How to Spot Fake Gemstones Part 1

How to Spot Fake Gemstones Part 1

In the first article on this subject, we looked at how I came to realize that fake gemstones were being sold, part of the process I went through to learn how to spot them and why I believe it is important for everyone who uses gemstones to learn how to spot them.

In this article, we will look at the various types of fakes on the market and start showing examples of some of the fake gemstones being sold in places like eBay, Etsy, Amazon and some of the better known retail shops online. We will examine why they can legally get away with selling the fakes; and also begin to look at actual photographs being used to sell these fakes and how you can spot what to look for.

Types of Fake Gemstones

So far, most of the fakes I have seen fall into one of two categories.

  1. Smelt
  2. Glass being sold as real gemstones

Smelt is by far the biggest problem and it is the reason some sellers feel it is ok for them to market the stones as real gemstones. Smelting gemstone involves literally melting down the bits and pieces of real gemstones that are left over after the stones are cut, then molding them into various shapes.

This process allows them to remove the various impurities that are common to almost all gemstones and unless they add additional minerals back into the mix during the cooling process, results in the perfectly clear, large stones you see on the market.

Without testing, it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between glass and smelt that has had all the impurities removed. If you had the opportunity to physically hold one of each in your hand at the same time, you would probably note a difference in temperature; but the naked eye alone cannot tell the difference.

Differences of Opinion

People tend to fall into two different opinions on this subject. Those who make the fake gemstones, and those who sell them with lesser morals than I, tend to believe they are not lying to call these natural or genuine gemstones. Those with high morals and especially those who are energy workers (like myself) tend to believe these should be called fakes and should not be called genuine or natural.

The problem here is the fact that some people like me, can feel a major difference in the vibrational level of smelted stones. Others seem to believe the cannot feel a difference. I cannot say whether they simply do not feel the energies as strongly as I (and many others) do, or if they are convincing themselves everything is fine for monetary reasons. I am not here to judge anyone on their choice to sell them. I prefer to make the knowledge available to everyone and let each person make up their own minds on the subject.

It is this difference in opinion which is preventing legal definitions from being established on this subject. Because we are a nation of laws (as it should be), we must walk a fine line when establishing legal definitions to prevent favoritism. This is the exact same concept that makes it imperative that we do not pass any laws based on any one religious beliefs. The lack of a legal definition is why we, the people of the world, must always strive to prevent others from being taken advantage of.

It is possible for the sites such as eBay, Amazon, and Etsy, to establish their own definition for use on their site, but to date, they have not weighed in on the subject. This is probably a combination of hoping a legal definition is defined and not wanting to alienate any of their sellers (ie, it is money motivated). So it falls on our shoulders to do what we can to prevent harm coming to others.

fake gemstoneRemember this image from the last article? Let’s use it for our first example of how to spot the fakes.

You made need to open the image up in a new window so you can increase the size a little to see what I am talking about. But the first thing I noticed was it is an unusual shade of pink for a rose quartz. It is several shades darker than average. This by itself does not scream fake, however.

Notice there is a line about 1/3 of the way from the top and another about the same distance from the bottom? Notice too that at the edge of both lines it appears almost powdery looking. Could this be from powdered minerals sprinkled into the mold before pouring to help create an effect similar to rose quartz?

If you turn the sphere approximately 45 degrees to the left, you will notice another pair of lines running at the top and bottom of the piece. It is not unusual for some types of stones to have lines like these due to the way they are formed, but rose quartz is not one of the stones that normally exhibit this property. Add in the fact that it simply does not look the same as the hundreds (thousands perhaps) of pieces I have dealt with for over 50 years now and it makes me lean toward believing this is fake.

There is still one important aspect we have not discussed and it was the clincher for me. This particular image was used in a listing for stones averaging 100 mm across. Converting that to inches means the stones are about 4 inches.

Keep in mind how rose quartz grows. Molten minerals are pushed up from deep below the earth’s surface. As they near the top range of motion, the minerals start to cool and instead of pushing all the way to the earth’s surface, they begin to push their way into cracks and crevices within the layers above them.

In order to produce a single 4-inch sphere, it requires a piece of solid stone greater than that. I have never cut stones so I cannot give you and exact size, but I would imagine it would take at least a 5-inch square. This is to produce 1 sphere. At the time of this writing, there are over 75 of these 100mm spheres in the current open and sold listings. They have been selling these spheres for years now. If you conservatively say they average selling 75 per month and they have been doing it for 5 years (it is closer to 10 but we will use 5) that is 75*12 = 900 x 5 = 4500 inches at 5 inches thick, just to cover this one size. They are selling tons of both larger and smaller sizes of these stones.

Run the numbers and you know that 4500 inches equal 375 feet. That is a very large section that would have to be carefully mined and just does not seem cost effective to make into these little spheres when there are people who would give their rather large paychecks to have a wall of solid rose quartz.

Does any of this prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that these rose quartzes are fake gemstones? No, it doesn’t. But for me, it has passed the point of belief. I personally will not buy one of them.

Red Quartz Spheres

fake gemstonesI am using the red color of these supposed quartz spheres as an example, however, they are being sold in several other colors, most of which are unusual colors for gemstones. Brilliant blues, greens, yellows, lilac, pale water clear pink and so-called “clear quartz” that is also water clear or the most common.

As you can see from the image, these stones are water clear (that just means no inclusions or imperfections). The 100 mm size seems to be one of the most common sizes, however, there are plenty of sizes both larger and smaller available.

The most obvious thing that strikes me is how clear it is. It is highly unusual for any gemstone to be this clear, especially with the large size. At the time of this writing, there are over 1000 of these spheres in the sold and current listing on eBay alone. As someone who has worked with gemstones for over 50 years, it is a slap in the face for me to accept that in the past 5 years alone, anyone could have found enough natural materials to make over 60,000 of these things.

There is also the problem of why would you take deposits this large and turn them into something so cheap when selling large sheets of the materials would bring so much more money.

The only way this combination of non-natural colors and large, water clear stones is if these are smelt or glass. It is not the way our Creator made them and I prefer what The Creator makes over what man makes.

That is it for this article. I hope you are beginning to be able to spot the fake gemstones, so you do not have to worry about being ripped off. In the next article in this series, we will look at fake cat’s eye and fake sunstone, so stay turned.

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