Why does it matter if a crystal is real?


Crystals, though small, are powerful sources of vibrational and healing energy. Unfortunately, many crystals that are sold are not authentic, and distinguishing the genuine from the fake can be tricky. 


It’s important to know that there are many stones and crystals that can be man made. They are not imitations, like a ruby that's actually made from glass, but they are also not formed within the earth. While these are very beautiful and useful stones, if you’re seeking their energetic properties, it's important to make sure the crystal you choose is authentic! Today, we’ll take a look at some ways of determining a fake from the real deal.

Imperfectly perfect.

Real crystals will have quirks, uneven patterns, unique shapes, and little flaws like chips or dark spots.


Some stones, like amber, might trap small parts of their surroundings such as insects, leaves, or flower petals. Others will contain pieces of rock, sand, or dirt. They can be clear, cloudy, or somewhere in between–but they won't look like they've just come off a production line. If your crystal seems too consistent or flawless, it's probably not authentic. Think of the quirks as a signature, letting you know they’re the real deal!

Colour Saturation

Colour is another indicator of authenticity. Real crystals boast soft, natural hues. For example, Amethyst should be a gentle purple hue (not violet) and Citrine should be a soft, sunny yellow. Colour intensity might vary slightly across a stone; but, if the crystal looks too bright or saturated, it warrants suspicion.

Avoid air bubbles.

Air bubbles are usually the sign of an imitation stone. Remember, some crystals are formed over thousands of years under intense pressure from tons of earth!  Thus, genuine crystals won’t have any air pockets. If you spot bubbles, you’re most likely holding glass.

Weight and Substance

Real crystals have some weight to them. They’re dense, made from large amounts of material pressed into a compact form through pressure and (sometimes) heat. 

Pick up the crystal you want to buy and ask yourself: is it solid and grounding, or light and insubstantial? Trust your senses here! Real crystals make their presence felt.

Temperature: The Cool Test

Another area of significance is temperature. Authentic gems are naturally cool to the touch. Fake ones, especially those made of plastic or glass, warm up fast when handled (even for a short amount of time).

A little heat can reveal a lot. Light a candle and carefully hold your crystal near the flame. Watch closelyᅳgenuine crystals won't melt or emit any funky odors when exposed to flames. In contrast, a fake (especially one made of plastic) may warp, melt, or smell a little like chemicals.


WARNING: Use this test with care and stay safe.

Hardness and Durability

Every crystal lies on a spectrum of durability. For example, Quartz is a seven on Mohs’ Hardness Scale and can scratch glass. Selenite is a two on this scale and its surface can often appear scratched and bruised from being handled. 

You can use a piece of glass or a steel knife to give your crystal a gentle scratch test. Compare your stone’s results to its expected hardness and durability on Mohs’ Scale.

Light and Transparency

Real crystals, due to their density and properties, will interact with light. They’ll often create reflections and rainbows against surfaces when held up to the sun or a bright light. 

Hold your crystal up and move it around in the light from a window or lamp. Does it catch the light and create patterns or refractions against nearby surfaces? Trust your eyes and instincts here.


Professional Verification: Trust the Pros

As often as you can, buy from a verified and credible source. Established crystal shops are your best bet for the real deal. Do your homework on the seller’s reputation and always check reviews. Also, never be afraid to ask questions! A reputable seller will be happy to provide information and assurances about their products.


Don't Shy Away From a Second Opinion

For higher-priced crystals, it's a good idea to get a professional opinion. Gemologists have the tools and knowledge to certify your crystal's authenticity and verify its origins.


Commonly Faked Crystals 

Some crystals are more frequently reproduced than others. Here are some common fakes:

  • Quartz: often mimicked using glass.
  • Amethyst: watch out for overly bright purples.
  • Citrine: typically made from heat-treated quartz.
  • Turquoise: can be faked with dyed howlite.
  • Lapis Lazuli: imitated with dyed jasper or plastic.

Keep a close eye on these when you’re buying them and don’t be afraid to check if they’re the real deal!

Congratulations! Next time you pick up a dazzling gem, you’ll know how to spot a bona fide beauty from an imposter. Remember the aforementioned tips and you’ll be one step closer to ensuring that your crystal collection is genuine.

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