I would like to say, although this blog considers fake and enhanced crystals there really is no definitive proof to show what is fake without putting the said crystals through rigorous scientific testing, and it’s safe to say I don’t have a lab to hand!
Despite this, there are ways and indicators we can use to eke out those questionable crystals and begin to grow a more authentic crystal collection.
So where to begin, I am going to look at the visual aspect as we tend to base our decision on how something looks first.
There are other ways you can use to assess if your crystal is not quite what its being advertised such as the hardness test. Hibiscus Moon has a whole course on this if you want to find out more look her up as she is amazing and very generous with her knowledge.
What’s the difference between “fake” and “enhanced” crystals?
Fake crystals present themselves as something they are not. The enhanced crystal is to make the crystal more desirable based on its appearance rather than its healing natural properties.
Essentially enhanced crystals have either been injected with colour dye or have been baked at super high temperatures to change its colour to give the impression they are a completely different crystal altogether.
I have used the two following examples Citrine and Agate slices as I have bought such crystals not knowing that they were indeed enhanced.
Citrine is now quite rare but the demand is still high which has in some ways pushed traders into creating crystals that mimic natural Citrine. For instance, if you look at the images below I bought as Citrine but found that it was a baked variety.
If you look closely at the image that is traditionally sold as Citrine you can see black spots where it has been burnt by the super high temperatures the ovens reach.
This crystal would have started its life out as an Amethyst point as depicted.
Although this baked amethyst is still a crystal it is annoying that this aspect is not disclosed when buying the baked Citrine.
Some traders are very open about this and will disclose this aspect, but MANY do not.
If you look at this picture which shows a shop window display there is a display of baked amethyst being sold as Citrine.
Natural Citrine doesn’t look like this.
If you look at an example here, you can see that although it has some warm tones they are very different in their colour and shape. They tend to look more like Smokey Quartz and have smaller baby points growing at the base. In addition to this, Citrine is so sought after that most tumble stone Citrine is also baked Amethyst.( Adam Barralet)
The image courtesy of Hibiscus Moon
As you can see in the picture on the left this is an example of natural Agate slice, you can see its clear vibrant earthy colours of browns, oranges and grey tones.
Where if you look to the right this is a collection of dyed slices. Although the dyed slices are very lovely to look at they are not natural, and many are sold in such a way that makes you believe these colours occur naturally in Agate.
Example of Agate that has been dyed Pink
But it’s not all doom and gloom as Hibiscus Moon explained these types of crystals are still crystals at the molecular level and that she believes that such baked and dyed crystals still emanate energies but perhaps not the same crystal vibrations you would expect from real Citrine or natural Agate.
A good seller will often disclose this about crystals and are happy to discuss and share their knowledge. So, the lessons learnt, look at your crystals to see if there are any tell tail signs and if in doubt ASK questions.
Now let’s turn to the outright fakes -
Generally, these are made from glass and can come in many forms such as, rose quartz points, quartz wands, opals tumble stones ect,
If you have a look below at the glass examples, you can see these fakes are quite good but a really good way to tell is they tend to be too perfect and when you hold them they are warm to the touch; natural crystals on the other hand tend to feel cold to the touch no matter the room temperature. Also, if you find your crystal has perfect little round bubbles in them then they are glass. Many of the glass fake crystal are sold as jewellery and most are sold on-line. I am not saying online business are not reputable but that if a crystal is cheap, warm and looks too perfect then it is likely to be a fake.
sold as Opalite but this is glass with chemicals injected to give this hue colour (Andrew Barralet)
Fake crystal earings we know this because this seller discloses the fact, still they look pretty good for fake Quartz don't you think?
By no means am I a geologist but I am of the thought that this industry is long overdue a shake up and we need to have some regulation to set a base line standard for the world of crystals in the same way the semi-precious gem stone and diamond industry has. (Perhaps even further?)
There should be authentication of where it was sourced to ensure sustainability (not killing nature or people to extract), certification and disclosure of enhancement. By doing these things we will help reduce the risk of buying what we believe to be a crystal when it is in fact a very pretty piece of glass.
Let me know your thoughts – can we have certifications for source and authenticity?
Would you be happy to see this when you buy or sell your crystals?