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

Hibiscus Moon Crystals, fakes 83 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). 😉
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. Now, originally ajoite was named after a blue mass of color found in rocks in Ajo, Arizona but in speaking to geologists, they’ve since gotten strict about what they’ll apply that name to. This also helps to avoid confusion. Here’s an official geology page on mindat.org to help explain what you should be looking for.

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 is 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 mineralogy (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 it’s 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 through education.

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

Crystal Blessings,

 

 

Spotting Crystal Fakes & Frauds: Part 1

Hibiscus Moon Crystal Healing, Crystals, science 100 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. 🙂