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How can you tell if a moonstone is not real?

“Find me a moonstone,” the heroine of a familiar song calls on her beloved, and many women at different times also wanted to possess a “talisman of love.” The amazing beauty of moonstone attracted people thousands of years ago, and in India it is still considered sacred. What, however, is hidden under this name? It, being metaphorical, characterizes the beautiful iridescence that appears on the surface of the stone. This immediately introduces some confusion: which one shimmers – is it the lunar one? It would be a sin for dishonest sellers not to take advantage of this ambiguity. They use it. NOT AT ALL MOON GLASS Come to any inexpensive jewelry store, as well as to those places where they sell more expensive “jewelry” – in each they will helpfully offer you things with “moonstone”, from bracelets to necklaces – for every taste! It seems that everything is clear with this pebble, here it is, it looks very characteristic and the same everywhere. Could the market be flooded with so many fakes? Yes maybe. Moreover, this is exactly the way things are. That “moonstone” that is plentiful on the shelves is not only not a moonstone, but is not a stone at all. This is ordinary glass, welded in such a way that pink-amber reflections run through the translucent homogeneous mass of a milky-bluish color. It’s really beautiful, but it’s glass. No matter what the sales people tell you. This type of glass is called opalite, sometimes it is incorrectly called opalite (in this case they try to pass it off as some kind of opal), which does not bring the material one bit closer to its natural origin. It was not mined in any mountains, but was boiled and boiled in ovens, supplying the market in thousands of tons at a bargain price, which, however, is sometimes inflated in order to deceive ignorant buyers. For the same purpose, counterfeits can even be set in silver. Thus, in order not to be deceived when looking for jewelry with natural moonstone, you first need to clearly learn what opalite glass looks like. It’s not difficult at all: no matter how you slice it, it looks the same. A homogeneous mass without layers or inclusions, always the same color, with the same yellow-pink reflections and, as a rule, a low price. Various things are molded with him, like a carbon copy: Sometimes opalite glass beads are cut and tinted. It looks like this: PLAGIOCLASE OR ADULAR? . We’ve sorted out the opalite glass. But what our desired stone should be like is not yet. Turning to this topic, we regret to discover that those who write numerous articles about moonstone, including how to distinguish between its varieties and naturalness, also do not know what it looks like. Therefore, let’s start with the theory: what is it – moonstone? The optical effect of the “moonstone” – the characteristic iridescence – has several different stones related to feldspars, and this name is true for all of them. Most often it is applied to those with a light base – whitish, grayish; Sometimes Labradorite, which has a dark gray base, is also called “black moonstone.” But we won’t talk about Labradors today. There are three types of moonstones with a light background. The first belongs to the group of orthoclases and is also called “adularia”. This variety is the most expensive and rarest on sale. Most often it is found in the form of small inserts for jewelry; even beads are almost never made from it – which is understandable if you remember what a tidy sum the smallest pebble of high-quality natural adularia costs. Its iridescence is precisely the most “lunar” – they are very delicate, and when you turn an adularia cabochon in your hands, the optical effect appears in the form of a soft, rounded spot of light wandering in the depths of the stone. This reflection can be of a white-bluish tint, and sometimes soft lilac is also added to this range. All this really resembles the mysterious shimmer of moonlight. This phenomenon even has its own name – adularescence. The stone itself is more or less homogeneous in its internal structure, translucent, with a whitish milky hazy hue inside. It is amazingly beautiful – and deservedly expensive. You won’t be able to buy it just like that; you will need to contact a fairly serious and trusted supplier. Moreover, very often they sell much cheaper varieties of other pebbles under the name “adularia” – plagioclase. If you are seriously concerned about buying jewelry with a moonstone, you should confidently understand its varieties in advance, which, in general, is not particularly difficult. You just need to pay attention to certain details. Adularia with its even radiance looks really noble Let me clarify the difference: yes, cheaper plagioclases can rightfully be called “moonstone”! But adularia is not, since it belongs to a different group of minerals. Thus, adularia is a moonstone, but not every moonstone is an expensive adularia. Be vigilant and don’t be fooled: the price difference here can be 10-15 times. Fortunately, it is not difficult to distinguish between adularia and plagioclase by eye. The latter clearly have a heterogeneous layered structure, including visible boundaries, layer shifts, and cracks; the reflection is often not just blue-blue, but also with areas where the spectrum expands to yellow and orange. Many stones look “rainbow-colored”, their spots of shine are uneven in shape, the stone shines as if in layers and generally shines brighter than adularia. Such plagioclases can sometimes be found on sale under the name “white labradorite”, and the English name usually sounds like “rainbow moonstone”. They make up the lion’s share of real moonstones that go on sale in ready-made jewelry and inserts for them. White Labrador has a fairly high price, but it is much more affordable than the cost of adularia. Moonstone – plagioclase appears layered. In this selection you see both blue and “rainbow” specimens Also a moonstone is belomorite, a type of plagioclase mined in Karelia, near the White Sea; most often it comes into collections in the form of samples, and inserts for jewelry are made from it very rarely. “ACID” NEW Recently, artificially colored plagioclase has begun to go on sale. These stones are natural in origin, but their color is no longer there. Their base tone, instead of whitish, turns out to be, for example, poisonous pink or vigorous purple, which in itself looks, although bright, but completely tasteless: moonstone has more than enough of its own beauty to be the highlight of the richest decoration, and by and large I don’t really understand why it should be painted. There is no arguing about taste, of course, but in my opinion these “acid” stones look terrible. Artificial coloring of stone is easy to notice by the accumulation of paint at the boundaries of layers, in cracks, which it generously fills. NOT A MOONSTONE, BUT “ABOUT THE MOON” Also, a type of gypsum – selenite – is sometimes passed off as moonstone. This is due to confusion in the names (after all, Selena is the goddess of the Moon), as well as due to the fact that selenite, when exposed to rays of light, exhibits delicate silky shimmers. It has nothing in common with real “moon stones” and, moreover, is very soft – it can even be scratched with a fingernail. Selenite figurines that go on sale are usually treated with a strengthening compound, most often varnishes covering the designs applied to the stone. Selenite is not used in jewelry due to its extreme fragility and the rapid rubbing of the surface with numerous scratches, requiring renewed polishing. There is simply no point in messing around with this, and usually it is not physically possible. But in itself, in raw samples and turned figures, it is quite good, it is only important to handle it very carefully. Selenite is a beautiful iridescent stone. But not “lunar”. SUMMARY The main step on the path to buying jewelry with a natural moonstone is to learn to confidently distinguish opalite glass from it, which is littered with all the counters under the moonstone brand. Without falling for this bait, you can easily find a more serious supplier who will offer natural moonstone. It is represented by several different types of minerals; plagioclase and adularia can be found in jewelry. Plagioclase is much more layered, with a fractured structure inside, the spectrum of its reflections is not only blue-violet and blue, but often turns into yellow-orange. These reflections are usually of irregular shape, lying in corners over individual zones of the stone or in stripes. The structure of the adularia is almost uniform; inside the stone, an optical effect runs through the milky-foggy field in the form of a rounded spot of very soft light of blue-violet or blue tones. Adularia is ten times more expensive than plagioclase, which leads to frequent attempts by sellers to pass off a second stone as the first. The bright pink and bright purple plagoiclase stones are artificially colored. Easily crumbling selenite, a whitish-peach-colored gypsum, is also incorrectly classified as “moonstones.” Tasha. Photo by Tasha and from the Internet. Sudogda, July 3, 2016 Jade, sultanite, malachite, onyx – nowadays you will see more fakes under these names than natural beads. Unfortunately, more and more unscrupulous sellers are appearing – some due to their incompetence and insufficient level of knowledge, some, in order to make more profit, sell their cheaper analogues and imitations under the guise of expensive stones. In this article we will talk about the most common imitations on the market for ornamental stones today and show how to determine the authenticity of a stone.

1. Sultanite.

The most popular stone in terms of counterfeiting is now sultanite (also known as diaspora or zultanite), beads and products with which have filled not only Turkish shops, but also Russian shops. But you need to understand that this is a very rare, expensive stone, and therefore products with natural sultanites are piece items, not serial products. Sultanites are extremely rarely pure and transparent; more often they contain many nebulae and inclusions; almost colorless crystals are also found. Natural specimens are olive green; depending on the type and brightness of lighting, they change color to orange-green or pinkish-green. Sultanite has a pronounced alexandrite effect – olive and blue-green notes appear under artificial light, and pink and lilac shades are visible under sunlight. The shine of the stone is glassy, ​​with pearlescent reflections. To meet demand, natural sultanite is not only replaced with synthetic one, but also fake glass is actively sold. Imitations made of glass are brighter, and when the lighting changes, they change color more than natural ones (for example, a radical change in color from green to red or orange is possible). Such synthetic “stones” do not have microcracks and mineral inclusions, “nebula” and cleavage. Also, the price of laboratory stones is quite high due to complex growing technologies, which cannot be said about glass fakes. Natural diaspore (zultanite) They have long learned to make color-changing glass by adding a mixture of rare earth element oxides to the glass mass. For example, a well-known Austrian company makes glass beads and inserts using this technology. The technology is simple and there are now many fakes on the market for alexandrites and sultanites with a characteristic color change when the lighting changes. All glass “stones” are the same shade, clean, transparent, have no inclusions, and there are some air bubbles. The color change is obvious and the same for all beads. The most common fakes of sultanite now.

2. Aqua-quartz and other colored glass in pieces and cut

You’ve probably seen clear, bright, matte beads in pieces and cuts sold as aqua quartz. It is popular, especially in summer, as the beads are colorful and large, but in fact it is ordinary glass. To determine whether it is glass or painted beads of quartz or chalcedony, take a closer look at the beads – natural stone will retain its texture and may contain internal inclusions, while glass will be absolutely monochromatic, while maintaining the texture of broken glass. On the left is “aqua-quartz”, on the right is apatite, which it imitates externally It is also worth clarifying that in nature there are no such shades of either quartz or chalcedony. It is always the work of human hands. Such glass is sold painted in different colors that are not typical for natural samples. On the left is “aqua-quartz”, on the right is fluorite, which it externally imitates If such quartz does not exist in nature, then what can imitate such glass? For example, raw garnet, aquamarine or apatite. On the left is painted glass, on the right is natural garnet

3. Volcanic or cherry quartz

Another glass posing as quartz is pink glass with streaks, which unscrupulous sellers call “cherry quartz.” What you should pay attention to is the hardness (quartz is very difficult to scratch), the unnatural color of the product in fakes indicates its synthetic origin and imitation. If we assume that you bought natural quartz, then the cleavage lines will be clearly visible in it, and paint can be seen in internal inclusions and microcracks, since it is often tinted to make it more saturated. Also, natural quartz will be heavier. Good glass imitations are sometimes made very realistic, but high transparency and unnatural hairy inclusions with air bubbles will always be a sign of a fake. On the left is glass “Cherry quartz” and on the right is natural quartz with inclusions, which it imitates Glass “volcanic quartz” has a characteristic hairiness designed to imitate inclusions of hematite and lepidocrocite in natural stone; the shade of such glass is always the same, but of different saturation with different degrees of dilution of dyes. In addition to pink shades, this glass is also made with brown and yellow stains, and the main difference will be the presence of air bubbles in the beads and cabochons. Fakes “Volcanic quartz”

4. Fake moonstone and opal from opalite and coated glass

Opalite is glass that they try to sell under the guise of natural opal or moonstone. Glass with a coating between two glued halves is also often sold under the guise of moonstone. Coated glass offered as opal or moonstone. Not a synthetic opal. Natural moonstone has muted transparency, softly shimmers and has areas with blue, yellow, lilac, and iridescent iridescence. In natural moonstone, the internal structure of the mineral is almost always visible. And iridescence is visible only when the stone is turned at a certain angle to the light. Opalite beads are transparent, uniformly colored in a bluish-milky color with yellowish tints and do not contain inclusions (they may contain air bubbles). On the left is scorch, on the right is natural moonstone

5. Onyx

Onyx is another popular stone in terms of the number of fakes. Dyed chalcedony is sold under the guise of black onyx (black onyx does not exist), and calcite is hidden under colored mint and apple green with stripes. The structure of natural onyx is layered, consisting of multi-tonal gray, caramel milky shades, and it is quite heavy in weight. If you see clear, even stripes or completely faded and blurry stripes, feel light weight and a warm surface, it’s a fake. On the left is natural onyx, on the right is natural calcite sold under its guise. Natural onyx beads in ball and free form Also, many people mistakenly sell dyed chalcedony as black agate, although neither black nor white agate exists. So under white agate they sell, at best, marble, bleached compacts, chalcedony, but more often glass. fakes – “Black and white agates”

6. Turquoise – dyed howlite, etc.

Turquoise is definitely among the top counterfeit stones; as soon as a new material was found that could be dyed in a characteristic color, it was processed and inserted into jewelry under the guise of turquoise. The most common materials used for this were dyed howlite, which even in its natural gray color was sold as “immature turquoise,” turquenite, cachalong, magnesite and chrysocolla. Natural turquoise has a certain hardness, density, color, luminescence, waxy luster, as well as a characteristic structure that can only be seen under a microscope – a light blue background is decorated with dark blue discs, as well as small particles of white shades. In artificial turquoise, bluish particles predominate. One of the main characteristics of natural turquoise is the size of the stone; in nature, pure turquoise is found in small pieces (for example, turquoise the size of a walnut is considered very rare). Large stones are colored unevenly – so if you have a large stone with a uniform color in front of you, then it is most likely a fake. Another important characteristic is the price: turquoise is a precious stone that is quite rare in nature, so turquoise jewelry cannot be cheap. What you should pay attention to: a plain, evenly colored stone with dark specks or brown veins that look like cracks – a fake howlite; dark spots – magnesite treated with salt or copper; Most often, on chips and in holes, the “stone” will be gray or white, since surface painting is practiced, which does not affect the entire depth of the stone. On the left is howlite, on the right is natural turquoise

7. Aventurine

Most often, aventurine glass is sold under the guise of natural aventurine – an imitation of quartzite, which is obtained by adding copper and iron oxides (red-brown “aventurine”), chromium oxides (green), and cobalt oxides (blue) to the molten glass mass. An excessive amount of glitter usually indicates imitation. In glass imitation, the scales can sometimes be unevenly distributed, and zones of colored glass with a reduced glitter content or without them at all can be observed. The color of natural stone is white, light gray, honey, pink, brick, cherry, green. Saturated colors are not uncommon, but sparkles in natural aventurine are rare. Aventurine glass has an excessive amount of shiny inclusions; in natural aventurine this shiny pollen is not so pronounced. On the left is a glass fake, on the right is natural aventurine

8. Chrysoprase

Instead of the much more expensive chrysoprase, dyed chalcedony is often sold. Signs by which a fake can be distinguished are color and uniformity of coloring. Dyed chalcedony is evenly colored over its entire plane and all beads have the same color, color saturation and practically no inclusions, also translucent chalcedony beads have a noticeable cellular growth front (a “honeycomb” structure, which is visible if you look at the stone in the light) . Also, such dyed chalcedony is often much darker than natural chrysoprase. The color of natural chrysoprase is very special: the range of shades is very diverse – from mint transparent with milky areas to rich turquoise green. Chrysoprase is very characterized by picturesque inclusions of the rock in copper-brown, gray-beige tones.

9. Cat’s eye

Colored cat’s eye beads with even stripes are, of course, also fake. The true mineral chrysoberyl is incredibly rare and expensive, but if its visual properties are what attracts you, then there are other stones that have this visual effect – for example, quartz cat’s eye. True, natural stones never have bright open colors: natural chrysoberyl has a gray-olive color scheme, and quartz cat’s eye has a gray color. Therefore, there is no alternative to glass borosilicate beads with a “cat’s eye effect” in terms of variety of colors. On the left is a quartz cat’s eye, on the right is a glass imitation cat’s eye

10. Malachite

Mainly on the market for fakes in the form of malachite are polymer clay (which is kneaded in a striped form and cut into cabochons or cut into beads) and plastic imitations with stripes. To distinguish a natural stone from an imitation, pay attention to the layering – malachite has smooth lines, the stone is also quite heavy and has a cold surface. There is also often a satin shimmer inside the stone, which can be seen when held up to the light. The colors of the fakes will be quite bright and contrasting, and the design will not create a pleasant pattern, specks and inclusions of chrysocolla or azurite, characteristic of natural malachite. On the left is fake, on the right is natural malachite

11. Cacholong

Cacholong is an opaque milky white variety of opal. Although it is found in jewelry, in the natural stone market, unscrupulous sellers sell howlite and bleached magnesite under this name. Natural cacholong has some uneven transparency, especially along the thin edge of the stone. But in howlite and magnesite we will see brownish or gray veins, while in natural cacholong these are dendritic inclusions. On the left is natural cacholong, on the right is howlite

12. “Watermelon” tourmaline

The popular watermelon tourmaline is a common target of imitators. The resulting imitation stones often consist of a thin slab of colored glass or plastic glued between two pieces of colored glass.
Imitation can be easily determined using a microscope or magnifying glass. If you examine the stones along the belt, you can see the edge of the color plate or glue lines. Sometimes glue bubbles are visible even to the naked eye. On the left is natural “watermelon” tourmaline, on the right is imitation But the most common fakes are simple painted glass, acrylic beads or imitation of cheap pressed stones, zoned pink and green. Natural tourmaline has a characteristic structure that is always visible, even if the stone is completely opaque. And in natural watermelon tourmaline, crystal growth zones with inclusions and a variety of shades are visible. We hope you find this article helpful. It is impossible to fully reveal all the nuances of this multi-layered topic in one article, so if you still have questions, write in the comments, and we will answer.

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