History of use

How to distinguish natural schorl tourmaline from a fake?

  • Tourmaline is considered one of the most interesting and mysterious gems on Earth. This stone is used in several areas of human life due to its unique properties. Under various influences on the stone (pressure, heating, friction), it becomes electrifiedTherefore, in addition to the jewelry industry, tourmalines are also used in the industrial production of radio electronics and medical devices.

    Features of tourmaline

    In nature, there are varieties of different shades: from yellowish-brown to deep purple and even black. The most popular colors are:

    • black schorl is the most energetically powerful variety;
    • rubellite – varies from pink to bright red;
    • verdelite – the species includes shades of green;
    • watermelon is a red-white-green crystal with clearly defined color boundaries.

    There are samples of mixed shades, which makes the variety of tourmalines almost endless.

    The gem is widely used in alternative medicine. Wearing tourmaline jewelry helps eliminate a number of diseases. Depending on the type of illness, the color of the crystal is selected. Green and black are considered the most effective.

    The magical properties of tourmaline also depend on its color. He is able to help a person in business, protect him from enemies, and show him the right path in life. But you can’t wear them all the time: stones, regardless of shade, have powerful energy.

    How tourmalines are counterfeited

    The gem is very popular and in demand. This provokes the emergence of numerous fakes

    They are spreading all over the world: even in markets in the areas of tourmaline deposits, there are fakes. Local sellers, taking advantage of the inexperience of buyers, first show them the original stone, and then sell them a fake.

    There is a high probability of deception in other cases:

    • in a transaction on the Internet, when the goods are sent by mail;
    • when buying used jewelry (the seller may not know that he has a fake on his hands);
    • purchasing stones from intermediaries who do not have direct access to the mining company.

    Fraudsters rarely make artificial tourmalines. Synthetic gems cannot be distinguished from the originals without a microscope. But they are difficult to manufacture, so they are rarely found on sale.

    Inexpensive and accessible methods are more often used:

    • plastic – the cheapest and low-quality material, it is easily identified by its cloudy color and unnatural shape;
    • glass – is easy to paint, so it can even represent exotic versions of the stone, but differs from the original in the uniformity of color;
    • real another type of stone – imitates tourmaline, but cannot electrify like it.

    Most fakes are easy to spot based on their appearance.

    How to spot a fake

    At the market, it is worth taking a closer look at the counters on which stones are laid out. If the buyer is presented with samples of various colors (including “striped”), most likely they are all fake. Most often found in nature black, red and green kinds.

    Other colors: blue, yellow, transparent – very rare. An ordinary market trader cannot have an abundance of rare stones.

    All large crystals are sent to industrial production technology, therefore they are not found on the open market.

    Real gems can’t be cheap. Even the least valuable varieties that have not been processed.

    If crystals are offered at a price below the market price, they are almost 100% unnatural

    Tourmaline is an unusual crystal with strong healing properties. Counterfeits for it are becoming better and better, and when buying tourmaline products, you should be more careful. In order not to fall for a fake, you must pay attention to the price of the product and the appearance of the stone.

    Tourmaline is a beautiful mineral that is not often found in nature. Its uniqueness lies in the presence of a constant charge, which allows the stone to be actively used both in radio engineering and in medicine. The healing properties of tourmaline have long attracted unscrupulous people and stimulate the appearance of counterfeits of this stone on the market. And today there are already much more of them on the market than original samples.

    Where to buy tourmaline? How to distinguish a fake from a natural stone and what to do if you come across a non-original mineral – you can find the answer to all these questions in this material.

    Where are counterfeits of tourmaline most often found?

    Copies of the mineral are quite actively sold all over the world, since the stone is in great demand and is currently becoming more and more in demand. Most often, fake tourmaline can be found in the following places:

    • When purchasing stones from another country with shipping;
    • On the layouts of sellers of precious and semi-precious stones;
    • When purchasing from individuals;
    • From intermediaries who do not have direct contacts with tourmaline miners.

    Counterfeits of tourmaline are sold in many countries; you can often buy it even near the deposit, since local traders take advantage of the inattention of customers and the fame of the digs.

    An unscrupulous seller may have several natural stones in his arsenal and often takes advantage of this by first showing his potential client an original sample so that he can be convinced of the authenticity of the product, and then selling an artificial stone in its place. That is why experts advise being very careful when purchasing tourmaline, especially when it comes to exotic colors of the mineral.

    What are fake tourmalines?

    Currently, there are several types of fake tourmaline:

    1. Synthetic stone obtained in laboratory conditions. It can have any color, weight and size, inclusions of air or small particles. Most similar to the original stone, it is often almost impossible to determine a fake by examining this mineral without a microscope. Even experts make mistakes. The production of such a stone in itself is quite expensive, which is why it is found on the shelves less often than the original mineral.
    2. Colored glass. It has lower hardness and almost always has a high level of transparency (which is not always typical for natural tourmaline), therefore it is often sold as a precious stone option. Also available in all colors of natural tourmaline, including mixed-color varieties.
    3. Plastic is the cheapest and lowest-quality example of a fake, found both in the direct sale of stones and in finished jewelry. It can imitate tourmaline quite well in color, but it gives itself away due to the presence of inclusions, unnatural shapes and low transparency.
    4. A natural stone similar to tourmaline. It may have similar strength characteristics, identical color and the classic elongated shape of tourmaline. This sample can be distinguished from a natural stone only by the absence of a constant electromagnetic field, which is characteristic only of tourmaline.

    What may cause doubts during the purchase of stones

    The first thing you need to pay attention to when buying stones is the uniformity of color distribution throughout the crystal. The buyer needs to remember that natural tourmaline, which has the same color intensity over the entire surface and does not give off shades when changing lighting, practically does not exist in nature. Such samples are very rare, therefore they are of great value in use and are practically never found on the open market. So a stone that has the same color over its entire area is most likely to be a fake.

    Particular attention should be paid to the color of polychrome stones. Remember – the color transition of natural crystal is very smooth. If you are offered a sample that has a sharp line between two shades, this is most likely a fake, and of rather low quality.

    The second is the large size of the stone. It is known that such samples are widely used in radio electronics or in other industrial sectors, which is why they are extremely rarely found on the open market. The buyer should approach large yellow stones with a special degree of suspicion. This mineral is very rare and is practically never found in the public market weighing more than a carat.

    The third aspect that makes the client think is the presence of large quantities of tourmaline of all colors. In nature, stones are found unevenly. Thus, samples of black, green and red colors are quite common, mined in many countries, so the seller can actually have them in abundance. This is especially true for black stone. However, yellow crystals, watermelon tourmaline, blue and transparent stones, as well as a mineral that has several colors or no color at all are rare in nature. Such samples are not always found within the same deposit, therefore the seller, especially if we are talking about a small supplier, cannot have them in abundance. If you see such a wide selection of stones, you may well have fakes in front of you – artificially grown crystals, or just colored glass.

    The fourth fact, which is bound to raise a lot of questions from the buyer, is the low price of samples. Of course, not every tourmaline crystal can be classified as a precious stone – even among such a mineral they are rare. But this breed itself cannot be cheap even before processing. If the seller deliberately reduces the price of samples below the market price, this is a good reason for the buyer to think about the origin of the batch offered to him.

    Another detail that you need to pay attention to is the presence of inclusions. Naturally occurring tourmaline has virtually no inclusions. But this is often the case with mineral analogs made by scammers from colored plastic.

    If you notice at least one of the above factors when choosing a stone, you should pay more attention to the selection of samples and conduct household tests to determine the authenticity of the crystals.

    Fake tourmaline – how to spot a fake

    Experts note that it is quite difficult to distinguish natural tourmaline from artificial one by eye for a person who does not have experience in this matter. There are only a few tips that allow you to determine the authenticity of a stone in everyday conditions, and then only conditionally.

    The first thing you need to do in order to find out whether this is a real stone or a fake tourmaline is to try to scratch the crystal. Samples of this mineral are very hard, and it is more difficult to leave a mark on it than on glass or other material.

    Second step: tourmaline needs to be heated a little. This effect activates the constant field of the mineral. After you heat the sample, bring small pieces of paper or cigarette ash to it; if the tourmaline is electrified, it will begin to attract paper or ash, this means the stone is genuine.

    Attention: You can use your own breath or friction to heat the stone, but it is strictly forbidden to hold it over a lighter. Uneven impact on the crystal can lead to negative consequences, including the appearance of cracks in the stone.

    Many of the above methods are considered controversial by both buyers and sellers. If, after using all possible verification options, you were still unable to clarify the authenticity of the stone, you need to move on to evaluating it in the laboratory.

    Working with tourmaline in the laboratory

    If it is not possible for a specialist to evaluate the quality of the crystal, you can do some experiments on it yourself. If possible, the stone should be examined under a microscope or through a strong magnifying glass. A crystal produced in a laboratory will have numerous air inclusions. In nature, this phenomenon can also occur, but it will be a rare exception for tourmaline samples rather than the rule.

    The same can be said about the presence of white stripes in the stone, reflecting the sequence of crystal growth. A specimen grown in a natural environment should not have them. The presence of both stripes and air bubbles on the stone indicates that this is a fake.

    When working with stone in laboratory conditions, it must be examined in the dark, as well as under incandescent light. Some samples of the mineral, for example, red tourmaline, have weak luminescence abilities, which would not be typical for a fake. In addition, it is known that this mineral loses its beauty in artificial light. If the sample looks as impressive under a light bulb as it does under daylight, it is quite possible that you are holding ordinary colored glass or a completely different mineral in your hands.

    More complex tests can have a negative impact on the stone itself, even to the point of destruction, so there is no need to resort to them without prior preparation. The data obtained by the above methods is enough to doubt the origin of the purchase. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of tourmaline, you should immediately contact experts, especially if we are talking about purchasing a large batch of materials for treatment.

    What to do if you suspect fake tourmaline

    The first thing to do if you have doubts about the seller’s integrity is to find out from him the source of the stones. The buyer is recommended to study the list of popular deposits in advance, clarify what kind of stones are mined there and whether they have any characteristic features. If the seller cannot guide you on the origin of the mineral and does not provide information about the source of its purchase, most likely you were sold a fake.

    In addition, after receiving the first data about the stone, the consumer can contact a specialist for an examination. Studying the stone will take some time, most often it takes several days. However, this move makes it possible to obtain a detailed analysis of the purchased mineral and make sure that this is an original mineral, or to identify a fake.

    Having the examination data in hand, it is easier to demand compensation from the seller for low-quality goods or to prove your case in court.

    What to do with a fake stone

    Fake tourmaline is always a bad purchase. Such a stone cannot be used in production, since it does not have the unique characteristic of real tourmaline – a constant electric field. It is also useless for medical purposes, since it also does not provide any negative ions for treatment. Its properties as a mineral for the production of jewelry are also questionable. The sample is unlikely to be included in the category of precious stones and, at best, will pass for material for the production of costume jewelry.

    However, the use of a stone that does not even have precious status is unlikely to interest buyers who have paid a lot of money for the shipment. Therefore, those who have identified the seller’s dishonesty by determining at home that the stone is fake should contact the seller and return the product back. Remember, the law is on your side in this case. As a last resort, you can report an act of fraud to law enforcement agencies.

    In order to avoid falling into a similar situation, you need to be as careful as possible when choosing stones and demand from sellers documents for the proposed product, at least papers indicating the purchase of a batch from a deposit or from a large mineral miner. And, of course, when choosing a seller, be sure to find out his status on the market, study reviews of his products, work with trusted people, in this case you can’t go wrong.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Back to top button