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  1. #1
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    Credible Crystals?

    How can you tell if a stone or crystal that you bought from your local metaphysical shop is genuine? I understand that most rocks you buy will guy through some sort of processing to be aesthetic to the consumer eye, but I literally saw a "Made in China" sticker stuck to a beautiful rose quartz-wand cut stone. It's been making me feel anxious and doubtful of the green calcite I wear around my neck. How can one tell if the stones are real, is there a book (you know, that one by Scott Cunningham?) That could give me an idea to the authenticity of my stones, or is there just something I'm being foolish and naive about?


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    Re: Credible Crystals?

    Quote Originally Posted by r2squared View Post
    How can you tell if a stone or crystal that you bought from your local metaphysical shop is genuine? I understand that most rocks you buy will guy through some sort of processing to be aesthetic to the consumer eye, but I literally saw a "Made in China" sticker stuck to a beautiful rose quartz-wand cut stone. It's been making me feel anxious and doubtful of the green calcite I wear around my neck. How can one tell if the stones are real, is there a book (you know, that one by Scott Cunningham?) That could give me an idea to the authenticity of my stones, or is there just something I'm being foolish and naive about?
    What do you mean by 'genuine'?
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    Re: Credible Crystals?

    Quote Originally Posted by SatSekhem View Post
    What do you mean by 'genuine'?
    Well...just that. How do I know that didn't just cook a bunch of colored plastic together and call it a stone? I've heard of that happening before...

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    Re: Credible Crystals?

    Quote Originally Posted by r2squared View Post
    How can one tell if the stones are real, is there a book (you know, that one by Scott Cunningham?) That could give me an idea to the authenticity of my stones, or is there just something I'm being foolish and naive about?
    Buy from people who can tell you where the stone came from - where it was mined, where it was cut, etc.

    That isn't usually a cheap option, but if you keep your eye out for gem and mineral shows in your area, you can usually find people who care about the sourcing as much as you do. (Basically, you need to find people who care about the stones, not people selling them purely as jewelry/magical items.)

    In terms of spotting treated stones, you should know that a *number* of stones are heat or chemically treated for color. Once you've seen enough, they're usually easy to spot. In gemological terms, heat treating is often considered relatively common and reasonable, but other treatments are sometimes less approved of.

    http://www.yourgemologist.com/syntheticsstudy.html has info/examples of some commonly treated stones, as well as different kinds of treatments.

    Books can help, but really, you need a trained eye to tell for a lot of treatments. That said, there are some it's relatively easy to learn to spot - amber, for example, can be heat treated to make it easier to shape/more even, and it causes changes to the tactile sensation that are pretty easy to learn once you've handled untreated and treated amber a few times.

    (Not a gemologist, but hang out with people who talk about this stuff more than a bit.)
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    Re: Credible Crystals?

    Quote Originally Posted by r2squared View Post
    I literally saw a "Made in China" sticker stuck to a beautiful rose quartz-wand cut stone.
    That could be because the stone was cut and shaped in china. It doesn't necessarily mean the stone isn't genuine.

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    Re: Credible Crystals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine View Post
    That could be because the stone was cut and shaped in china. It doesn't necessarily mean the stone isn't genuine.
    That would be my first instinct-cut & shaped in China.
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    Re: Credible Crystals?

    Quote Originally Posted by r2squared View Post
    How can you tell if a stone or crystal that you bought from your local metaphysical shop is genuine? I understand that most rocks you buy will guy through some sort of processing to be aesthetic to the consumer eye, but I literally saw a "Made in China" sticker stuck to a beautiful rose quartz-wand cut stone. It's been making me feel anxious and doubtful of the green calcite I wear around my neck. How can one tell if the stones are real, is there a book (you know, that one by Scott Cunningham?) That could give me an idea to the authenticity of my stones, or is there just something I'm being foolish and naive about?
    I'd be more wary of shops trying to pass off cheap stones for more expensive varieties that the layperson isn't likely going to be able to identify. Like nephrite being passed off as jadeite or something. (Does that happen with those two varieties? I don't even know... I'm note a huge stone/mineral collector.)

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    Re: Credible Crystals?

    Quote Originally Posted by victoreia View Post
    That would be my first instinct-cut & shaped in China.
    I did question the shop owner, and he did say that they were simply shaped in China, like you said. Only now my consiousness is more worried about whether or not those were legally paid laborers or a sweat shop. -_-'

    The shop in question is called "Dream Maker" and it's located in Huntsville, Alabama. Most of you probably have never heard of it, but they're a long running, mostly succesful metaphysical supplier here. You can Google them if you'd like.

    You guys have been a great help though and I'm going to check out that website Jenett posted. Thanks so much.
    Last edited by r2squared; 6 Jan 2012 at 06:23 PM. Reason: typo

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    Re: Credible Crystals?

    Quote Originally Posted by r2squared View Post
    I did question the shop owner, and he did say that they were simply shaped in China, like you said. Only now my consiousness is more worried about whether or not those were legally paid laborers or a sweat shop. -_-'
    I think this sort of thing is probably going to be unavoidable for certain gems, stones, and minerals, because of the simple fact that not every kind can be found in every country, and some of them just happen to be found in rougher parts of the world due to geologic makeup. ("Blood" diamonds should be the foremost example.) If you're really concerned, you might consider stepping outside of the New Age/Metaphysical scene and start looking more to mineralogically-oriented sources that cater to educational, scientific, or collecting purposes, because they're less likely to get away with not knowing where their stones came from, or their quality. Not to mention you're probably going to be less susceptible to fraud as well.

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    Re: Credible Crystals?

    What Jenett said, plus the advice about getting out of the new age/metaphysical sites and stores and into the mineralogical realm.

    Gem Addicts is another site that provides info on how to identify natural, treated, and synthetic stones. It also has a forum where you can ask all sorts of questions and fantastic, knowledgeable people will answer them.

    Besides the issues of fair trade and environmental justice, you also have to be careful about outright scams. This is one of my biggest pet peeves.

    F'ex, several years ago, a new age crystal company started hawking "azeztulite", which they claimed was some kind of super-rare, ultra-speshul, high-powered form of quartz that was given to earth by the Azez, "beings of light and love." Seriously. That was the claim.

    As I'm sure you'll be just shocked to learn, "azeztulite" is just plain, old white quartz, which is commonly found pretty much everywhere on the planet. (See this report by FakeMinerals.com.) This kind of thing happens all the time. Sometimes, it's aimed at the new age crowd, sometimes it's a way to scam jewelry buyers, etc.

    IMO, the only way to protect yourself and be sure of what you're buying is to get educated and buy from legitimate mineral sellers.

    And, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably isn't true.

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