How to Tell If Crystal is Real? Know the Facts!

Fake crystals have been around for as long as real ones. Humans have always been fascinated by the allure of gemstones and crystals, and some have gone to great lengths to create convincing imitations. How can you tell if a crystal is real or fake?

Well, you can use several telltale signs and tests to determine the authenticity of your precious stones.

First and foremost, you should know that fake crystals can be made from materials like Quartz, glass, resin, fillers, acrylic, cubic zirconia, and simulants. These imposters try to mimic the real deal, but today I will be telling you how to tell if the crystal is real.

How to Tell If Crystal is Real?

Test / SignReal CrystalsFake Crystals
Color ZoningEven color distributionFake color banding
Clarity or TransparencyTransparent or translucentMay appear cloudy or hazy
PatternsAbstract and inconsistentConsistent and uniform
Interaction With LightReflect, diffract, scatterAppear flat or dull
Temperature and Thermal ConductivityFeel cold and warm up quicklyLukewarm and slow to warm up
Flame TestWon’t melt or warpMay melt or warp
InclusionsIntricate and uniqueAir bubbles or consistent patterns
CostGenerally more expensiveSignificantly cheaper
EdgesIrregular and naturalPolished or unnaturally uniform
WeightDenser and heavierMay match weight but not always
Scratch Test for HardnessResists scratchesMay scratch more easily
FluorescenceGlows under UV lightTypically doesn’t fluoresce
Strange Origins or NamesCommonly found locationsUncommon origins or new names
Compare With Certified Real OnesOptical phenomena under lightMay not exhibit various optical effects
Request a GIA Certificate and ReportExpert certificationLack of certification

Why is it important to tell the difference apart? 

Experts say that fake crystals do not have a lot of harmful effects on your life. But then, why let go of the positivity you may have, right?

Why is it important to tell the difference apart

Therefore, you should be mindful of the fact that you have all the right to grab the excellent things in your life that you deserve. So, this leads us to a detailed discussion on the various ways to tell the difference apart between fake and real crystals

How to Check If Crystal Is Real

To determine if a crystal is genuine, there are several methods you can use. 

Color Zoning

One of the first things to check is color zoning. Real crystals exhibit an even distribution of color or may even display shades of different colors from various minerals. For example, genuine Amethyst can showcase vivid lilac, purple, lavender, and more. However, Clear Quartz and Optical Calcite have minimal zoning or color variations. Fake crystals often have fake color banding, so inspect this closely.

Clarity or Transparency

Real crystals are either transparent or translucent, allowing light to pass through. You might even spot inclusions, color zoning, or other crystals within them with the naked eye. On the other hand, fake crystals use dyes to mimic inclusions, but a closer look will reveal the truth. For instance, Diamonds, Rubies, and Sapphires are often faked for clarity with Synthetic Corundum, Moissanites, and CZ stones.

How to Check If Crystal is Real

Patterns

Some genuine crystals like Blue Lace Agate, Crazy Lace Agate, Ametrine, and Calligraphy Jasper boast captivating abstract patterns. Fake crystals, however, tend to have a uniform and consistent patterning with colors that mimic the real thing. You can test the crystal by gently applying water (if it’s safe to do so) and then using a damp tissue or cloth to check if the colors transfer.

Interaction With Light

Authentic crystals engage with light in captivating manners, including reflecting, diffracting, dispersing, or scattering light based on their unique refractive index. Some even exhibit mesmerizing optical effects such as Asterism (Star), Chatoyancy (Cat Eye), Pleochroism (Color Change), and beyond.

On the other hand, fake crystals appear flat and dull when moved in front of light. So, hold your crystal under a light bulb and check for refraction, reflection, and other interactions to spot the real deal.

Temperature and Thermal Conductivity of the Crystals

Real crystals feel cold to the touch and warm up quickly due to their excellent heat conductivity. Fakes, however, may feel lukewarm and take longer to warm up. You can even perform a simple ice test to check how fast the crystal warms.

Just be cautious not to try this with low MOHS hardness crystals.

Flame Test

The flame test is another handy method. Hold your crystal in front of a candle flame using a heat-resistant tong. If it’s real, it won’t melt or warp. However, avoid using certain crystals like Amethyst, Fluorite, and Celestite for this test, as they can crack or break from the heat.

Temperature and Thermal Conductivity

Inclusions

When inspecting a counterfeit crystal through a magnifying loupe, you may detect the presence of trapped air bubbles, typically originating from materials such as plastic, resin, or glass within the stone. On the other hand, real crystals often have intricate and unique inclusions. Keep in mind that crystals can have various inclusions, so use this test in conjunction with others.

Cost

On occasion, the price alone can serve as a clear indicator. Authentic crystals typically command higher prices compared to their synthetic or imitation counterparts due to their relative rarity in nature. It might be too good to be true if you’re getting a crystal at a significantly lower price than others of the same quality and characteristics.

Edges

Unpolished real crystals often have irregular edges, including ridges, indentations, or impurities based on their geological makeup. Fake crystals, however, may appear polished or have unnaturally uniform edges due to dyeing or irradiation.

Temperature and Thermal Conductivity

Weight

Genuine gemstones possess a greater density and weight compared to counterfeit crystals crafted from materials like glass, acrylic, pebbles, resin, and plastic. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that certain manufacturers employ synthetic Quartz simulants to replicate the weight, rendering this criterion less reliable for authentication.

Scratch Test for Hardness

The hardness of a crystal is a reliable indicator. You can perform a scratch test by trying to scratch various objects or even other crystals on the crystal in question. Be cautious, though, as this test can cause lasting damage if done incorrectly.

Temperature and Thermal Conductivity

Fluorescence

Real crystals often fluoresce under UV light, emitting colors like purple, red, violet, blue, orange, or green. Fake crystals typically won’t exhibit this phenomenon.

Strange Origins or Names

Be wary of crystals with unusual names or origins. Some genuine crystals are only found in specific locations, so if a seller is advertising a new name or an uncommon origin, research before purchasing.

Compare With Certified Real Ones

One surefire way to confirm the authenticity of a crystal is by comparing it side-by-side with an authentic one. Real crystals will exhibit various optical phenomena under different lights and angles.

Request a GIA Certificate and Report

If unsure, request a certificate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or consult a GIA Gemologist for a report. They can provide expert guidance on your crystal’s authenticity.

Conclusion

Now, it’s essential to remember that these tests and signs aren’t foolproof on their own, and you should ideally use multiple methods to confirm a crystal’s authenticity. If you’re still uncertain about to tell if the crystal is real, it’s a good idea to consult a certified gemologist for further clarification.

In a market flooded with fake crystals, it’s better to be cautious. Don’t be fooled by imposters, and always ensure you’re investing in genuine healing crystals. And remember, even if a crystal is fake, it can still hold value as a decorative or metaphysical item.