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 50 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.

Spotting Crystal Fakes & Frauds: Part 1

Hibiscus Moon Crystal Healing, Crystals, science 74 Comments

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!

TELLTALE SIGN OF A FAKE GLASS “QUARTZ”: Glass will often have tiny air bubbles, quartz won’t. End of story.

Recently I got this great question:
I remember reading on a post you made about fake crystals that if a quartz has bubbles it’s glass, not a real quartz crystal. How can you tell the difference then between an enhydro crystal (bubbles containing water) from a fake simple glass?
The glass bubbles will usually be very tiny, spherical & have no movement inside (hence no water).

Enhydro bubbles will def. have water moving around in them & they’re usually oddly shaped…and tend to be larger. HTH!
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.

[caption id="attachment_2793" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Fire Quartz from Africa- the real deal[/caption]

 
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!

The photo below is an example of dyed howlite (See the little slice I made? It’s white inside.)

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 up into a fine powder.  Resins & dyes may then be added & then pressed into a mold, carved or shaped. Ummmm, no thanks. None for me.

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

  • UV Light Test: turquoise containing resins will fluoresce; have a black-light? Check it out!
  • 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
  • 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?

     

    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!

    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!