Fakes, Altered Stones
and Deceptive Practices
Probably more than any other page on this website, this one has the most potential for disagreement. I have very definitive opinions when it comes to crystals (can you tell?)
and this topic is no exception.
But let me point out again, the information on this page is my opinion and my personal experience with crystals over the many years I have worked with them. This may just
be the way crystals are for me; with my vibration. You may have an entirely different experience.
Having said that, I cannot believe that man-made glass (a common fake for many
crystals) for example, has the same or even a close vibration to that of an original
mineral. It is NOT the same material. And while made from natural materials, it is still
so different in history, experience, chemical make-up, vibration, connection, and the process of its creation, that it simply isn’t in the realm of having the same properties.
I sort of understand the attraction to altered or modified crystals. Within this category
are stones that have been dyed, irradiated, heated, and so forth. At least at their core,
they are a natural mineral (mostly) and may even be the actual crystal they’re advertised
to be. But I believe that the process to “enhance” them as it is called is so harsh as to
alter their vibration significantly. I find them to be a shell of what they were, and most
seem to have an undercurrent of sadness. I feel that by purchasing such stones, I am supporting a side of the industry I do not believe in. Natural crystals are so amazing,
so breathtakingly beautiful on their own; why would you mess with them?
The last topic I’ll cover on this page is that of misrepresentation. This includes the selling
of some unnatural material as a valuable crystal as well as the trademarking of crystals. Again, in my opinion, these are all forms of intentional misrepresentation.
So my advice to people is, “Buyer Beware”. Whenever possible, know who you’re
buying from. Know their philosophy and where they buy their stones from. And read articles and watch You Tube videos on fake crystals. There are many out there, as sadly many people have been taken advantage of, but now want to help others from falling
into the same trap.
Thus the reason for this page. So let’s get to it.
Citrine: Probably the most common, and to me, the most annoying fake is the selling
of heated Amethyst as Citrine. Many well-known vendors participate in this ruse on a
daily basis. Some of them do list the clusters as heated Amethyst, and I commend them (sort of) for at least being honest about that. But it’s still usually listed as Citrine when
in actuality, it’s not.
Now some people will tell you Amethyst and Citrine are both Quartz, so the difference
is minor. But that’s not entirely true. That’s like saying my sister and I have the exact
same vibration (and can do the same things) because we have the same parents (i.e.,
come from the same family). We do not have the same vibration. While we may share
traits and similarities in our DNA, our vibrations and abilities are most certainly different and unique.
Let’s look at another example; Aventurine. Aventurine is also Quartz. Why don’t we
see people heating that and passing it off as Citrine? Most likely because Aventurine doesn’t look enough like what people think a Citrine crystal should look like to get
away with it.
So how do you spot the fakes? The tell-tale bright yellow to marigold orange to a dark burnt brownish orange at the tips of the clusters. The base of the cluster will be white (because it’s Amethyst). Even the points below are fake. See how the base is white? In addition, since real Citrine doesn't grow in a geode formation like Amethyst, the points won't be pointy at both ends (see pic further below).
Citrine doesn’t form in the manner that Amethyst does. It's clusters are more like Clear Quartz clusters (see the picture below on the right). The color of real Citrine is yellow throughout the body of the crystal, and while the color might be a bit uneven in places (sort of like a shadowy effect) it will not be white on one end and yellow on the other. Natural Citrine ranges from a very light (almost clear) yellow to
a honey or deeper caramel color like in Congo Citrine. Also, see how the points
are flat on one end? Again, that is because natural Citrine doesn't form in geode clusters like Amethyst.
One last thing; as the truth about heated Amethyst becomes more well known,
some of these vendors have started to heat the Amethyst only to a light yellow color, thinking it will fool people (and I’m sure it does). Remember, Citrine does not have
a white base with the color only at the tips. Nor should it look exactly like an Amethyst cluster.
Quartz: Be careful about perfectly clear Quartz with no inclusions or clouding or anything, and especially if it’s coming out of China. It very well may be glass. I do have some very clear Quartz pieces, but even the clearest of them has some slight imperfections, often near the base.
Also, be wary if your Clear Quartz has bubbles. Many small bubbles indicate it is glass. Bubbles are a result of the glass-making process (especially a low quality one). Quartz forms too slowly (millions of years?) to have bubbles in it.
This is where knowing your vendors can really pay off.
Turquoise: Holy cow I think this is one of the most “forged” crystals out there.
Turquoise isn’t cheap (at least good quality Turquoise) and so people everywhere
choose to create fakes so they can sell it as real and make a tidy profit.
Approximately 90% of the Turquoise currently on the market isn’t Turquoise.
There are a number of different ways that people fake Turquoise.
The first is by taking inferior specimens, grinding them up, mixing the powder with a
epoxy (binding agent) and sometimes adding dye to hide the fact that the original Turq
(a common nickname for Turquoise) was of poor quality, and then pouring it into whatever shape mold they want. This product is often called “stabilized” or “reconstituted” Turquoise. We see this in a lot in beads and jewelry pieces. And while it is real Turquoise (sort of), the poor quality and mixing with an epoxy (and maybe dye) really damages the vibration.
Another common fake we see is dyed Howlite or Magnesite. Howlite is often passed
off as White or Buffalo Turquoise (no such thing). In addition, Howlite is fairly soft and porous and takes dye really well. This makes it the perfect natural stone to pass off
as Turq and many other types of stones as well.
One thing to look at is the matrix. Howlite has a lovely grey matrix that runs through the stone, but the matrix is even with the surface of the stone. Meaning, when you run your finger over it, you don’t feel any depth difference. Also, when dyed, the matrix often stays grey or turns black. With Turquoise, the matrix is usually brown, yellow or black and you
will typically feel the matrix lines, especially if you have a raw, unpolished piece.
Also notice in the picture below on the right - the corners and pieces of the stone are white. Dead give-away that it's a dye job.
Dyed Howlite & Magnesite
Though it may be difficult to tell unless you’re very familiar with Turquoise, when dyed, the Howlite matrix just doesn’t look quite right. The turquoise dye they use
is often too perfect or unnaturally aqua or bright blue/teal which can be a tell-tale sign as well (see skull pic above). Real Turquoise seldom has a consistent color throughout the stone (and if it does, will cost thousands of dollars). If your stone
has a very consistent color, it’s most likely not Turquoise.
Lastly, if the piece is fairly inexpensive, it’s probably not Turquoise. Good quality
Turq is getting more difficult to find, and consequently the price has gone up.
If the price of what you’re looking at seems too good to be true, it probably
Moldavite: Often faked with green glass. The Chinese are becoming experts at producing glass that sort of looks like Moldavite. If you don’t educate yourself before purchasing a piece, you might be taken in. But the faux stones tend to have very symmetrical shapes
(mostly oval), have no inclusions or shadows within the crystal, or are shiny like glass.
If you’re looking to purchase a piece of Moldavite, go to Inner Vision Crystals’ web
page to read about spotting the fakes. These people specialize in it and really know
There’s dozens of other fakes out there. Just type “fake crystals” into any search engine and read the articles that come up.
A few quick examples to read about:
Hematite is not naturally magnetic. So those “buzzy” magnetic seed shaped stones, or the magnetic bracelets and such….not real Hematite or Hematite that’s been altered.
Bismuth in nature is a grey lump of a stone. Not very impressive. Those beautiful multi-colored step shaped crystals they sell as Bismuth? Lab created.
Forest Green Quartz? You got it. Fake. More accurately, lab-created. Now the process involves real Quartz with Chlorite inclusions (usually a low grade one), but it is heated
with water in a special high-pressure process that causes it to recrystallize. When it does, the Chlorite spreads throughout the crystal which becomes a deep forest green.
Goldstone and Bluestone are, and always have been a lab-created stone. Goldstone is made with real copper combined with resin, but it doesn’t change the fact that this stone
is not natural.
Jade is a fairly expensive stone, so you know someone is going to try to fake it. Serpentine, which is a similar deep green color, is being sold as Jade in many places. One of the videos I watched on You Tube showed a Jade vendor at the Tucson Gem Show teaching the person filming how to tell the difference. The fake piece they were using (which was Serpentine) was from a booth a few doors down from theirs.
Opalite is the trade name of a man-made opalescent glass product and some opal simulants.
Shungite is actually pretty easy to fake. It’s a black rock, especially if it’s unpolished and
not the elite noble (shiny silver) Shungite. So there’s a ton of just black rocks being sold
as Shungite out there. Buy from a reputable dealer.
Obsidian is being faked, mostly in the colors blue, green and violet. Natural Obsidian, which is a volcanic glass, is black or brown (or has white spots in the case of Snowflake Obsidian). It does not come in blue, green or violet. Those are just glass.
Modified Crystals (a.k.a. “Enhanced”Crystals)
We already spoke about heating Amethyst and selling it as Citrine, and dying Howlite
and selling it as Turquoise. However, I put those particular examples in the fake section because they are being sold as something they’re not.
In this section, I’m going to talk about stones that are dyed a color that is different from
the naturally occurring color of that crystal; stones that are coated to give them a
shimmery appearance, and one instance of irradiation to make the stone darker
(and supposedly more desirable).
Dyed Stones: The first example is dying stones a bright color that is not a natural color
for that crystal. I’m sure it’s because people think it makes the stones prettier, and so
is more sell-able. In some instances, such as with small tumbled stones, the brightly colored ones might be more appealing to children.
Agate slices and bookends are two of the most prominent examples in this category. Agate in its natural state is typically brownish, to tan, to grey, to black and white.
Vendors inject it with dye to produce bright colors like blue and pink as well as green, purple and aqua. These are not colors you would find in natural Agate.
Tumbled Howlite (our old friend) is often dyed a variety of bright colors for children or to put in a glass jar and so forth. Natural Howlite is white. Period.
Other porous stones like Dalmatian Jasper are also dyed bright colors to be more appealing.
Coated Stones: Somewhere along the way, some creative person realized you could take
a poor quality crystal, put it in a chamber with a special type of vaporized metal gas,
heat it, and the gas would bond with the crystal giving it a lovely iridescent sheen.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with Aqua Aura crystals? These stones are coated with
a vaporized gold gas to make the beautiful aqua blue crystals you see. The problem
with these crystals is that the heating causes them to become brittle, so you must be
very careful with them. Frequently over time, these crystals will begin to disintegrate.
Other aura crystals are bonded with metals such as Titanium (Rainbow or Titanium Aura), Platinum (Opal Aura), Silver and Platinum (Angel Aura), and Titanium and Niobium (Flame Aura). These stones are created through processes involving electrostatic charging or
an optical interference effect to create the coating. The optical interference process
does not include heat, and so is not as harsh as the other aura-making processes.
With this one type, the crystals typically do not become brittle.
There is a “fake” version of the aura process coming out of China in which the crystals
have a painted coating on them. These are known as “jelly crystals” and the coloring is commonly more fluorescent than in the aura process. With these stones, it is not uncommon to see the coating chipping or peeling off the crystal. In addition, various factories use different paint and you have no way of knowing if it's safe or not.
Generally speaking, if a crystal or stone has a really bright color, especially if it seems fluorescent or glow-y, it is probably dyed. Even gemstones with naturally deep or bright vivid colors may have been dyed or heated to make their colors more vibrant (MANY natural Rubies, Sapphires, Tanzanite, Topaz, etc. are heated to deepen their color).
True naturally bright colored gemstones fetch a huge price. So if you come across something on Etsy for $5.00, it’s probably been “enhanced” (or is lab-created).
I realize that many of the stones described in the previous sections could fall under the category of misrepresentation. However, the ones I will describe in this section are what
I consider “gross” misrepresentations. They’re not just trying to enhance a crystal to
make it prettier and maybe sell a few more. They’re full on trying (and succeeding I
believe) to make lots of money at the expense of unsuspecting crystal lovers and it’s
all based on deception.
Andara Crystals: These alleged crystals aren’t even natural minerals, they’re slag glass. What is slag glass? It is the glass-like by-product left over after a particular metal has been separated (i.e., smelted) from its raw ore.
During the Bronze Age there were a vast number of different ore smelting processes in use. A slag by-product of such workings was a colorful, glassy, vitreous material found
on the surfaces of slag from ancient copper foundries. It was primarily blue or green and was formerly chipped away and melted down to make glassware products and jewelry. During the early 20th century, iron ore slag was also ground to a powder and used to
make agate glass, also known as slag glass
What some proponents of Andara Crystals will tell you is that it is glass that has been infused with Reiki energy (or something similar) and so is very powerful.
Another, more recent claim is that they are “otherworldly” (probably in an attempt to equate them with minerals like Moldavite and Tektite because they are technically glass), and that they have been transmuted and are now this high vibration crystal (costing hundreds of dollars).
Slag Glass Being Sold as Andara Crystals
The most current assertion details how these crystals are monatomic (one - atom) minerals, found in an area of the world known for its monatomic gold deposits (so they’re saying they’re natural "monatomic"crystals). According to ThoughtCo., a premier reference website known for 20+ years for their highly rated and award winning educational content states, “There are products for sale, supposedly for medical and other purposes, which claim to contain monatomic gold. This is a hoax.”
They go on to tell the story about an Arizona farmer who tried to pass this hoax off
back in 1975 until it was proved that the whole thing was fraudulent. There is no
scientific evidence (or alchemical evidence) to support the existence of monatomic gold.
In fact, NONE of the metals are monatomic. The only elements on the periodic chart
that are monatomic are the noble gases.
Another interesting fact is that, generally speaking, monatomic elements are non-vibrational. According to Science Direct, "Such objects have zero moments of inertia,
and thus they carry zero internal rotational energy. Their “zero sizes” cannot vibrate,
and thus the particles carry no internal vibrational energy." Fascinating, since the primary reason we work with crystals is because of their vibrational qualities. Hmm.
I came across another website that sells these crystals where the person stated that
she knows for a fact that her Andara Crystals are natural and formed in the Earth.
Then she openly states in the next sentence that she has no idea where Andara Crystals come from or how they form in the Earth. She has a picture of one that seems to have
dirt or grit on one side and she states that her “crystals” sometimes still have the
base (matrix) stone on which they grow.
Again, if we look at the process of how slag glass is made, the molten substance is
poured off, usually into a hole in the ground as the picture further above shows, or sometimes into rock piles (like quarries) or even into rivers or ponds. So if someone
were to come across an old slag location, they would seemingly pull the glass out of
the ground (thinking it's crystal that has grown there?) and it would very probably be covered in dirt, and even have a solid stone matrix if the melted glass had seeped far enough into the ground.
I may be completely wrong about Andara Crystals. I am willing to admit that.
But knowing what I know about how slag glass is made, and seeing Andara Crystals on Etsy or the various websites that sell them and the price tag associated with them,
I have to say I’m just not buying it (literally and figuratively).
Here is a fast-growing business whereby someone buys up a huge quantity of a low-grade mineral, and then builds a back story about how it was blessed by special aliens trying to help the human race or has mystical powers because of the particular mine it came out of, names it something new and mystical sounding, trademarks the name and then sells it exclusively (because they and only they have the trademark) at a huge price.
Talk to anyone who lives in New Zealand and they’ll tell you this is exactly what it is going on in their country right now.
The sad thing is that the independent owners of these typically small mines have no
idea (of course, because it’s not real). To make matters worse, because these mine
owners don’t have the trademark or permission to sell the crystal under that name,
they can only sell the stones as the low-grade minerals they truly are, even though
they ARE the same stone as the trademarked one. This is hurting small miners,
who are in large part, the people engaging in ethical mining practices.
One of the most well-known crystals in this category is Azeztulite. Supposedly, the Azez race (a race of benefactor aliens) blessed this low-grade milky quartz from 2 particular mines in the United States and they’re super special now. Bringing with them a super special price.
Here’s what mindat.org (THE gem people) web page shows when you type Azeztulite
into their search function:
“An unnecessary and unofficial trade name for a nondescript type of white quartz. WARNING: Traders on eBay have been using the name "Azeztulite" to sell pieces of quartz, and quartz crystals at astonishingly high prices. Do not fall victim to this scam. There is no such mineral as Azeztulite; it is a made-up name for ordinary quartz (the
most common mineral on earth).”
My question is; if this alien race wants to do something to help the human race so much, why are they not just making these stones readily available to everyone? Why do the stones cost so much? And if that wasn’t their idea, wouldn’t they be angry or dismayed
to find this one human doing this with their precious gift and put an end to it? Really?
There’s more and more of these trademarked stones on the market every day. I’ll list a
few here, but just type in “trademarked crystals” on any search engine and you’ll get
lists of them. Most of these stones are very common minerals such as Jasper, Quartz, Gabro, Petrified Wood, and so forth, or a combination of common minerals which no
one has paid attention to previously because they’re just a conglomeration and not typically worth much. Cha-ching!
Anandalite, Angelinite (not Angelite), Astaraline, Blue Liberite, Cinnazez, Empowerite, Healerite, Illuminite, Isis Calcite, Lemurian Aquatine Calcite (anything with the name Lemurian in front of it fetches a nice price), Mani Stone, Mystic Merlinite (is just Indigo Gabro), New Zealand Dragon Egg, Rathbunite, Revelation Stone, Spiralite, Transmutite
So here’s the bottom line for me; no one needs a $300 - $1,000 (or more) crystal to
change their life; speak to the angels; or become a master of something. There are
many paths and natural stones that can get you there for free or for a few dollars.
I personally find it very suspicious when people advertise they have the key to enlightenment….. for a nice hefty price tag.
Walk away brothers and sisters; just walk away.