maria

    thanks for sharing the info! with dyed agates would it still be okay to use them for healing, as colour is used as a therapy for healing? :)

  11. Ange

    I bought some supposed authentic Malachite beads off a Trade Me website and got them, they were like Malachite painted wood, could SO tell they were fake and I was not happy with the purchase as they had them on as real. Real malachite is not woody and dull, has a beautiful soft semi-gloss, Watch out for fake Malachite!
    Love this page by the way :)

  12. mar

    i was at a garage sale last weekend
    they had two bookend size blue dyed quartz for $100 (9″high by 3″wide) advertized as bright blue quartz. I called them on it and asked if it was dyed and they said no. I said i believe they were dyed and showed them the cracks where the color was darker, the lady got mad at the husband(boyfriend) and throw ed them on the ground and smashed them and then yelled at him for giving her crap for a gift.
    I did not mean for that to happen and said i was sorry but too late

    1. Slavi

      Crystalage is one of the greatest sites for crystals. They have really high quality crystals.
      Well, they never said its fake. Actually its not fake stone, just dyed…
      its still clear quartz

  13. Cheryl

    Years and years ago my mother purposely bought a cabochon @ 1 1/2 x 1 x 1/16 inch piece silver banded piece for a necklace, purposely dyed, she said, by injection into to agate, by the proprietor, selling it as such, as a pretty novelty for me, it was an agate, of a light turquoise and lavender radiating out n the center for color. I still have it. We thought it was rather unique at the time due to the injection process. It definitely does not look a”normal” agate and I doubt anyone would consider it so. Maybe it was a new process at the time. There are lots of “rock hounds” in Oregon and jewelry makers. At that time, no one was out to screw anyone.

  14. Natasha

    I tend to say away from online purchases. Here were i live we have a store that sell them and everything else its so peace full when you walk in to that store you feel the energy of everything and its calming. when you buy stuff they also cleanse if for you right away unless you say no. They have so many things. I did how ever have a hard time find lapis and i did a lot of research online with one store before i did buy them and i once i got them i brought them to the store so they can check them out. and they where good. so i hope that you can find a store in your area that is true and will be helpful like i find this one to be. :)

  15. Pingback: How to Pick Out Crystal Fakes: part 3 - Hibiscus Moon Crystal Academy | Crystal Healing | Crystal Healer | Crystal Therapy | Certified Crystal Healer | Crystal Grids | Crystal Healing Course

  16. Ana Vieira

    What about Opalite?
    It is or it isn’t a “false” crystal?
    I’ve found so many contradictory information that I’m lost about it! Energeticaly is a “dead crystal” right?

    Thank you already for your shares and posts with which I have learned so much! :)

  17. Moriah

    I haven’t bought a lot of crystals to begin with because of this fakery. But, I do however go hunting in nature for crystals and stones, and my biggest problem is knowing what I have found. I have recently come across a jackpot of stones that really look like different quartzs. Some are milky white, some very clear, some with pink or yellowish orange tints, and a couple that look marblish like turquoise. I am no expert so I have no way of knowing if I have amassed a nice collection of quartz or if I have a bunch of really pretty rocks. Is there a way I can find out without mortgageing my home for lab tests?

  18. Pingback: Don’t Be Fooled By the Rocks that I Got!…More Crystal Fakes | Universal EnergiesUniversal Energies

  19. susan roy

    hello there,I am from India and i was told by crystal healer that wearing prescribed crystals bracelets and turtle placed in specific region would bring wealth and heal problems like stress depression fear and anxiety.I wanted to ask you if this is true and how much would be the cost of real crystals as I dont want to be conned by these people and yet cure my problems.(dont we all)
    thank you hope you do reply on my email id,looking forward to your answer.

  20. Deb Kaukol

    I purchased a turquoise ring from Justin Morris out of Winslow, apparently Navajo…FAKE FAKE FAKE, it is painted rock. Beware!!!!

  21. Pan

    This is great information? Will the test of the white tirquise work for every crystal?
    I want to purchase a few crystals to wear on me as I know they have abilities of keeping negative energy away or clean your own energy, etc. (not sure if I got that right), but I don’t want to get fakes.

    I found five crystals to purchase for almost £13, isn’t that too cheap? I thought they would be much more expensive, or it doesn’t matter?

    It does say in the description that 4 of them are natural and one of them is not natural, so should I trust it?

  22. Michael

    Has anyone heard of fake black obsidian? Can the Asians fake that too?

    Although they are notorious for fake crystals, China does have a large crystal mining industry. I have seen photographs from eBay sellers of them polishing quartz from a raw material.

  23. katie

    can you fake a aura quartz? I would like to add you are wrong about the energies being synthetic, While man has indeed altered the crystal, metals and other items found from the earth are then combined with the said quartz to form the aura quartz “line”. I have never heard of being able to fake metal or other items used to “treat” these quartz pieces. while on the term of synthetic how do you think synthetic things came into being? because as far as I’m aware everything on this earth synthetic included had to be made by using something from this earth.

  24. joanne cullen

    almost anything can be faked,dyed,diffused,irradiated,heated,etc.98% of all transparent/translucent gemstones have been treated in some way to improve the clarity and /or color of your gemstone-your best bet would be to invest in a refractometer or a gem microscope,where you can find evidence of various treatments also,you can empower yourself by contacting the gia,[gem institute of America],where you can find out a lot of info,as well as take courses in gemology-I also suggest sites like the,,and pininterest,rock and mineral specimens-remember,you get what you pay for-if you think that you are really getting a first class piece of pariaba tourmaline for 20.00 or less a carat,you are dreaming….you can find pages and pages of it for sale on the net,when in reality,the amount of it ever found wouldn’t fill the back of a small pick-up truck….remember,buyer always beware,and you need to educate yourself where geology/gemology is concerned-sellers are out to make money-while many are honest and hardworking,some are not-buying mineral specimens is safer-remember,glass and Lucite look good as gemstone cuts,too-just be careful,if it’s cheap,ask youself why-trust me,there’s a reason……

  25. Tao of Jonathon

    Hummmm…I am Jonathon. I stumbled on to this site by “accident”…I am not sure what this site is all about. I blog on google+. I have a deep affinity with stones. They are like family. I live in country and am close with nature. I am an artist/sculptor. Retired from corporate world to live a more simple lifestyle. I have limited computer skills. I don’t know what else to say…………..

  26. Nimm

    So, I’m a somewhat new at working with crystals, and I usually buy crystals from my very favorite shop, which I was considering taking a job as a reader at. But, upon research, I’ve discovered, that a lot of the stones I’ve bought from them (yellow obsidian, strawberry quartz, blue agate, citrine, cherry quartz, and probably more) are either dyed or completely glass (which makes sense as to why I could never get any vibrations from them). I probably should have done my research, but I’m a bit upset that the owner of the shop never told me before I bought them. I’m gonna chalk it up to her not knowing, because I kinda wanna keep shopping there…

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