Tips for stone care

How to check whether agate is real or not?

Despite the fact that Agate is a semi-precious stone, and accordingly, its cost is relatively low, it is quite often counterfeited. This is explained by the popularity of agate and its attractive appearance. Currently, counterfeiting of agate is carried out using chemicals. Most often they try to pass off colored glass or plastic as natural agate. Cheap minerals can also be used. In addition, there are methods for tinting natural agates. That nated agates are natural minerals, treated with chemicals to enhance natural color or produce sought-after vibrant colors. Gray and white agates are most often tinted. Stones are treated with solutions of acids and alkalis, metal salts. Black and brown agate are obtained by keeping the mineral in sugar syrup followed by treatment with sulfuric acid. They combine dyeing with firing or other types of heat treatment. Contrasting temperatures cause cracks to appear, and filling them with paint gives a “moss” or “dragon vein” effect. How to distinguish tinted agate: In order to distinguish colored agate, you first need to pay attention to the color of the stone, or rather to its saturation and intensity. The thing is that agate is colored with iron nitrate to give the stone a red color, with nitric acid to give it a yellow color, chromium salts to give the stone a green color, and iron sulfate to turn the stone blue. Agate painted in this way acquires a bright, saturated color, its stripes and spots also become bright, clearly defined, and contrasting. The natural color of agate has calmer tones, its color inclusions have smooth transitions. The coloring of agate is always clearly visible under a microscope. Agate is never monolithic, and dyes are distributed unevenly along cracks and voids. Accordingly, you can always see areas of high dye concentration. Review under a microscope is the main and most reliable method. Dyed green and blue agates give off a soft pink glow under the Chelsea filter. Agates very rarely fluoresce, and if they have this effect, it is weak, the fluorescent color is yellowish-green. Fluorescence of any strength in any other color indicates coloration. How to distinguish agate from a fake: • Glass and plastic “agates”, with the right approach to their processing and coloring, are sometimes difficult to distinguish from natural stones. However, there is one good way to recognize artificial agate, based on the stone’s ability to heat up. Agate, like other true precious or semi-precious stones, heats up very slowly. If you squeeze it in your hand, it will not immediately accept the warmth of a person’s body and will remain cold for some time. Plastic and glass will quickly heat up in your hands, giving away the fake. • Black agate is considered the most valuable of all varieties of this stone, which is why it is most often counterfeited. Often, pressed chips are used to fake black agate. To recognize a fake black agate made from pressed chips, you need to carefully run the tip of the needle across the stone (where the scratch will be invisible). The crumb is very fragile, unlike natural agate, so during such an experiment the stone will crumble. You should also pay attention to the fact that natural agate is not one-color – it must contain stripes of gray, red, white or another color. • If you find a stone that looks like an agate in your box and want to check the authenticity of the agate, you can simply put half the stone in water for a few hours. After this, look to see if the part of the stone that was in the water has become tarnished? Has its color changed? Does it shine in the sun as much as the other half of the stone? If there are such changes, then the stone is artificial. By the way, you can conduct the same experiment with purchased agate. Many jewelry today are made not from natural stones, but from high-quality fakes. Agate, moonstone, amber, pearls and other natural gifts are at the peak of popularity today. They are framed with gold or silver, simple or semi-precious metal, playing with value: from exclusive expensive jewelry to stylish jewelry. Agree that you don’t want to overpay for imitation natural stone. Moreover, when you are counting on a real stone, but it turns out that the agate is a fake, we’ll tell you right now how to distinguish them and not get into trouble.

What is natural agate and what does it look like?

Agate is a layered variety of chalcedony. The stone is characterized by a huge number of shades, varieties of patterns and smooth transitions. However, most often agate has a gray-blue color and its tones. The shade and quality of the stone depends on the place of extraction: in Russia, Brazil, China, India and other countries. In any case, agate is used for jewelry, interior details, crafts and souvenirs. Speaking of fakes, they may not bother about their quality; they are made from resin, plastic, and even usually plastic. Fake stones may appear bright and beautiful, but in reality they have nothing to do with jewelry. Artificial samples are made from stone chips, but the synthetic version is made from plastic or glass. Natural stones include:

  • tinted agates, which are treated with special chemicals to enhance the natural shade;
  • black and dark brown agate is kept in sugar syrup and treated with sulfuric acid.

In any case, each of the stones is covered in legends, myths and magic. Agate is generally considered a magical stone, since it was used by ancient magicians for fortune telling, divination and protection.

How to distinguish a genuine agate from a fake?

Since agate is often used as a talisman and amulet, it is important to find a natural stone without falling for a fake.

  • The color of the agate mineral differs from the stone that is obtained after processing. Therefore, when choosing a product from the catalog, pay attention to the final shade of the finished work.
  • Contrast and the presence of transitions from light to dark shades indicate the artificial nature of the stone.
  • Glossy black or other bright shades unnatural for nature, such as light green, bright blue or purple, indicate a fake.
  • A monochromatic color, the absence of stripes, stains and lines also indicates the unnatural origin of the stone.
  • When broken, real agate is matte, while a polished ordinary stone acquires a glassy sheen.
  • Agate itself is an opaque mineral, but thin plates are visible in the light.
  • The natural stone heats up slowly; when you apply it to your wrist, it will take at least 30 seconds before it becomes warm. While glass and plastic will heat up in seconds.
  • Agate has a relatively high hardness, so if you run it across glass, it will leave a scratch. It is clear that a stone made from pressed chips will be fragile and will not leave any marks.
  • Press the sample with a regular sewing needle; if pieces start to break off, it means this is not real agate.

In addition to poor aesthetic properties, artificial, synthetic and tinted agates can negatively affect human health. After all, no one knows how much and what chemicals were used in its production.

Beware of fakes and purchase costume jewelry and jewelry from trusted points of sale. Otherwise, require certificates of conformity. In our online store you can buy natural agate and be confident in its originality and quality.

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