Rare and valuable minerals

How to distinguish natural chalcedony from a fake?

Chalcedony is one of the varieties of quartz. It is named after the ancient Greek city of Chalcedon, located in modern Turkey. The mineral is widely used in jewelry as an ornamental stone. Chalcedony is valued for its rich palette of shades. And also for its prevalence and accessibility: jewelry with this stone is quite inexpensive.


  • greenish – chrysoprase;
  • reddish – carnelian or carnelian;
  • dark green with red splashes or stripes – heliotrope;
  • bluish – sapphirine;
  • reddish brown – sarder;
  • banded – agate.

Most often, chalcedony refers to stones of grayish, bluish, lilac and milky blue color.

Chalcedony is translucent or translucent at the edges. This is why it is valued: translucency gives chalcedony inserts additional volume and depth.


The hardness of chalcedony on the Mohs scale is 6.5-7 points. The mineral can scratch glass and can be processed with a diamond tool.

Chalcedony can be either matte or with a delicate waxy sheen. Both options are in demand in jewelry. Its porous structure allows it to be painted: stones of bright pink, purple and other unnatural colors can be found on sale.

Chalcedony is a fragile stone. It is easy to damage if handled carelessly.

Place of Birth

Chalcedony deposits are located almost throughout the globe. They are in India, Brazil, Madagascar. In Germany there is a famous center for the extraction and processing of chalcedony.

In Russia, chalcedony deposits are located in Eastern Siberia, Primorye, and the Moscow region. There are stone deposits in Crimea.

Jewelry with chalcedony

In Ancient Greece, chalcedony was widely used for making cameos and gems, carved three-dimensional stone jewelry. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the stone was forgotten for a while. Several centuries later, he was remembered again: during the Renaissance and the era of classicism, in connection with interest in the era of antiquity.

Nowadays, chalcedony is used to create men’s and women’s jewelry:

  • earring;
  • rings;
  • necklaces;
  • beads;
  • bracelets.

The stone is processed as a cabochon, less often – faceted. The beauty of chalcedony is best revealed in simple and voluminous forms. As a rule, it acts as the central stone in the product and does not require an intricate design.


Jewelry with chalcedony is inexpensive. For example, a pair of gray droplets in a silver frame will cost about 2-2.5 thousand rubles. Long gold earrings with chalcedony inserts cost an average of 15-20 thousand rubles.

Women’s beads made of natural stone are sold for 2-3 thousand rubles. Bracelets are half the price.

How to distinguish a fake

Chalcedony is an inexpensive ornamental stone, so its imitations are usually simple. They are made of plastic or glass. You can distinguish natural stone from imitation by thermal conductivity.

Take chalcedony or jewelry with it, which has been lying in the box for some time, and hide it in the palm of your hand. Plastic or glass will quickly heat up from the human body, while mineral will remain cool for a long time.

Read also: Jewelry with raw stones: how to choose and what to combine with, fashionable solutions

Imitations of chalcedony usually have a high degree of purity, which is not typical for natural stone. Gas bubbles may be visible in glass inserts.

Stone care

Chalcedony needs regular care. Care rules may vary depending on the specific type of mineral. Thus, green stones should not be exposed to high temperatures, and black stones should not be subjected to ultrasonic cleaning. If you do not know what kind of stone is set in your jewelry and how to care for it, consult a jewelry workshop.

For regular cleaning, a soap solution is suitable: add a few drops of liquid detergent to warm water – for example, for washing dishes. Regular toilet soap will not work as it leaves a cloudy film that is difficult to wash off.

After cleaning, be sure to rinse the jewelry under running water and leave to dry on a napkin. Do not use a hair dryer or heater for drying.

Chalcedony is a translucent mineral, a cryptocrystalline fine-fibered variety of quartz.

Has many species with different colors. The stone got its name from the name of the ancient city of Chalcedon. Chalcedony is often called all cryptocrystalline silica minerals (agate, onyx, carnelian, sarder).

How and where is it formed

It is formed from low-temperature hydrothermal solutions, as well as during the processes of diagenesis, epigenesis and weathering. Deposited mainly from colloidal solutions (a product of crystallization of silica gels). Chalcedony is often found in sedimentary rocks in the form of nodules, nodules, sheet-like deposits, pseudomorphs on shells, corals, etc. Chalcedony is the main component of many siliceous rocks, petrified wood, and jasper. The main industrial deposits of Chalcedony are associated with amygdalite effusives, as well as with the products of their destruction.

Physicochemical characteristics

Chemical formula – SiO2

Shine – waxy, matte

Color – bluish, yellowish, gray

Transparency – cloudy, translucent

Hardness – 6,5 – 7 on the Mohs scale

Density – 2,58 – 2,64 g/cm3

Kink – uneven, less often shelled


Cornelian – bright red, reddish-orange.

carnelian – reddish-brown, meat-red.

Sarder – brown, brown.

Lincurium – yellow, orange-yellow.

sapphirine – grayish blue to light blue.

Plasma – dark green, grayish green.

Prase – onion green, grayish green.

Mtorolite – apple green.

Chrysoprase – bright emerald green; usually with a barely noticeable bluish tint.

Amberin – yellow, yellow-green.

Damsonite – violet.

Heliotrope – dark green plasma with red hematite spots.

Kvartsin – coarse fibrous, predominantly white.

Agate – characterized by a concentrically zonal arrangement of differently colored layers.

Onyx – chalcedony of parallel-layered structure. Often described as a type of agate.

Sardonyx – red-white or brown-white onyx.

The Moss (moss agate) – almost transparent chalcedony with picturesque inclusions of tree-like dendrites consisting of chlorites or manganese oxides.

Flint – is often described as a variety of chalcedony, although in fact it is a rock. It is dark brown, sometimes patterned silica with a significant amount of mineral impurities.

petrified wood (wood agate, woody stone) – pseudomorphs of chalcedony on wood while preserving its internal structure. Color: from grayish-brown to red-brown. Chalcedony replaces not only wood, but also other fossil organic remains – ammonites, shells, corals.

The border between many varieties of chalcedony is very arbitrary. For example, there are stones in which the colors of bright red carnelian smoothly transition into the brown tones of sarder or the yellow color of lincurium.

Place of Birth

The most famous regions of mass stone mining are India, Brazil, Madagascar, Uruguay and Scotland. Significant deposits have been explored in Primorye and Eastern Siberia, Crimea and Transcaucasia. The oldest chalcedony mining center is located in Germany. There are deposits in the USA, Poland, Czech Republic and Sri Lanka.

Application and Use

Chalcedony and especially its colored varieties are widely used as jewelry and ornamental stones, for the manufacture of ritual objects and decorations. The variety of colors and reasonable affordability makes it an excellent basis for creating figurines, vases, dishes, mosaics, furniture inlays, and interior details. Tiles from some varieties of chalcedony are used to cover the walls of wet rooms; countertops, sinks, picture frames and mirrors are cut from chalcedony. Ribbon chalcedony onyx is an excellent material for stained glass windows and lampshades.

Chalcedony is used in laboratory practice for chemical and pharmaceutical purposes (agate mortars), in precision instrument making (support prisms for scales, etc.).

How to distinguish real from fake

In most cases, chalcedony (for example, carnelian and agate) is imitated with plastic or frosted glass, which is easy to identify by touch. Chalcedony, like any other quartz, has a crystalline structure that does not conduct heat well, so it is always cool, while glass and plastic quickly heat up if such jewelry is held in your hands.

Medicinal properties

Bluish-green stones calm the nervous system. Lithotherapists believe that blue minerals increase blood pressure and help normalize cardiac activity. It is believed that chalcedony is an excellent remedy for nervous exhaustion; it helps fight depression, normalizes sleep, and relieves insomnia and nightmares. However, the blue color of the stone is fraught with some dangers. For example, with prolonged exposure, a person develops strange fears and blood circulation problems occur. Therefore, chalcedony products should not be worn constantly.

Magical properties

The magical properties of chalcedony have been known since ancient times. It is believed that chalcedony carries within itself the feminine principle, the desire for life, love and happiness. In the countries of the East, amulets were made from this stone, banishing melancholy and bringing joy. Modern practicing magicians make amulets that can ward off evil spirits and protect against night terrors. In European countries, magicians use chalcedony to make amulets for sailors.

Colored chalcedony is considered a stone of love. It attracts male attention to a woman, harmonizes intimate relationships and enhances sexual energy. A stone in a silver ring worn on the middle finger brings wealth. Thanks to its magical properties, the mineral protects the home from bad weather and geopathogenic zones.
A woman wearing a bracelet made of chalcedony calls love and joy into the home, protects the family hearth from natural disasters, quarrels and betrayals. The mineral sharpens logical thinking, pacifies anger and pride.

Talismans and amulets

Chalcedony is a talisman for sailors, as well as people seeking to find family happiness. To attract love and family happiness, women need to wear a chalcedony bracelet. An untreated piece of stone can also serve as a talisman. He maintains peace and happiness in the family. Such a piece of mineral should be kept in the marital bedroom. To increase the effect of the talisman, some magicians advise placing it under the mattress of the marital bed.

Additional Information

Energy – receptive Yin (absorbs energy)

Element – Earth, Water, Ether (Space)

Horoscope — Sagittarius

Effect on chakras – effects on chakras depending on color

Planets – Saturn, Neptune

Connection with names – Arthur, Elena, Irina, Ksenia, Lyubov, Oksana

History and legends

The gem was mined back in the days of Ancient Greece. The first mines in which the mineral was obtained were located on the shores of the Sea of ​​Marmara in the city of Chalcedon. The discoverers were amazed by the richness of the colors of chalcedony. Jewelers used brightly colored stones to make jewelry (gems ​​and cameos) and decorate religious objects.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, interest in chalcedony disappeared and was resumed only in the 17th century. In the era of classicism, every royal family in Europe had collections with minerals.

Ancient healers (Avicenna, Paracelsus and others) highly valued the healing properties of chalcedony. It was believed that the stone helped whiten teeth and strengthen gums, and cure dysentery and fever. Very often it was used as protection against snake bites, insect bites and the effects of poisons.

Best regards, Katerina (Napoleonka)

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