Yep, we’ve got more crystal fakes to talk about today. Looks like this problem is becoming more and more prevalent.
Get Educated about Crystal Fakes
One of my greatest joys is investigating and researching possible fake minerals and then teaching our Crystal Family about what’s popping up out there, keeping us educated so we can avoid the confusion that comes along with misrepresentations and crystal fakes. This way we can all make informed decisions when adding specimens to our sacred collections.
The three I’m going to discuss today aren’t what I would classify as a misrepresentation; these are straight up Crystal FAKES.
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Let’s dig into it!
Moldavite has become quite the popular metaphysical stone. I’ve written before about its energy here.
Why would anyone want to create a synthetic version of this? Well, finding and mining for moldavite is getting harder.
Several years ago the Czech government changed the rules restricting miners abilities to dig no deeper than one meter deep (unless they’ve paid for a very expensive permit). In addition, it’s becoming increasingly harder to find the green rock since there’s a very limited supply of it and it’s becoming more and more scarce. It’s an expensive stone for this reason. So you can see the motivation for wanting to fake it.
Moldavite is most likely formed by an ancient meteorite’s violent impact with our planet. Because of the quick cooling that immediately followed, moldavite is characterized by lots of very small internal bubbles and random flow lines.
Another thing to look for in the real stuff can be found with a jeweler’s loupe. You’re looking for teeny-tiny worm-like wire filaments that won’t exist in the melted glass fakes.
Fake Moldavite, on the other hand, usually won’t exhibit much texture; they’ll be relatively perfect looking with no bubbles. Because much of the fake stuff is made of melted green glass (green bottle glass, melted down and then etched with acid to make it look like the real deal) they’ll have a wet-shiny look. In addition that bottle glass stuff will have a blue cast to it, whereas the real moldavite green has more of an olive tone.
It will be more uniform and smooth. If you’re looking at moldavite in bulk, you may also notice there are many pieces exhibiting the same shape and not randomly shaped at all.
Another trick, to kind of hide or disguise the fact that they look different from real moldavite…often times fakes will already be faceted or set into jewelry.
Also, large pieces of moldavite are extremely rare so, be aware.
As always, the price is a good indicator. If you find moldavite at a too-good-to-be-true price, start looking for signs of it being a fake.
Unfortunately, many of the moldavite fakes come from China, India, Japan or Thailand so if you’re buying online from those locales, be sure you’re buying from a reputable trusted seller.
This was a new one I was alerted to recently. I had never heard of it but a couple of my students asked about it during our last term so it must be relatively new on the rock scene.
They really look like pyrite, don’t they?
I immediately suspected they had been painted. So I ordered some up and sure enough, they’re just regular lodestone (magnetic magnetite) that have been painted up with gold paint.
I’ve seen them being touted to bring luck and prosperity. You can get those energies from all natural lodestone, so I see no need for the gold paint on them.
I did a quick search and unfortunately, with the three sellers I found; no one disclosed that they were painted lodestone. Then again, maybe the shop owners aren’t even aware.
Yellow Tibetan Quartz | New Finds?
Now this one…
Captured your attention? Yep, mine too.
They’re pretty, there’s no doubt.
BUT, my experienced eye noticed that they looked a little too much like the synthetic green quartz I wrote about some time ago. I can tell from the characteristics that they used the same laboratory process as green quartz but have just started infusing a different chemical or dye to achieve these colors.
Yellow Tibetan Quartz/Spirit Quartz
The one in the above photo was listed as Yellow Tibetan Quartz/Spirit Quartz; most likely because it was purchased from Tibet, a popular spot where these sorts of synthetics often come from.
I could tell from the seller that they were not at all aware that this was a fake.
Let me tell you, I’m afraid to touch this spiny thing. Spirit quartz grows with tiny crystal facets on it. However, this thing has very fine crystal filament splinters growing on it that pierced me several times. It’s quite dangerous actually. That is NOT how natural crystal grows.
New Find Yellow Phantom Quartz Crystal
This next one was listed as “New Find Yellow Phantom Quartz Crystal Cluster Specimen”. I’m laughing… I can’t even get pissed anymore because this stuff has just gotten so ridiculous.
The listing also called this one “yellow citrine quartz”.
So which is it?
Citrine or Yellow Phantom?
I guess they thought the fancier woo-woo names they threw in, the better.
The listing also included this “helpful” info: “Please take note that each crystal will be slightly different from the picture due to it being a natural stone.” A natural stone you say? I don’t know… call me picky but I strongly feel that it needs to be disclosed when a mineral specimen is synthetic.
Blue Phantom Quartz
OK, I have to admit, this is one is pretty eye-catching. The Blue Phantom Quartz was obtained from the same seller as the above “Yellow Phantom”. The seller shipped from China. I suspect these were grown in the same lab.
This one was also listed as a “Natural Quartz” and ironically the listing said this: “Blue Phantom in Quartz Crystal is, of course, a Throat Chakra crystal. It helps us speak our truth.”
Ok, so you’re probably wondering how I can tell these are synthetics.
Here’s what to look for…
DEAD GIVEAWAY TELL-TALE SIGNS to look for:
- Crystal tips and apexes that have an etched or stepped growth pattern; due to forced regrowth of a quartz cluster (or sometimes they’re entirely synthetic)
- Crystal apexes (tips) that are trigonal (3 facets) rather than the more common hexagonal (6 facet tip)
- More color concentration at apexes (even look like phantoms so may be higher in price!)
- Many of these specimens on eBay hail from China or Tibet (as did these examples)
- Can 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, but the crystal growth is MUCH smaller than a genuine spirit quartz
Always use your common sense and the best protection from this is to be well-informed yourself.
Do your thing
If you choose to work with man-made crystals and 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 work with 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.
We all love the beautiful jewels that mama earth creates and you don’t know what you don’t know… until you know better. So, I hope you’ve learned something new here today.
Have you seen any of these or new crystal fakes or misrepresentations recently? Please share in the comments below!