How do you know if a crystal is REAL or FAKE? Can you tell before buying a crystal if it’s real or fake? How can you tell if a crystal is real or fake when shopping online? All these questions answered here!
How Do You Know If Your Crystal Is Real Or Fake?
Recently, I have been contacted by a number of new customers wanting to know if the crystals we sell are REAL or FAKE before they buy. All of the crystals we sell are 100% REAL and authentic. Let’s take a look at a few ways to tell if your crystals are real or fake.
“Healing crystals and stones can change hands several times before they end up at the… showcase—from miner to cutting factory to tumbler to perhaps another seller. There are no international requirements to track these movements, so shop owners often have to trust that their source is telling the truth about where the stone came from. In turn, consumers who buy healing crystals have to trust that the person behind the counter is telling the truth, too.”
– Emily Atkin, ‘Do You Know Where Your Healing Crystals Come From?’
RULE ONE: Know Who You Are Buying From
Do you know the shop you’re buying from?
Who owns the shop and what the owners are like? What is the shop’s vibe?
What else do they sell?
Knowing the shop you’re buying from makes a huge difference. A shop that specializes in crystals (as opposed to selling a big random variety of unrelated things) or at least shows strong knowledge about crystals, is a good sign.
A crystal shop owner is just a business owner (with an interest in crystals) and NOT a geologist with special equipment to test samples.
Very often when a crystal is sold to you under the wrong name, it’s because it was sold to the shop owner under the wrong name. Remember that 99.9% of the time, a crystal shop owner is just a business owner (with an interest in crystals) and NOT a geologist with special equipment to test samples. Their employees are just staff, also not qualified geologists. So even if they’re all absolutely delightful and helpful, they could be passing on incorrect information to you without knowing it. Granted, the longer one spends in the business, the greater one’s knowledge and experience grows, but sometimes even the best of us can make mistakes!
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR CRYSTAL SELLER:
- Can they tell you where the crystal came from – what country, or mine?
- Do they know anything about how the crystal is formed, or other geological information about it?
- Do they know their suppliers well (as in on a first name basis), and has that relationship been in place for years?
- How long have they been selling crystals?
- Are they a member of the local Mineral Society in their area and/or the Federation of South African Gem & Mineral Societies (FOSAGAMS)?
- Have they ever mined crystals themselves, or visited any of the mining locations they get their crystals from?
What WE Do:
- We generally list where each crystal is from on our product listings. We also often include some geological information on the crystal.
- I have been in the crystal business for over a decade. I have built up very good relationships with my primary suppliers. One of our main suppliers has mines in several countries and actively works to improve the lives of miners. They do this through upskilling and education, often assisting them to develop their own businesses. We assist this process by paying more for crystals that have been mined following good mining practices. Paying a higher price encourages miners to take the extra time to cause less harm, in return for higher reward. We also don’t ONLY buy the absolute best A Grade (meaning they don’t spend months making no income if they don’t find any A Grade material).
- We are an active paying member of the Cape Town Mineral Society and FOSAGAMS by association.
- I have mined with a miner in Namibia below Klein Spitskoppe, I’ve been to the Brandberg main mining encampment on Gebobos outside of Uis, as well as local trips in South Africa.
Have they ever mined crystals themselves, or visited any of the mining locations they get their crystals from?
Are they a member of the local or national Mineral Associations?
RULE TWO: If It’s Too Good To Be True, It Probably Isn’t
If the price seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t:
When you are looking at buying a crystal, and you aren’t very sure of the source (for whatever reason, you can’t apply rule one), consider it’s price. The old saying “if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t” can generally be relied upon. Of course you can score bargains occasionally, but for the most part if you’re feeling apprehensive and the price is a little TOO good, you probably have cause for concern. The opposite can also apply – if the price of the item is WAY higher than you’re used to seeing, with wild claims about it being extra special in some hard to verify way, be wary. Again, sometimes this can be the case, but if you’re feeling unsure, it’s a good sign to go with your gut. Don’t be shy to ask questions even if the seller is someone you’ve never dealt with before.
If the quality seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t:
This rule also applies to the look of the crystal. Natural crystals can have nicks, scratches, stains, dirt, cracks, inclusions and all manner of little ‘flaws’ that make them unique and individual. A substance synthesized in a lab is going to have none of these. If it looks absolutely perfect, it might just be too good to be true. Again, knowing where something is coming from can be really helpful.
If it LOOKS too perfect or the price just seems INSANELY cheap – it might just literally be “TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE”.
RULE THREE: Know What You’re Looking For
If you’re looking to buy a specific crystal, you should have an idea of what it looks like. If you are looking for something uncommon/unusual/rare/expensive, do your homework first.
Check your crystal books and ask friends to show you theirs. Look online to get a good overview of the variations of the particular crystal you’re looking for. A specific crystal can occur in many different shapes and colours. Familiarizing yourself with these variations will help you know if what you’re seeing is the real thing.
Visit solid mineral websites like Mindat.org or Geology.com. See localities of where certain crystals can be found, and look at photographs of good specimens. Use this to cross reference what is being sold to you to see if it makes sense.
Check on reliable websites such as Mindat.org to learn more about where certain crystals are found, and what they generally look like from those areas.
How To Tell If A Crystal Is Real Or Fake When Shopping Online
You might think it’s easier to identify a fake crystal if you’re holding it in your hand. But the same rules still apply, regardless of whether the shop is physical or online. Here are some tips to sus out if an online crystal shop is legit:
Checking An Online Shop:
- Read the online shop “About” page – is it personal, or very general with no names or photos?
- Are the owners easy to contact? And do they say where they are situated?
- Check out the shop’s social media presence. No media presence is a huge red flag. Do they have lots of followers? Check out their feed, when did they last post, and do they post regularly? How long has the account been active? New accounts are far riskier than long established ones.
- A shop that seems well supported by its customers also speaks volumes towards being a safe experience. Do they have any external reviews?
- What info is shared with the crystal product listing? Is there detailed information, like where the crystal is from, or any geological details? How specific is the listing? The less detailed and more generic, the more reason to be wary.
- Do they have a blog, and have they written good articles about crystals?