Welcome back to our next blog post about identifying crystals. We know the market is flooded with fakes, dyed, enhanced or miss-sold. In this part, we will be uncovering more difficult crystals and meteorites. Our blog posts have come from our personal experiences, working with geologists and experts in the industry. Let us get straight into it!
We shall begin with the most frequently concerning tektite around the world. There is only one place moldavite is found. That is Czech. It has landed in different parts of Czech, but if you have been told elsewhere, run!
Firstly, moldavite is a glass, natural glass and is very easily mimicked. But there are ways to tell if something has been human-made, it is not wise to identify moldavite through photos but here are some tips to help you.
- Moldavite is an olive green tone, NOT bright green. The only time is appears to be brightly toned if held up to a light or sun.
- A Vast majority of moldavite is mined in Moldau River Valley. However the different types of Moldavite are named after the village closest to the digging (Besednice, Chlum, Slavce, etc.) This also reflects on the shapes they occur to show.
- Moldavite has natural gas bubbles, swirls, shapes and bumps
- It is very expensive and the price will keep increasing as there is less to be mined over time. It does not grow from earth and there is now a limited supply.
- Tiny rough moldavite from half a gram tend to start between £20-30. The larger and depending on how it is graded, which part of the meteorite and where it is mined will jump in price drastically ranging from £500-£10k, museum pieces may be much more.
- If the Moldavite looks very wet or shiny, like melted glass, you are more than likely looking at a fake Moldavite. Some edging may show a smooth texture this is from digging and breakages do happen natural in mining but if the meteorite is covered in this texture, then nope!
- Certificates don't mean anything! We have met so many wonderful customers who have been given fake certificates alongside a fake moldavite which they have paid thousands for. Certificates can easily be copied and look genuine. Always ask your retailer where the pieces are mined, the chain supply and if they sell any lab-grown moldavite in their store at all.
(picture 1, 3 and 4 are the pieces we sell. Picture 2 (top right) is a fake listed moldavite on the internet).
Libyan Desert Glass (Golden Tektite)
Another meteorite that is also on demand but often mimicked. All meteorites are a form of glass, even Libyan. Found in Egypt (closer to the Libyan boarder)
- Is a translucent pale-yellow toned meteorite
- Is harder to obtain, removing material Is prohibited by Egyptian government
- Very similar to moldavite, it has natural inclusions and patterns. Which is caused by collision.
- Often resin moulds come from Thailand and china which has been the issue with moldavite too. Egypt/Libya is the only origin of this tektite known to mankind.
- Should be sold at a high price and sold by the gram.
We do not have a photo yet to show the real vs fake of this tektite, but these would be our top tips to ensuring you are sourcing out genuine meteorites. We would strongly advice for any other meteorite sourcing always check where it should be found, the weight, the quality and any unusual appearances that should be seen.
Golden, Red, Blue, Green Tigers Eye
Believe it or not! But a lot of tiger eye is treated. This crystal made us very sad. As you can see, Golden & Blue tiger eye are the only natural tiger eyes here. Red is very RARE and expensive, which we have obtained in the past, but the commercial tiger eye is golden to make red and blue to make green and often, many suppliers do not know this. Any other colours floating around the market will be dyed or treated. However when sourcing Blue tiger eye, it is not a vibrant tone. It is very dark an has shimmer when caught in certain angles and light and has often been enhanced to bring the blue colour out.
Opalite, Moonstone & Opal
This one subject is very frustrating, I must admit my cheeks go red when I am hunting for crystals. a lot of shops, Ebay, Etsy and amazon sellers are selling Opal as Opalite, moonstone as Opalite vice versa. Let us straighten this all out.
It is manufactured glass. The synthetic stone was created to mimic the rare and expensive opals but often is labelled as moonstone. Due to its pretty blues, fiery oranges, and purples, it is desirable and usually, newbies first goto when held to the light. Don't get us wrong, it is beautiful to look at, but it is not a crystal or natural mineral and it needs to be intentionally set to activate spiritually.
Blue Flash / Rainbow Moonstone
We all love a little bit of moonstone! Especially when them blue flashes pop up to say hello! Rainbow moonstone either shows white, black or blue flashes and is also known as White labradorite, it comes from the same family.
Underneath maybe natural and often you will find this type of moonstone set in jewellery. It has been enhanced something called foil back moonstone which can also be found in a lot of enhanced opal jewellery too which means it has either been lab grown, reconstructed or enhanced by heat treatment. It has been mastered and very often looks like a natural sheen of moonstone.
Opal is a large subject as it can be super varied. Blue opal, Andean opal, Boulder (Australian) opal, black opal, galaxy opal, pink opal, green opal and so on. Ethiopian is one of the most miss-sold materials. As mentioned above a lot of jewellery set is foil back and reconstructed. How can you tell?
- Natural opal; when moved flashes and specks should change colour and scaling.
- Fakes Uniform and repeating pattern the whole way through a stone – without any potch being present.
- Synthetic opal produces columns of color – you may see the column or the termination where the pattern is fairly blocky and distinct.
- If it does not move, this is usually a foil back or synthetic Opalite. ( the back of the Opal, If it looks like it has a black or grey hardish plastic coating then it most probably is a Triplet as they are often glued onto black plastic glass or vitrolite backing)
- When looked at under magnification, synthetic opals have a regular color pattern, whereas natural stones do not exhibit such regularity in their tone.
- Check the price, this is expensive! It is usually sold in karat or by the gram
- Sellers often sell this opal as Opalite.
- Synthetic opals also have lower density compared with real opals, and for this reason, synthetics tend to be lighter.
Celestite, Chalcedony, Angelite & Blue Calcite
They are similar, but not quite. They both Calcite and Celestite origin from Madagascar. However Angelite is from Peru and Chalcedony is from Namibia. Blue calcite has also been found in other parts of the world such a Mexico. Celestite and Angelite is rarer, expensive and delicate. Very difficult to polish in fact, often blue calcite is sold as celestite or angelite. Due to its beautiful natural sky blue colour it is difficult to tell in some cases. We have a picture below to help you identify these crystals much better.
- Blue Calcite Identification: Found rough, crumbly and often is acid washed to maintain the colour and soft material. Not found in clustered formation
- Celestite Identification: Found in matrix like clusters, can range from a pretty toned blue to transparent. Delicate and soft mineral
- Angelite Identification: Darker blue than the others, often has white markings and backing in natural formation. Polishing enhances the colour.
- Chalcedony Identification: Is more translucent and found in geode rocks. It also can be found with a lot of veins, patterns and inclusions running through.
Obsidian is a tough one to crack. Obsidian is a volcanic glass. Yes, glass. A variety of obsidian is available to the public. The most commonly known types of obsidian are Black Obsidian, Rainbow, Sheen Obsidian, Mahogany Obsidian, Snowflake obsidian, Lilac Obsidian, Blue, Green obsidian. But how do you know which ones are real or not?
- Black obsidian, is natural but often man-made. The best way to identify obsidian is through its colour. It is not really black. Hold your obsidian up to the light and you should see brown around the edging, some pieces go brown all the way through.
- Mahogany, is natural and often within the brown matrix you will see black markings of obsidian.
- Snowflake obsidian, is a type of quartz that grows with obsidian. This is natural.
- Sheen obsidian, comes in gold and silver. Sheen obsidian is formed when patterns of gas bubbles are aligned along layers created by the flowing lava before it solidified. This is natural.
- Rainbow obsidian, is also a natural obsidian showing beautiful rainbow banding through the rock. Inclusions of magnetite nanoparticles yield the unique blue, green, purple or bronze colours associated with Rainbow Obsidian. The material appears deep black until held under a bright light, then it has an iridescent.
Man-made, miss-sold Obsidian
These photos below are perfect examples of glass or onyx being sold as obsidian. A dealer should easily tell you if these have been dyed, manufactured or miss-sold for an agate or onyx. All the obsidians we listed above are natural are the only obsidians from mother earth.
We hope you have enjoyed our second blog about real vs fake crystals and meteorites. You are more than welcome to comment your thoughts below, we are open to new ideas or crystals/minerals to blog about.
Thank you for reading and we hope our blogs have helped you on your journey into crystals!
Much Love x
Written by Talia, The Mystic Wolf Director