How to Spot Fake Gemstones Part 2
This series of articles was started after speaking with members of the community on the subject via the article Buyer Beware of Fake Gemstones. Some people in the jewelry industry do not see this as a problem. In their mind, if it is pretty and catches someone’s eye, it doesn’t matter what or how it is made. From a Spiritual or Metaphysical standpoint, it is a different story. So, in this article, we will look at fake cat’s eye and fake Sunstone.
Cat’s eye is actually not a specific type of gemstone. It is an effect that can be seen in some gemstones. Some of the more commonly known examples of the same effect are star sapphires, rubies, and tiger eye stones.
From Minerals.net “This effect, known as chatoyancy, or cat’s eye effect, is caused by inclusions of fine, slender parallel mineral fibers in the gemstone that reflect light in a single band. Of all the gemstones that exhibit cat’s eye, Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye is the best known.”
The following list of gems and minerals should not be considered all inclusive as there can be other stones which exhibit the effect occasionally. Actinolite, apatite, all the beryls (aquamarine, emerald, heliodor), beryllonite (not used in jewelry), cerussite, chrysoberyl, danburite, diaspore, diopside, enstatite, garnet, iolite, kyanite, moonstone, peridot, pezzottaite, prehnite, quartz, rutile, sillimanite, scapolite, spinel, tiger’s eye, topaz, tourmaline, and zircon.
The fake gemstones are being sold in all the major online outlets and are being advertised as gemstones when in reality they are nothing for than glass that has been made to show an effect similar to what cat’s eye gemstones show. The image shown here is one of the thousands of supposed 100mm “crystal” balls.
It is important to remember the following facts about gemstones:
- With the exception of a few well know types or stones, blue is a rare color in gemstones. The more brilliant the blue, the rarer it is.
- The larger the gemstone, the higher the chance it is not real.
- The more perfect the shape and color, the higher the chance it is not real.
- Gemstones with perfect shape, color, and clarity carry higher price tags.
- As gemstones increase in size, their value goes up exponentially.
Based on nothing more than the 5 rules listed above, the 4 inch perfectly round, brilliantly blue cats eye sphere selling for only $29.99 should immediately set off warning bells. The reality is, even the small 40mm spheres being sold are nothing more than fiber optic fibers in the glass.
They are pretty, they can be used as decorations for your home, but if you are buying them thinking of their metaphysical properties, you are not getting what you are paying for.
If you are still not convinced the above rules will prove whether a specific stone is real or not, there is one more test you can do if you can look at the stone from multiple angles. The cat’s eye effect tends to show from a specific angle. The effect is caused by mineral fibers being lined up in a specific way. When you look at the stone from a different angle, the effect does not usually move with the stone and often disappears from view. At the very least, the effect will appear to lessen in intensity as you move away from the center view.
Take a look on eBay at some of the large cat’s eye stones where multiple images, at various angles are being shown. The effect does not lessen as you move from center, giving you yet more proof they are not real.
Fake Sunstone Gemstones
Sunstone is another stone in which the majority of what is being sold on eBay, Amazon, and Etsy is fake. It is nothing more than glass with tiny copper particles mixed in during while the glass is in molten form.
Luckily, it is fairly easy to spot the difference between real and fake in this instance. Unless you are comparing it to a more expensive stone, most of the fake sunstone is, in my opinion, prettier than most of the real, lesser quality stones. Compare these two photos.
Real sunstone has a schiller effect that looks very much like aventurine. It is a very lovely effect but it is not as pronounced of an effect as the fake sunstone. It is the fact that the fake shows much more shimmer than the real gems that has allowed it to become so popular in jewelry.
Again, if you like the look, there is nothing wrong with wearing jewelry with fake sunstone in it. But when it is being sold as real sunstone and people expect to receive the metaphysical benefits of real sunstone, they are being taken advantage of. These fake gemstones have the same metaphysical properties as you would get from hugging up to the glass in your windows. Glass is glass no matter what shape it is in.
That it is for this article. In part 3 of this series, we will look at some of the various treatments that are being done to gemstones and if or how they affect the metaphysical properties.
If you purchase gemstones online, please consider joining our Real or Fake Group. You might also consider liking our Facebook Fan Page or following me on Twitter. I’ll keep you updated when new information is posted via those sources rather than sending emails cause I hate emails just like everyone else.
Till next time; stay safe, have fun and keep smiling!