Beware! Crystal Fakes and How to Spot Them

Hibiscus Moon fakes 29 Comments

I think it’s high time for another installment of my Crystal Fakes Blog Posts. I have a few other common ones that I’ve seen popping up quite a bit that I reeeeeeeally want to discuss & get outta my system.



Please remember, no judgements from me if you choose to work with man-made crystals.  I, personally, choose not to, but I like to inform our Crystal Hottie Community about the geo-facts b/c I feel it’s very important that you know what you’re getting & that you not be fooled in any way.

I feel it’s super-important that you KNOW, geologically, exactly what you’re working with.

OK, so let’s go…


"Bismuth Crystal". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -

“Bismuth Crystal”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons –

I’ve been seeing these guys in new age shops & being sold online & peeps just falling all over themselves over these iridescent bismuth crystals, thinking they’re natural. Not when they look like this. Nope. Sorry to burst that pretty bubble, but rainbow-colored crystallized Bismuth like that DOES NOT occur in nature. These Pretty-Babies are lab-grown (usually in Germany). They take liquid bismuth & super-cool it until it crystallizes.

Here’s a great source for Bismuth lab grown crystals who is also quite knowledgeable & honest.

Native bismuth from New Mexico. (Photo credit: Theodore Gray)

Native bismuth from New Mexico. (Photo credit: Theodore Gray)

Native natural bismuth born of Mother Earth is usually a dull gray (sometimes oxidizes with some yellow or green), lumpy & doesn’t have any visible crystal structure. So, in other words, BORING.

Magnetic Hematite

OK, this is 1 that I could not wait to get the word out about b/c I see many in our community getting fooled by it & I want to have a blog post to refer them to in the future.

So, there’s real hematite (non-magnetic) & then there’s Magnetic Hematite (FAKE).

Natural Hematite is not naturally magnetic. There’s a small teeny-weeny little magnetic charge in natural hematite, but nothing you’d be able to feel.  So, yeah…all those science museum shops that are stocked with the buzzing “singing” hematite, the magnetic rings & bracelets…they’re all bunk.

Magnetic hematite. Photo permission graciously provided by Crystal Hottie Jean N Jazz from Facebook!

Magnetic hematite. Photo permission graciously provided by Crystal Hottie Jean N Jazz from Facebook!

Magnetic hematite  is totally manmade. But we’re easily fooled by it b/c it looks just like polished natural hematite with that mirrored finish. Geologists don’t actually consider the man-made magnetic stuff as hematite, since its technically just finely powdered iron oxide or ceramic barium-strontium ferrite, heated until it granulates & then cooled while it is attached to very strong magnet. Although, its made of the same stuff as natural hematite, it’s not the same process at all.

Natural hematite tumbled stones

Natural hematite tumbled stones

Again, this does not mean that wearing synthetic hematite bracelets (or what have you) won’t work for you. The magnetic effects may indeed be doing you much good. Personally, I prefer to not work synthetic stones or crystals if there is a natural alternative, but it doesn’t mean there arent’ benefits to be had.

How do you know if what you have is real or not?:

  • Is it magnetic? Then it ain’t real
  • If it’s chipped & it’s white inside, then it ain’t real (real hematite is a rusty reddish, brown)
  • If you do a streak test & it’s grey, it ain’t real (real hematite streak is also a rusty reddish, brown as I demo here)

Green Quartz

OK, this shiz really made a big splash (with the inexperienced buyers) at the Tucson Gem Show this year! Its been steadily growing in popularity over the last several years, but this year took the cake & b/c of that its trickled its way into almost every new age crystal shop in every corner of the world w/ most of the shop owners not knowing any better.

And, OH, the Tucson stories that I was hearing to go along with these suckers! Such a crime. It was also quite popular on eBay, although I see recently it seems to have dies down…thank goodness.

My intuition was telling me they were fakes when I first saw them, but I wanted to sit with it a bit longer & do some more digging & research to really be certain.

Well, I found out that, indeed…just as I suspected, green quartz can & is being produced in the lab…the very same labs that tech companies use to manufacture high-quality quartz crystals for electronics. They use a hydrothermal process; heating a normal clear quartz w/ natural chromium inclusions (usually a lower quality milky specimen and/or a damaged clear specimen) with water & chromium under high pressure, causing the quartz to recrystallize & actually force it to form new growth that caps & covers the damaged tips. Then the chromuium disperses throughout & changes almost the entire color of the specimen to a deep forest green!


  • Crystal tips & apexes that have an etched or stepped growth pattern; due to the forced regrowth
  • Crystal apexes (tech. apices)that are trigonal (3 facets) rather than the more common hexagonal (6 facet)
  • Deeper green color concentration at apexes (even look like phantoms so may be higher in price!) 
  • Many of these specimens on eBay hail from China
  • Tend to look like spirit or fairy quartz w/ the same sort of teeny crusted crystals points that tend to cover the crystal shafts; due to the forced regrowth

Check out the Difference…

Natural Chlorite Quartz

Natural Chlorite Quartz…the Real-Deal

FAKE Green Quartz:


Keep in mind…this fake deep forest green quartz is not to be confused with Dream Quartz, which is a much lighter green & doesn’t look anything like this stuffs.

So once again…the moral of the story 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? OK, do you have any fake-out stories to tell? Please post in the comments below & help us all out!

Happy Crystal Shopping!


Comments 29

  1. Hi Hibiscus,

    Thank you once again for another interesting article. I have seen the green quartz crystals being sold by people from China and thankfully was not attracted to them as they do look fake. I tend not to buy anything from sellers from China (especially on eBay) as a lot of the colours do not look natural – royal blues, bright yellows and reds – and are very unattractive as well as being unbelievably cheap. The Bismuth, however, I have a lovely piece of and knew when I bought it that it is man made. I still really love it! On the whole, I am for natural crystals produced by our own Mother Earth! Thanks again for the interesting update. Gail

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  2. Is there a recommended suppliers list? How can we know if we are dealing with reputable suppliers please? Thank you for highlighting!

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  3. Thanks so much for the Information Packed Freebie! The Photos are exceptional too.
    Just finished reading it, easy to understand and quite a valuable mineral collecting tool. A pleasure to be a member of your Crystal Community.

  4. Thank you so much for this! 7 years ago, I bought palm sized chunk of the Green Quartz in SE Asia. I knew it couldn’t be naturally that colour, and guessed it was either dyed clear quartz or radiated – now I know!

    PS: The shop owner tried to tell me it was Moldavite! haha…

  5. Hello! I love this article, I clicked the link in my email to this page but I can’t seem to download the free copy to keep. I click I want it and it says I need to enter my email address 50% complete, but I am already signed up. Please help! 🙂 Thanks again!

    1. Post
    2. Linda, I just checked our records and while you are subscribed to the newsletter, you do need to add your email address into the box when you click on the link – other wise the system doesn’t know where to send the eBook. If you run into any other problems, feel free to email our support desk 🙂

      HMCA Sparkle Chieftess

      1. Hello and thank you for your responses! I haven’t been able to come back sooner and check but I wanted you to know I did enter my email address at the time of my original post and I was never sent the eBook.

  6. Hello HM
    Great article and excellent reference guide. I have to add my 2 cents worth here as this is something that gets under my skin. Crystal shops and other sellers of crystals who sell fakes (whether knowingly or not) and also the ones that are selling crystals and do not know what it is. Our community usually pays premium $ for the crystals we love and some of us have spent thousands of dollars on our lovelies. BUT when I walk into a store and see a crystal and you ask the seller what it is and they say “I’m not sure, I think it might be….” or they try to tell you that it a natural stone (for those fakes) that cheeses me off severely. There is absolutely no excuse for this. It is dishonest and when a store, market stall, or other seller does this to me they loose my business.
    I feel so much better now that is off my chest.
    Blessings All

  7. Hi, I am just beginning to learn about crystals and have a collection of small stones. I buy quite a bit from healing crystals and so far they seem to be pretty good. Do you guys know anything. About them? Thanks, d

  8. Hello!

    My wife and I attended the Gem Faire in Puyallup, WA on Friday, April 1st. We drove over 2 hours to get there. Once we were there, my wife found some green quartz crystals that she really liked. I have some experience with crystals and I was skeptical about them. One looked like it had been fractured and then glued back together. I asked the Chinese woman working the booth about that appearance. She would only say, “Not man-made”. She repeated this several times. I again tried to ask her about the apparent fracture. She kept repeating, “Not man-made…not man-made”.
    This should have told me to walk away quickly, but my wife wanted one, so I did purchase a specimen for $80.
    Once I got home, I looked up ‘Chinese green quartz’ on Google. I didn’t like what I found. It was too difficult to drive the 2 + hours back to Puyallup to return it. I’ll just chalk it up to buyer beware and know better next time.
    That was the most expensive April Fools trick that’s been played on me.

  9. I was just on a site and they are saying their Aventurine is man NAD with Aventurine and Crystal. Is that a dead give away?

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  11. I have an Auqa Aura Crystal I bought at a local gem and mineral shop, and I love this stone. It’s gorgeous. When I was in Utah visiting a friend, we went into a shop there. I didn’t get a happy vibe from the get go. There were these AA crystals there, very cheap. When asked, I was told the process. Something didn’t feel right. So I got to looking a lil closer, some of the crystals still had newspaper stuck to them from being spray painted. I said nothing, we just left. I’ve tried to justify this and explain it away, b/c surely this isn’t right, but my gut was screaming, this isn’t right, so I listened.

  12. Thank you for this useful information , I always wondered what ” Green Quartz ” was – what it looked like as I have read that it has so many interesting qualities . However I chose to buy some Chlorite quartz pieces and I am glad that I did . One is a very large 18.9 cm X 90 cm x 1.88 Kg polished tipped stand . This piece has a very big golden spirit with it .that follows me & accompanies me when I go out into nature . And makes a great connection between nature and me ,and me & nature . A magical piece -doing so much good . Thank you for your post -Blessings from Paul .

  13. Your articles are so reliable. Just got one of these fake chromium quartz and knew there was something weird about them, it was too clear and the color was too deep. It looks like dyed glass and i just couldnt trust it. i looked everywhere else to try to help me distinguish it but no where described how you did which was super helpful.

  14. This green quartz is being marketed by some as “dragon quartz” claiming it holds dragon energy and that each specimen is an individual dragon.
    Now, the fact that each specimen of any mineral is an individual and possesses it’s unique energies is something we all can wrap our minds around, but I’ve been taken back by some of the folks I know in my community, that are sensitive to the mineral energies, that have fallen in LOVE with dragon quartz and purchased large specimens of it.
    One shop in particular in this area is now known for being the place to go for “dragon quartz “.
    No one else will carry it. 😉
    I really appreciate learning the process of how they create the fakes so I can teach others!
    Thank you so much for all this great info!!!!
    Much love to all,

  15. What is more curious than fake crystal is that it is kept a secret as to where the real crystals are sold. Hmm….

  16. I noticed that some polished Hematite looks shiny silver, and some look shiny black. The website above that you recommended for buying from had both. Is there a difference? Are both real Hematite?

  17. Hi. I love what you are doing by showing people these fakes. Ive seen many people getting ripped off by these scams especially buying on ebay. I would like to bring up another fake that this guy has been selling for years for high prices and he promotes them as healing crystals. He calls them Andara healing crystals and used to have a whole story about how he found them one day and then the next they were covered up by an earthquake. He sinse has taken that story off of his web site but now has this

    I went to his home when he lived in Santa Cruz california and what he is selling is melted glass with different colors melted in. I know this from 2 different facts. One is most of them have air bubbles in them. Two, and the most important fact, when he was giving my friend a tour of his property I walked around to a green house on the property and saw his entire workshop where he was making them. I called him on selling glass as natural crystals as soon as I saw them but he denied all of it. He has claimed they help everything from cancer to the common cold.
    Anyway, thank you for doing your part to expose these scams. You rock (pun intended)

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