How to Know If Crystals are Real: Everything You Need To Know
Last updated Sep 09, 2021
In recent years, there has been a resurgence in crystals for healing and spiritual purposes. Many people believe that these gemstones have special powers related to their color or shape. However, it’s essential to be aware of what might look like a crystal but isn’t. This is especially true when shopping for them online, where you can’t physically see the item before buying it. Here are some tips on how to know if your crystals are genuine.
How to know if crystals are real
You may try a variety of approaches to see if the crystals are genuine before purchasing them.
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Check the size and shape of crystals
Genuine crystals have perfect shapes, symmetrical sides, precise angles between faces and facets – like those on gems mined from the earth and those created in laboratories for industrial & commercial purposes (such as diamonds).
If they are not real, you will notice signs such as misshapen or asymmetrical surfaces; jagged angles; rough edges; bubbles trapped inside them during formation; bulging sides, etc., which usually mean it is NOT a natural crystal but artificial: glass imitations made with chemical compositions similar to minerals found in nature.
A good quality gemstone has no scratches or marks on its surface since there should be absolutely no imperfections.
Crystals are supposed to be clear, free of any color or tone variation on their surface – there should not be any impurities inside them either, which is why they have high transparency levels.
A simple test you can do at home, among others, is the "burn" test: hold a lighter near the crystal and see if it emits heat, an indication that these are artificial materials since genuine crystal doesn't produce temperatures hot enough to start a fire.
You will feel no warmth if the stone in question is genuine since this would mean it does generate some heat but not enough for ignition purposes.
The reason why glass imitations burn when held next to flame is their chemical compositions. While a genuine crystal contains a high percentage of pure silica, which has low flammability levels (combustion starts at 800 degrees Celsius), glass imitations are mainly made with sodium oxide and calcium oxide.
This chemical composition is much more prone to combustion than in natural crystals.
Looking for inclusions
There are a few ways to know if your crystals might not be natural. One way is by looking for inclusions. Inclusions are things inside the crystal, like air pockets or other things. If there are no inclusions, they probably were not made from a natural stone because that means lab-grown crystals have been used instead of ones from deep underground that have been formed over millions/billions of years.
Too perfect or flawless
Perfect crystals are rare, especially for the larger ones, which is why geodes of acceptable quality are more expensive than smaller pieces with cracks and chips in them because they contain fewer voids inside them; therefore, there's a higher chance it contains something valuable.
If your stone appears to have no flaws at all, then chances are it isn't real either because this means someone has probably applied heat to make its outer surface glassy smooth instead of natural-looking.
Too light in weight for their size
They might either be hollow (if you can hear it rattle when you shake them) or made from a much lighter material than what should be used to craft such stones, e.g., plastics and resins instead of genuine gemstones). If your stone weighs next to nothing and feels too soft, pliable/elastic, etc.) then chances are it isn't real either because genuine crystals have incredibly high densities, which prevents them from being so easily damaged!
They have no color at all or look pale/washed out
This could be because it's been heat-treated to remove its natural color (e.g., citrine, amethyst, etc.). Still, if you do see some mottling, then chances are it isn't real either because this means someone has dyed the stone using an acid wash solution containing toxic chromium! Also, note that genuine crystals never appear dull & lifeless. Instead, they contain many microscopic fractures on the surface that scatter light so beautifully due to their high index of refraction, making them incredibly shiny, lustrous, and bright.
Use common sense
If it's too good of a deal, then it probably isn't made from high-quality crystals.
It shouldn't smell unless they used glue during production, so be mindful of this while shopping online.
Again, with the internet, make sure all products sold are listed by reputable stores and businesses, which can be verified through reviews left by other customers who've purchased their products before. These should come up near the top of any search results page. Also, make sure to read through the reviews and look for any negative ones.
I hope you learned something new about how to tell if your crystals are genuine.
Make sure that when looking at a gemstone's shape, it should be symmetrical and even. It should also have clean lines with no visible fractures or inclusions on its surface. You can further test whether or not your crystal is fake by examining its weight.
High-quality pieces will weigh more than low-grade ones due to their density.
When shopping online, please pay attention to the customer reviews because sellers may try to deceive buyers by posting pictures of higher quality items they're selling as lower quality products, sometimes without revealing what grade these gems are supposed to be!
Lastly, don't forget to examine any additional markings that may be printed on the stone to discern whether or not it matches up with what's on your monitor.
If you're still doubtful, we recommend looking for a certificate of authenticity from an independent appraiser. This should help alleviate any concerns and complement your gemstone's physical features.