Natural Crystals - Fake or Genuine?

Views 234 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this Guide is helpful

Natural and Man Made Crystals

We are often asked which crystals are natural and which are manmade, treated or enhanced. Crystals like citrine, turquoise, agate, amber, hematite and many of the gem type crystals are often 'enhanced'. This guide covers a few of the basic ones gleaned from many years as a crystal dealer. The director of Unlimited Exotica has a science background and holds a degree in Chemistry. 

 

Citrine

Most crystals sold as citrine are heat treated amethyst. When amethyst is heated the purple colour turns to a bright yellow/orange colour. It is possible to find natural citrine on ebay, but the vast majority is heat treated. Of course if one is interested just in colour (from a metaphysical point of view) then this would still be fine.

                             

   Heat Treated Citrine                                                         Natural Citrine

Turquoise

Jewellery made from turquoise is often stabilized (ie treated to make it more durable). Some stabilization techniques affect the crystal structure more than others. A lot of 'turquoise' from China is dyed howlite (so always be careful and check the origin if possible). Again, it is possible to find natural turquoise,- much of which originates in Arizona.

                              

             Dyed Howlite                                              Natural Turquoise - Kingman, Az.

Agate

Agate is one of the best known examples of  colour enhancing. This is a common practice in Brazil. The bright pinks, purples, blues, greens etc are all dyed. This includes agate slices, slabs, bookends, carvings, spheres etc. There are some colourful natural agates though,- blue lace agate, pink moss agate and a few more.

                             

              Dyed Agate                                                   Natural Blue Lace Agate

Amber

Amber is fossillized tree resin (often containing small insects). Often (again especially from China), artificial resin is impregnated with insects and sold as amber (often with large creatures like scorpions, butterflys etc). Amber can also be melted down and insects inserted in it too. Natural amber can be found though with a little research.

                           

    Natural amber specimen                                   Natural amber with insect inclusion

Hematite

Most tumbled hematite crystals are natural, but most hematite jewellery is not. Hematite is ground and mixed into a paste like substance and then set into shapes for jewellery. This is why hematite necklaces and other hematite jewellery is so inexpensive (imagine carving the beads by hand).

                            

     Reconstituted Hematite                                        Natural Polished Hematite

Other Crystals

Other crystals that are commonly misnamed as natural includes the following. Sunstone (natural) is often confused with goldstone (man-made). Moonstone (natural) is often confused with opalite (man-made). Fibre optic (man-made) is often confused with cat's eye or tiger eye (both natural).

Many other crystals are colour enhanced, but we will deal with these in a latter guide.

Summary

We hope this guide answers a few questions about which crystals are natural and which are not. Always do as much research as possible when buying your crystals and don't be afraid to ask the seller if the crystal is natural or man made. Most will only be too happy to answer your questions.

 

 

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides