Geological classification

How to determine whether aventurine is real or not?

Another popular stone, about which we can say that we are more accustomed to seeing its imitations than real natural examples, is aventurine. A rare counter with jewelry will do without it, even if this counter is located in some seedy market or in an underground passage. However, we can say with all confidence that the aventurine we will see on it is fake. At the same time – here is a paradox – the eye is so accustomed to the characteristic appearance of a fake stone that doubts about its naturalness usually do not arise at all. On the contrary, I just want to say: “Yes, yes, everything is fine, this is exactly what aventurine looks like!” Well, let’s start to figure it out. Moreover, this topic once touched me personally. It happened like this: at the age of 15, I used the first income in my life, earned during the summer holidays by selling newspapers, to buy all sorts of things, including green aventurine beads in the most “serious” jewelry store in Nizhny Novgorod. The decoration was not luxurious in design, but I still liked it and it was my favorite for a long time. The too “correct” and bright stripes of glitter on the lower surface of the central pendant confused me from the very beginning, but I could not even think that what they actually sold me was not aventurine, but so-called aventurine glass. Unfortunately, this is exactly what turned out to be the case. This did not make me stop loving my beads, but it completely convinced me of the need to carefully check the stones even in the most sophisticated shops. Natural aventurine stone is one of the varieties of quartzite, that is, a rock formed for the most part by granular particles of quartz, and also containing some other inclusions (hematite, mica, goethite), having the form of small scales and due to this glistening with light sparkles against the background general tone of the stone. Aventurine comes in different colors – brown-yellow, grayish-green, dull blue, red-brown, occasionally with light milky zones. Sometimes it is slightly translucent, but only with a small cutting depth – a few millimeters. Aventurine has been mined and valued for a long time; it occupied a special place among stones, for example, in India and China, and is found in significant quantities on our planet in a variety of places: in Australia, and in Europe, and in Asia, and in the USA, and in the countries of South America, and here, in Russia, in the Urals. Except that for the African continent there is practically no mention of aventurine deposits (although at least in Tanzania there is one), but it was there, or rather in ancient Egypt, that a glass imitation of aventurine was first invented. The secret of its production was lost over time, and by pure chance it was reinvented by skilled glassmakers from the Italian island of Murano in the 16th century. Then one of the craftsmen spilled copper filings with the molten glass mass and got spectacular sparkles in the thickness of the glass. The idea was appreciated, and since then they continue to make aventurine glass in considerable quantities, in our times constantly and completely shamelessly passing it off as a natural stone, which, by the way, is not even that expensive, but is found on the shelves in comparison with its glass “brothers” times less often. It must be said that distinguishing real aventurine from its imitation is not easy, but very simple! To understand this issue, let’s go “by contradiction” and first consider popular fakes, and then admire different types of natural stone. I specially made a selection of photographs so that you have no doubts. There are several types of aventurine glass, and they all look quite characteristic – even the tone is always the same, standard. Aventurine glass of the first type – these are the familiar reddish-red opaque “pebbles” (beads, pendants. ) with golden sparkles generously scattered over the surface. They have a characteristic bright, eye-catching shine, a little reminiscent of the tinsel on a Christmas tree. It may “lie” unevenly in some places, but usually it is quite even and intense. In general, this and other imitations of aventurine are quite decorative in themselves. But you shouldn’t indulge unscrupulous sellers who claim that these pieces of glass grew in the bowels of the earth. How to engage in such conversations yourself. Jewelry with such inserts or beads is usually inexpensive, but if you have enough imagination, you can always encounter unpleasant exceptions with an exorbitant price for a cheap imitation. So we keep our ears open. Among the trade names, the wording most often used is “aventurine “Golden Sand”, which, of course, is in no way legal. Second type of imitation, in order to again powder the brains of the admiring public, in the trade they are usually called this: aventurine “Sky of Cairo”. Glass, of course, will not become an adventurer from these beautiful metaphors. It is a deep blue color with silver sparkles. It also looks very decorative and is regularly found on sale. Third type – the same one that I once got unknowingly in a Nizhny Novgorod jewelry store. It is the least likely to come across on sale and, perhaps, the most interesting in appearance: dark green with bright sparks that also appear green. For reasons unknown to me, these sparkles often fall in even stripes (in my case they were visible on the back of the pendant, and there is also such an example in the collage). This, of course, leads to fair thoughts about the man-made origin of the “stone”. The fourth type of imitation aventurine – mixed. In the literal sense of the word. They take pieces of the mass (crushed glass – possibly waste) of “Golden Sand” and “Cairo Sky”, mix them heartily and fuse them into a single mass, without overheating too much so that the pieces do not lose their clear boundaries. The result is colorful beads and other jewelry raw materials, still stuffed with sparkles. It already looks a little strange, although, in general, it is still quite decorative, if we discard associations with natural stone for good. Well, finally, fifth type is created according to the same principle as the previous one, only here simple opaque white glass is mixed into pieces of “Golden Sand”. The taste and the color, as they say. To be honest, the result in this case looks very weak and cheap. But it also finds its buyer, although I personally have only seen it in photos and not on store shelves. Which, in general, is quite fair. What do all of these types of simulations listed above have in common? How is their artificiality clearly visible? In standard, even shades, in the excessive and also very even “shine” of sparkles and inclusions. The two-color options have a “chipped” structure, which is not found at all in natural stone (I’m talking about aventurine now). This is something that is easy to notice even for a beginner, and at the same time it is quite enough to distinguish real aventurine from an imitation. Natural aventurine has much more delicate, varied shades, often quite delicate, even pastel, although there are also dark brick and other darker varieties. The sparkles most often turn out to be not just weaker and duller, at times in some areas of the sample they are almost not visible at all. And most often they spark in such a way that memories of fresh metal shavings do not arise. As always, Nature creates much more subtle and perfect things than humans. These photos show pieces of natural blue and green aventurine. Feel the difference! And here is the natural aventurine that can be purchased most often now. It can be milky-golden, honey-colored, red, reddish, or brown; often changes background color even within one small pebble. The same goes for sparkles – in some areas they are brighter, in others they are completely “melting”, and in some places they completely disappear. Such aventurine is most often polished into cabochons. I also had to work with it (as well as with plain aventurine glass, which, by the way, I also love and respect – but I would never even dream of passing it off as a natural stone). Is it possible to compare these two materials? Now, after looking at these photos, you will never confuse them either.
Moon pendant made by me with natural aventurine. 2016 Tasha. Photo by Tasha and from the Internet. Sudogda, April 3, 2018 Natural stones are not always easy to obtain, and their prices are often very high. Therefore, people have been trying to fake minerals for several millennia. The technique of simulating natural aventurine was known back in Ancient Egypt, but the result was little similar to the original – natural aventurine is still a complex stone. Now the technologies that make it possible to create artificial aventurine are so advanced that without special knowledge it can be very difficult to distinguish it from natural stone. There is such a term – adventurescence. This is a rare optical phenomenon that denotes the effect of radiance, flickering, multi-colored shine, having varying degrees of glare. It is this phenomenon that the creators of artificial aventurine are trying to copy. Let’s study this issue in more detail and check our aventurine jewelry to see if it is natural.

Natural mineral

Aventurine is a jewelry and ornamental mineral mined all over the world. It is a type of quartz containing inclusions of other stones such as hematite, mica, chromium, rutile and many others. This means that the subject of our conversation can be of very different colors, depending on the impurities in its composition. In India, the green variety is mined, in Colorado – the honey-gold variety, in Altai – the golden-cherry variety of this stone. In other words, its color also directly depends on the place where the mineral is mined.

What types of fakes are there?

There are two ways to imitate aventurine – aventurine glass and aventurine glitter. Let’s take a closer look at what it is. Aventurine glass (sometimes called aventurine glass) was accidentally invented by Murano glassblowers. Some copper filings were poured into the molten glass. The solidified mixture was given the name “Venetian quartz glass,” and a mineral similar to it received the name “aventurine” – from the Italian “la ventura,” which means “accident.” This was the first fake of aventurine. Currently, aventurine glass is produced using very similar methods – quartz, lime and soda are melted, and then shiny impurities – metal filings – are added. Aventurine sparkle is not a synthetic stone, but simply a mineral similar to aventurine. It is also called aventurine spar, sun stone, aventurine labradorite. This is a variety of feldspar that is cheaper than true aventurine. Iridescence gives the stones their resemblance. But feldspar is more transparent and only comes in orange-red shades.

How to identify a fake

How to distinguish natural aventurine from a fake without an examination? There are several signs by which you can distinguish between natural stone and its reconstructed counterpart. First of all, it is Mohs hardness. The natural sample has a quartz index of 7 points, and aventurine glass – 5 points. You can test it for this attribute in two ways:

  • Try to scratch the glass with the test sample. Trace fromnatural aventurine will definitely remain on the glass , but there will be no trace of a fake stone.
  • You can run quartz over the surface of the suspected fake. The real mineral will remain intact , and a white stripe will remain on the fake aventurine sample.

Price can also be a sign that determines naturalness. The natural mineral has a higher cost than its glass counterparts.

Color and shape of inclusions may also indicate authenticity. The shimmering particles in a fake stone are highly shiny, have a regular shape and may be unevenly distributed inside.

The shade of the mineral itself is also a sign of authenticity. Natural looks less bright, its colors are more muted than bright. It is by color that the easiest way to distinguish aventurine from a fake. By the way, most of the samples of blue aventurine that can be found on the shelves of jewelry stores are fake. The blue tint is very rare and quite difficult to find. But the green subspecies, on the contrary, is rarely counterfeited.

Transparency It is also different for synthetic and natural stones. The former are completely opaque, while the latter can be transparent up to 5 mm in depth.

Presence or absence shines is also important – a real mineral looks slightly shimmering and iridescent, while an artificial one looks very shiny.

Aventurine stone can be easily recognized using a high magnification magnification lens. The structure of natural aventurine is heterogeneous – it consists of small grains of quartz and grains of shimmering inclusions. And the synthetic analogue under a magnifying glass is a homogeneous glass mass.

If you are buying aventurine as jewelry, then the criterion of naturalness is not so important. The main thing is that the decoration looks stylish and beautiful. But if you purchase a stone for its magical and healing properties, then you need to understand the origin of your purchase. Aventurine glass cannot be a talisman and does not in any way affect the health of its owners.

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