Ever wondered how to tell if a crystal is real? You don’t really need a crystal ball in order to know the truth. There are two essential types of crystals: natural crystals and fake ones.
In order to know which is which, you need to know how you can identify crystals. Then you should have a shortlist of things to check for so you can know if your crystal is real or not. It’s also a good idea to know which are some of the most commonly faked crystals. We’ll share a list of 10 fake crystals you’re most likely to come across.
Armed with these new facts, we hope you’ll be able to tell whether your crystal is real or fake. Don’t get us wrong, costume jewelry can be pretty! But if you’re looking for the healing benefits of natural gemstones, their fake look-alikes don’t have the same powers. In some cases, they don’t have any powers at all.
How To Identify Crystals
We need to first define what a fake crystal is. A fake crystal is glass or plastic that’s been made to look like the natural crystal you’re looking for. It’s fake because it has none of the powers of healing crystals created by Mother Earth.
But some crystals can be obtained from treating other crystals. That doesn’t make them fake crystals per se, but it doesn’t make them the natural version of your gemstone either. They still have the healing properties of that initial crystal they’re made of.
For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll define a fake crystal as not being the natural version of the crystal you’re trying to get.
There are a few things to consider when it comes to the crystal game.
1. The numbers game
Some of the most valuable stones are rarely found in their natural form. If a seller has a ridiculously big stock of that particular rare gemstone, it might not be the real deal.
It’s even more suspicious if the seller is someone brand new on the market, with no reviews, no history, no verifiable substance. Rarer gemstones are expensive. A total beginner seller wouldn’t invest so much money into a rarer gemstones inventory.
Common gemstones are much more likely to be present in significant numbers in any crystal seller’s inventory.
2. Is that price right?
Rarity and high prices mean that an avid crystal hunter is going to look for a deal where they can. A good price on a crystal you’ve been trying to get for a long time – it seems like a crystal clear type of situation, right? It might not be.
Looking for a deal is not necessarily the wrong approach, but if the same crystal you’re getting an incredible deal on sells for considerably more in other places, then the particular stone you’re considering might not be part of the natural gems squad. When a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.
While a good deal might indicate a fake crystal, it could also just be a good deal. Look online for price ranges of the crystal you’re interested in. Walk the shops in your area and see what that crystal goes for there if they’re selling it. You’ll get a pretty decent idea of what price ranges you should expect to run into.
3. Is it what you’re actually looking for?
Sometimes, funny-sounding crystal names can fool you. They might sound similar to actual crystal names, but with minor changes. You could find a Rosey Quartz that is a pretty pink piece of glass or even plastic, not a small Rose Quartz.
But you might also find a seller that names each product in an original way. A natural Clear Quartz might be the real deal even if it’s sold under the name of “The Magnificent Dee Clarity Stone”.
The name sounds pretty weird, right? But the crystal could very well be the real deal and the seller might be legit. The Energy Protection Lamp might not sound very Clear-Quartz-y based on first impressions alone, but it’s made of natural Clear Quartz.
Look online for pictures of the natural crystal you’re looking for. Look at the transparency, color range, and what other names it could go by. When in doubt, don’t jump the gun on making the purchase.
4. Reputation check
Do your research into the seller before making up your mind.
These days, it’s rare to encounter a crystal seller without an online reputation. Look them up, check out reviews, opinions, comments, especially when you’re looking into a new seller or someone you don’t know much about. Research is an essential part of the process.
Real crystals have healing properties. Buyers would be likely to comment on crystal healing aspects rather than looks alone, for instance. If all the feedback covers how pretty an item is and nobody mentioned how their healing experience with it is going, you might want to look into that seller and product a bit more.
If you use a trusted seller of natural crystals who has a good reputation in the field, you’ll be less at risk of getting a fake crystal instead of what you’re truly looking for.
How To Know If Your Crystal Is Real
When it comes to how to tell if a crystal bracelet is real, the truth is it’s easier to make sure in a physical crystal shop. It might be easier for you to identify fake crystals by inspecting them directly.
Precious stones are cold to the touch and they lose the heat of contact quickly. By simply holding the bracelet in your palm, you’ll be able to tell if it feels warm or if it takes on the temperature of your palm quickly and seems to hold it for a while. You can avoid fake crystals by checking their temperature and how it changes.
It’s perfectly fine to use a magnifying glass to check the surface and patterns the crystal presents. If a seller has an issue with you checking, it might be a red flag.
3. Crystal hardness
Natural crystals are tough – with some notable exceptions. They tend to have considerable scores on the Mohs hardness scale.
You can’t test that with a steel knife. But doing a scratch test is generally a safe way to test the hardness of the so-called natural crystal. Check to make sure before trying, though. Some natural crystals have lower scores on the Mohs hardness scale.
An authentic crystal is going to leave a mark on a regular piece of scratch glass. If the one getting marked is the so-called crystal, then it’s a fake crystal and not a natural stone.
4. Perfectly symmetrical patterns
The natural crystallization process yields rarely, if ever, a symmetrical-looking result. It’s more likely for a natural stone to have sharp edges and odd shapes and patterns than perfect symmetry.
If your crystal is oddly perfect and symmetrical, it might be chemically altered or simply a fake crystal.
5. Air bubbles
You’re not going to see air bubbles in natural crystals. Even if they are transparent in nature, they were formed as a result of huge pressure. Tiny air bubbles beneath the surface wouldn’t have managed to remain inside.
These bubbles are also known as plastic or glass bubbles. When you notice them inside the so-called crystal, you know you’ve got a fake on your hands.
6. Heat-treated and dyed crystals and stones
Sometimes the crystal you’re looking for is tougher to find in its natural form. There might be dyed crystal options for it. If you’re buying them in the spirit of being what they are, then that’s perfectly fine, but if you’re aiming for the natural thing, you wouldn’t want a cotton bud and some water to wipe away the joy of having that particular crystal.
Be sure to ask if that crystal is natural or dyed. Then there are the heat-treated crystals. Raw stones of Citrine are rare, but you can get Citrine from heat-treated natural Quartz. That initial natural Quartz crystal, real; that supposedly natural Citrine, not real.
Natural Quartz that’s heat-treated or irradiated Quartz is natural, but it’s not the natural gemstone it was turned into. It’s a treated or laboratory version of it.
Now you know more about how to tell if a crystal is real. Don’t worry if you can’t tell between natural crystals and fake crystals right off the bat. This is a skill you’ll gain with time and practice.
The 10 Most Common Fake Crystals
You might find all sorts of fake crystals on the market, but a few crystals are more likely to be fake than others.
It’s not just the expensive ones like Ruby that are often fake. Quartz crystals are some of the most common victims. That’s partly because the Quartz family of natural crystals has members that can shape-shift into another Quartz gem under the right conditions (heat, radiation).
Part of how to tell if a crystal is real is to know what fake crystals and stones you can expect to run into.
1. Clear Quartz
Clear Quartz is one of the natural crystals that are often fake. Glass look-alikes can be pretty convincing, however, making perfect glass replicas of real Quartz crystals ends up costing too much to be profitable. You’re more likely to run into one of the more the inexpensive types of replicas.
Natural Clear Quartz has imperfections of density inside, but never air bubbles. It’s never perfectly symmetrical or see-through.
How to tell if Clear Quartz crystal is real: it has no bubbles inside and it isn’t perfectly transparent.
Authentic Amethyst is an amazing ally for your spiritual journey.
Like many natural crystals, it isn’t uniformly colored. Real Amethyst won’t be a bright purple color either, especially not a uniform purple. Check out the Serenity Bracelet to see how authentic Amethyst looks.
How to tell if Amethyst crystal is real: it’s not a uniform and overly bright purple color.
3. Rose Quartz
Rose Quartz is a prominent member of the Quartz gems. That’s because of the emotional healing properties of these natural crystals. Rose Quartz is a pale pink and the inside structure of the crystal has imperfections.
How to tell if Rose Quartz crystal is real: pale pink color, real crystals have imperfections inside
4. Strawberry Quartz
Authentic crystals of Strawberry Quartz are fairly rare. Instead of natural crystals, you’re likely to find treated Quartz, glass, or plastic.
How to tell if a Quartz crystal is real: no air bubbles, red inclusions, cold to the touch
5. Smoky Quartz
Natural crystals of Smoky Quartz can look in many different ways. These natural stones can have a transparent to gray or dark brown base color with more or less visible black inclusions.
You might find a Smoky Quartz that looks very similar to the real deal but is actually dyed Quartz.
How to tell if a crystal is real or not: the dark inclusions inside the crystal
Natural crystals of Citrine are pretty rare. It’s more likely you’ll find heat-treated crystals from the Quartz family instead. As long as they’re not presented as natural Citrine but treated, they’re not fake, but they are treated or synthetic crystals.
How to tell if gemstones are real: lemony yellow hue, like in the Mindfulness Bracelet
7. Aura Quartz
Aura Quartz is a treated crystal by definition. It’s not fake, but the real deal if it’s a treated Quartz. There are no natural crystals of this type. If it’s plastic or glass though, then it’s a fake.
How to tell real gemstones from glass: cold to the touch
Natural Turquoise tends to present variations of color. Most Turquoise on the market is actually dyed Howlite. It’s not a fake crystal since dyed Howlite is still a crystal, but it is a fake Turquoise.
Howlite has its own healing properties, like all-natural crystals. But dyeing it blue won’t make those properties the same as those of real Turquoise. The Positivity Bracelet is a good example of natural Turquoise and its power.
How to know if a crystal is real: variations of blue color rather than a solid hue
9. Blue Moonstone
Blue Moonstone natural crystals are gorgeous. They’re also very powerful. Replicas might look similar on the outside, but they won’t be able to copy the irisation effect inside the stone and the blue sheen.
How do you know if a crystal is real: it has flickers of light inside, and a blue sheen
Pink and Black Pearls are often dyed because they’re rarer. But truly fake Pearls will most likely be made of glass or plastic. Those have no healing powers at all!
You can see a beautiful Pearl on the Law of Attraction Bracelet.
How do you know if a Pearl is real: natural Pearls have tiny shape and surface irregularities
Get Your Genuine Crystals Today!
Hopefully, we’ve helped you when it comes to telling between natural crystals and fake crystals. Or at least you know where to start when looking into the authenticity of a crystal.
Research your crystal, your vendor, and be wary of deals that are too good to be true. Natural crystals have amazing healing powers that can help you improve your life. Fake ones just look pretty, which is fine as long as that’s what you’re looking for.
Get your natural crystals and use them together with healing and cleansing stones to get your crystal healing process started.