One of the most common questions I get asked is: Do you use real gemstones in your jewelry?
Deciphering Authenticity: How to Tell if Your Gemstone is Genuine or Fake
A gemstone with a bright colour pop is a sure sign it is fake. For example, rose quartz should not be a bright pink, it is a muted pink colour. If you see a bright gemstone, chances are high it's a fake gemstone.
Most real gemstones include crisscrossing fractures, small veins, dents, or other inclusions inside the crystal. Very few crystals have perfect clarity. If you don't spot any of those inclusions, chances are the crystal is a fake.
Look for any concentrated or uneven colouring in the cracks of the crystal. Dyed crystals might have patches or spots of intense colour. Some crystals are more commonly dyed than others. For instance, agate, howlite, and quartz are frequently dyed to enhance their appearance. Knowing which crystals are more likely to be treated can help in your assessment.
Hardness is a useful property in identifying minerals and crystals. The Mohs scale of mineral hardness, ranging from 1 (softest) to 10 (hardest), can be employed to test the hardness of a crystal.
Many (but not all) crystals are a 6 on the Mohs scale, meaning, they are pretty resistant to damage. If the crystal gets scratched by a substance with a lower hardness on the Mohs scale than it should, it might indicate that the crystal is not authentic or has been altered.
However, it's important to know your crystals as some of them like shungite, flourite, and selenite are softer crystals and may be susceptible to damage.
If the crystal is marketed with a name that sounds fantastical or overly dramatic without any scientific basis, it might raise suspicions about its authenticity. Sometimes, made-up names are used to sell artificial or non-existent crystals.
Made up names like Rosey Quartz or Aqua Quartz may be an indicator that the gemstone is a fake.
While it's tempting to snag a deal on a stunning gemstone, be wary of prices that seem too good to be true. Authentic gemstones command a certain value based on their rarity and quality. Unrealistically low prices might indicate a counterfeit stone.
Look at multiple shops (online or in person) to get a sense of the standard price range. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Many artificially produced crystals, especially those created in a laboratory setting, might contain noticeable air bubbles as a result of the manufacturing process. These bubbles can be larger, more uniform, and evenly distributed than natural inclusions.
A genuine crystal will have scratches, small particles, or cracks. But, it will never have uniform have air bubbles in it.
Heat Treated Crystals
Heat treatment is a common practice in the gemstone and crystal industry used to enhance the colour, clarity, or other properties of certain crystals. Crystals that have undergone heat treatment are not considered fake.
Many common healing stones, like citrine or amethyst, are heated to improve their colour. Heat is a natural element of crystal formation in the earth, and it can be almost impossible to tell whether a crystal was heated before or after mining.
The Top Faked Crystals
Any quartz can be convincingly faked, especially clear or rose quartz. The imposters are usually made of glass. Natural Clear Quartz has imperfections of density inside, but never air bubbles. Rose Quartz will never be a bright, perfect pink colour. Look for a muted pink colour with slight imperfections running through the stones.
Natural amethyst does not have a consistent colour throughout the crystal, it will not be a uniform purple colour. Look our for brightly coloured amethyst as this may be an indicator that it's fake.
Natural crystals of Citrine are pretty rare. It’s more likely you’ll find heat-treated crystals from the Quartz family instead. The treatment should be disclosed to buyers transparently and accurately. Heat treatment is considered an acceptable industry practice as long as it's openly disclosed.
Natural citrine will range in colour from pale yellow to cloudy yellow.
Aura Quartz is a treated crystal by definition but not considered fake. Vapor deposition is a high-tech procedure performed to enhance the appearance of quartz, which gives it its metallic sheen. There are no "natural" crystals of this type.
In conclusion, the authenticity of a gemstone is a combination of observation, knowledge, and sometimes seeking professional guidance. By familiarizing yourself with the unique characteristics of gemstones and employing these methods, you can better discern between a genuine gem and an imitation.