Counterfeit crystals can look as good as the real ones. And if you want to start building your collection of natural gems, it's helpful to know how to spot fake crystals.
Sourced from Mother Earth, crystals come packed with energy to help you find a deep balance in your body, mind, and soul. You can use them to do amazing things, including removing negativity, aligning your chakras, and bringing peace, serenity, and prosperity to your life.
What Are the Easiest Ways to Identify Fake Crystals?
Fake crystals are usually glass or chemically-altered stones that have undergone some process to make them look valuable and unique. While these are not harmful, it's only right that you get the healing you deserve and the energy that legit crystals can bring.
Use these tips to spot the fake crystals from the real ones:
1. Perfect patterns
High-temperature variations, friction, and crystallization characterize the formation of crystals in the earth’s crust. As such, naturally-formed crystals feature unique patterns and odd shapes and are rarely, if at all, perfectly symmetrical.
This could be your first check. If a crystal appears flawless with perfect patterns and symmetry – you're likely looking at a piece of glass.
2. Kooky names
The weirder the name of a crystal, the higher the chances it is a fake. Vendors of fake crystals use fantastical names and creative keywords to make them sellable.
If a crystal name sounds wacky, do a quick look up online to confirm it is genuine.
3. Glassy appearance
As pointed out, fake crystals are mostly made from colored or altered glass. Most glass imitations of natural gems are those of the clear quartz crystals, which have a natural glassy appearance. Perfect clarity and zero imperfections are one way to spot glass lookalikes.
4. Air bubbles
Another giveaway of fake crystals is air bubbles trapped within the stone. These may look like the imperfections you'd expect from a natural gem, but a closer look will reveal the air pockets.
You wouldn't expect air bubbles in an earthborn crystal, given the extreme conditions under which they are formed.
It is worth noting that some authentic crystals contain trapped ancient water that is millions of years old. These are commonly known as enhydro crystals.
5. Heat retention
Natural crystals are cold to the touch and tend to lose heat quickly. After holding a gem in your palm for a while, it will absorb some of your heat but will not keep it for long. On the other hand, fake crystals take on your palm’s warmth and hold it for a while. They also feel warm to the touch.
6. Easy to scratch
The formation of natural crystals makes them tough, with higher scores than glass and most other materials on a hardness scale known as the Mohs hardness scale. As such, they are not easy to scratch.
So, if a stone scratches more easily than a regular piece of glass, then it is a fake. It's worth noting, however, that some natural gems have lower scores on the Mohs hardness scale.
Fake Culprits: Easiest Crystals to Fake
Some gems have more fakes than others, and knowing when you need to take a closer look can help you collect only the genuine pieces you want.
Turquoise, Moldavite, and quartz are some of the commonly swapped stones.
Quartz is easy to imitate since it has a natural glassy appearance. Real quartz is cold to the touch. A counterfeit, on the other hand, won’t have the same feel. It will be easy to scratch and will likely have trapped air bubbles.
Turquoise lookalikes are often made from cheap plastic or dyed howlite. Howlite is a natural gem, but in this case, you wouldn’t be getting what you’re paying for. Knock-offs usually feature one flat color, while the real deal has varying color depths, especially around the edges.
Moldavite crystals are rare and highly valuable, which is why many try to reproduce them. Moldavite is sourced from a meteorite impact site in central Europe, specifically Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
So, if your Moldavite is sourced from somewhere else, you have your first big red flag. Besides, if the price tag doesn't reflect the gem's rarity, there's a good chance it is not genuine.
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The best way to ensure you’re getting genuine crystals is to purchase them from a reputable retailer. Check out our collection of natural crystals, including jewelry, pillars, lamps, self-care products, and spirit animals.