Buying Crystals…Fakes and Facts

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Like in the above shadow play photo, things are not always what they first appear to be. The crystal market is very lucrative. There is a lot of money to be made by hoodwinking buyers into purchasing bits of glass mascarading as quartz or moldavite (to name just two!). There is a huge influx from China of fake quartz – sometimes easily spotted. A good example would be a large crystal clear quartz point as long as your arm and perfectly shaped for under £10.

Also be careful if you are tempted by Moldavite. It is a tektite (a type of natural glass, see photo below) and is very easy to fake. The real deal comes from the Czech Republic and only from there. A genuine piece a little bigger than your thumbnail will probably set you back £15 therefore if you are looking at a piece online the size of your palm for under £10 it is not likely to be genuine. Doing your research is important if you don’t want to get hoodwinked. Of course, I am not saying you will get any more ‘vibes’ from a fake piece of glass than you will a genuine nugget of Moldavite (because it isn’t allowed to make such rash claims!) but if you are going to go to the trouble of finding out for yourself then at least buy a genuine piece first 😉

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Serious rockhounds (who collect rocks from a geology point of view, unsurprisingly) have long made fun of the so called New Age trend of crystals and rocks which give off healing energies but this tradition has been going on for thousand of years. Our ancestors revered the Earth (something we would be wise to still do!) and certain types of rocks and crystals were said to be protective, sacred or would bring the wearer luck or prosperity. Amulets were made, obseliks were carved, currency would be precious stones…you get the picture.

Whether the power of crystals and rocks is viewed by you as superstition, placebo or fact they have always been part of our culture as human beings and they still are with diamond engagement rings, ruby wedding anniversaries etc. Gold is locked up in vaults ready to be brought out when paper money becomes extinct and all the money which doesn’t really exist but is just on a screen in front of you is lost forever. Rocks and crystals are tangible, tradeable, barterable and desireable.

As with all things, there will be some who see this current trend as an opportunity to make money.  Some stones come from specific places and are quite rare. For example – a Hermiker Diamond comes from Hermiker County, New York, USA,  found and mined at a local dolomite mine  – they don’t come from China, the Himalayas, Mexico or anywhere else. This type of quartz does grow in other places around the world but they aren’t Hermikers. So again, you have to decide if you want a Hermiker or are happy with a double terminated quartz naturally grown elsewhere. The ones from Hermiker County are the ones most sought after – what you are really paying for is the quality and clarity this mine produces…and the name. So if you want a Hermiker Diamond then buy one which was mined in Hermiker from a trustworthy supplier. Hermiker Diamonds have a gorgeous clarity and brilliance…just look at this one of mine below…

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You can see why this type of double terminated quartz got its diamond tag from! Quartz is the second most abundant mineral on the planet but the sparkle and clarity of pieces like Hermikers is what makes them unique and fairly expensive. As with that diamond engagement ring, if you want the real deal then you do have to pay a little more, usually around £20-£25 for a high grade such as this one.

Remember, you don’t HAVE to have a piece of the latest rare find, another cheaper type of crystal or rock will probably do the job just as well. However, when you start collecting crystals, it will soon become apparent that it is rather nice to have a piece of the rarer types. Not just to work with on a spiritual level but because, for some of them, once they are all mined then that is it. The Earth takes millions of years to produce rocks and crystals and you may not find that particular composition anywhere else.

That said, all rocks have specific scientific names and it can be very worthwhile to find out more about them. Save yourself a bit of money by buying them under that name rather than from someone who has hocked the price up because it now has a mystical name which someone else has decided to give to it and then market it as the next new wonder stone. Sometimes this can be difficult admittedly because what is being sold is from a certain place which gives it a desired energy or the rock has grown in an aesthetically pleasing way or is of a higher quality at a particular location despite its composition being the same as rocks elsewhere. In these cases only you can decide if the price is right.

Do your research and if you do buy a rare, natural and expensive crystal or rock do get a certificate of authentification (which includes the origin, mine, dates etc) and a receipt from the seller. That way when that particular mine is empty and your sought after chunk of goodness is sitting in your display cabinet or around your home beaming out love, your grandchildren will have something unique from this beautiful Earth to enjoy in their dotage with proof of where it came from.

 

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