More Crystal Fakes: Healerite, Larimar & Galena Geodes?

Hibiscus Moon Crystals, fakes 47 Comments

Here we have another “FAKE CRYSTALS” update for us today!

I think this has become one of my fav blog posts to write. ♥

My goal is to educate our Crystal Family community on what’s available out there so we can make informed decisions when adding specimens to our sacred collections and keep the fake crystals out! 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).
Galena Geodes aka Berber Geodes… a totally fake crystal!
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 done here is a natural quartz geode (or even a fake clay one may be used as is done in the above photo. These were sold at the Tucson Gem Show!) is broken open & crushed lead-based Galena is sprayed inside.

Whaaaaa? Don’t be fooled!

How to Spot a Fake Larimar

Yes, due to its popularity, sadly larimar is one of the hottest crystal fakes on the market. 🙁

It’s a semi-precious stone that is extremely rare due to supply & demand and mining it is extremely difficult. Geological surveys either were not 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 Geology
Larimar is a type of pectolite; a sodium calcium silicate that forms in cavities of basaltic lava.  This stone is found in only 1 place on the entire planet: the Barahona region mines in the Dominican Republic. Geek out on more larimar geology here. 

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 the 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 and energetically this is still 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 and 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 is not larimar but was sold as such in a shop I was in.

See the translucency?

I tested this stone and its Mohs Hardness was a 7, therefore, telling me that is a copper-bearing quartz rock (chrysocolla 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 larimar here if you’d like to learn more about it. 🙂
Healerite
This is another one of those trademarked jobbies rather than a fake crystal.

I feel there’s no good reason to trademark this stone because its 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 sort of thing; 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. 

Subgroups are being trademarked all over the freakin’ place.  Something to watch out for!

Use your common sense here.
In other words… if it’s too good to be true, then yeah, it probably is.
**Please SHARE this info with other Crystal Family Members so that we all stay in-the-know and well-informed. No duping us with FAKE CRYSTALS!!!!**
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,