How to Tell if a Crystal is Real: Your Quick-Guide to Identifying Fake Crystal

Last Updated on September 14, 2021

Crystals are a precious commodity. Because of their beauty and healing properties, real crystals often sell for high prices.

However, many sellers will try to sell fake crystals for more than they are worth, so it is important to know how to tell when a crystal is real or fake.

How to tell if a crystal is real?

If your crystal has an unusually vibrant name, is perfectly symmetrical, contains air bubbles, has a glassy look or feel, or came from an unknown or unreviewed retailer, it may be fake.

Funky names like “Shimmering Strawberry Sunrise Quartz” are typical of a fake crystal.

Crystals come from the earth, therefore they are almost always asymmetrical. Perfectly symmetrical crystals may be a sign that your crystal is fake. Having air bubbles or a glassy look usually means that the “crystal” is actually just glass, a common trick some crystal retailers like to pull.

Finally, there is nothing wrong with buying from a new seller, but you should always research your crystal retailer to make sure that you’re buying from someone with a good reputation.

How to test if a crystal is real?

There are many different ways to test and see if your crystal is real or fake:

  1. The Hardness Test: Synthetic crystals are almost always more fragile than real ones. So, to test for hardness, locate your mineral on the Mohs hardness scale and find a mineral lower than the one you’re testing. For example, let’s say that you have a Topaz stone that you believe may be a fake. Topaz is an 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, so if scratching your Topaz stone with anything lower than an 8 leaves a mark, your Topaz is likely synthetic.
  2. The Weight Test: Natural crystals are heavier than glass, while synthetic crystals are typically lighter. To test your crystal, simply weigh it alongside a similarly-sized piece of glass. If the crystal is lighter than the glass, it’s likely a fake.
  3. The Color Comparison Test: Some crystal sellers will do what’s called “heat treatment” or “dye treatment,” both of which permanently change the color, clarity, and look of the crystal. They try to make the crystal appear more lively and vibrant because they believe that it will sell better that way. To test, compare your crystal to genuine ones online: if your crystal is more vibrant and colorful than the ones online, heat or dye treatment is likely.

Commonly-Faked Crystals

Below you’d find a list of crystals that con artists tend to create fake versions of, and how to spot those fake crystals:

  1. Quartz: Because it looks so similar to glass, many people try to sell fake quartz. However, quartz will never have air bubbles underneath the surface like glass does. That being said, some imperfection is perfectly natural in a genuine quartz stone.
  2. Citrine: Similarly, many sellers use glass to try and replicate citrine. However, genuine citrine will never have any air bubbles either.
  3. Amethyst: Since amethyst is such a popular option, many sellers will try to replicate or fake it. However, genuine amethyst typically isn’t uniform: it usually contains multiple shades and hues within each piece.