Mineral Review

How to distinguish rock crystal from a fake?

Good day! Are you looking for jewelry or souvenirs with rock crystal? Do you believe in the magical and healing power of an elegant stone and plan to use it as a talisman, amulet or fashionable decorative element? In order not to be disappointed in your purchase and achieve the desired effect, you simply must know how to distinguish rock crystal from a fake on your own, when it is not possible to take the advice of a jeweler or check the documentation. Read below about the main differences between natural minerals and the clever manipulations of scammers! Rhinestone Bracelet

Features of rock crystal

“Frozen ice” is the unofficial name for rock crystal. It was indeed formed not without the help of water as a result of crystallization, but it has nothing to do with ice. This is a semi-precious stone, so not everyone can resist the temptation to sell cheaper analogues under its guise. The rock is counterfeited in different ways, most often using glass and cubic zirconia. Not becoming a victim of deception is the task of every buyer, both experienced and new to the world of jewelry. Study the properties and external signs of the stone so as not to make mistakes. Natural stone RhinestoneNatural breed – distinctive features:

  • Hardness. On the Mohs scale, the mineral has a hardness of 7,5. This means that it is not as fragile as it seems. It is easy to check hardness with a sharp object. There should be no scratches on it.
  • A natural stone has no defects in the form of small scratches and chips.

Rock crystal earrings

  • Despite the hardness rock crystal can break. When it falls, it does not shatter into small fragments, like glass, but into several parts.
  • Natural rock – pure mineral without inclusions.
  • An important sign – temperature. With high thermal conductivity, the mineral remains cool. It is enough to hold it in your hand to feel the emanating cold.

Read also: Chemical formula of quartz: what the mineral consists of

In addition, unlike glass, the mineral not only does not absorb temperature, but is also heavier.

Budget analogues of semi-precious mineral

In order to reduce the cost of jewelry, manufacturers use analogues of precious and semi-precious stones. Some do it openly, some try to pass off fakes as natural.

To understand how to identify deception in the case of rock crystal, you need to know what they most often try to replace it with. Typical “substitutes” are cubic zirconia and glass rhinestones. The first is artificially grown in the laboratory, and in appearance it resembles a natural crystal and some precious prototypes. The second is glass improved with special additives.

Rock crystal earrings

How does cubic zirconia differ from natural crystal: what are the signs to identify a fake?

Cubic zirconia is cubic zirconium oxide. Has nothing to do with breeds of natural origin. It was originally developed for industrial use in one of the scientific laboratories of the USSR. Over time, it was put into mass production due to its maximum resemblance to a diamond, and with the addition of coloring pigments to other precious and semi-precious stones with the exception of emerald.

Rock crystal necklace

Artificial cubic zirconia is inexpensive and effective. It is actively used in jewelry. Only a completely “inexperienced user” can confuse natural rock crystal with cubic zirconia. The difference is visible to the naked eye. Firstly, cubic zirconia does not refract color as actively. It looks so crystal clear and transparent that its unnaturalness is beyond doubt. In addition, the crystal is more fragile and not as cold as a mountain mineral.

Jewelry storage box

If it is impossible to analyze external signs, as well as check the authenticity based on tactile sensations, study the product label. After the name of the stone, there should be a postscript cz on the tag – it indicates the replacement with cubic zirconia.

The difference between rock crystal and crystal: how to determine authenticity

Artificial crystal stones are used to replace natural minerals as often as cubic zirconia. Usually these are popular Swarovski rhinestones – glass with the addition of barium or lead oxide and a special structure for skillful refraction of light. A special feature of the products is their bright shine, which the manufacturer achieves using aluminum foil with reflective properties.

Swarovski rhinestones are fashionable branded products, bright and presentable, but they are not natural rock crystal. Artificial glass pebbles do not have the magic and healing properties of the mineral and are not as durable. You can avoid making a mistake in your choice when trying to sell Swarovski rhinestones as an analogue to a natural crystal if you require a gemological certificate to confirm the authenticity.

Pendant with Swarovski crystals

  1. First of all, hold the product up to the light. Natural stone should not have any inclusions. Its surface is clean without frozen air bubbles. At the same time, cleanliness should not be artificial without a single flaw.
  2. Another indicator of authenticity is the ability to diffuse light in a special way. Take a look at the decoration in the sun. A ray of sunlight will pass through glass unchanged, but through a natural rock crystal it will be scattered into numerous colored rays.
  3. Do not forget about the consistently low temperature of the rock. Try to buy jewelry and souvenirs in places where you can touch and look at them. A stone formed under natural conditions, unlike a glass fake, remains cold even in the palm of your hand.
  4. Do not hesitate to ask the seller to test the rock for hardness. The natural material is hard enough to scratch glass.
  5. Large products can be easily identified by their melodic sound upon contact with the same product. You can even hear a drawn-out sound if you run a wet finger over the surface.

Swarovski Crystal Earrings

Now you know the difference between natural crystal and artificial cubic zirconia and fashionable glass rhinestones. Don’t let yourself be deceived by those who like to make money on their lack of experience and excessive gullibility, and be sure to share tips with your friends on social networks!

Rock crystal attracts special attention because of its appearance. In ancient times it was considered unmelting ice, which gave the stone a mystical character. Currently, the breed is valued not only for its beauty and transparency, but also for its hardness, as well as the ability to carve various decorations and crafts. But there are unscrupulous sellers who use cheap analogues instead of natural stone. Let’s look at the main features of the breed and how to distinguish it from a fake.

Characteristics of the mineral

“Frozen mountain ice” is the second name of the mineral. Indeed, the rock was formed with the help of water as a result of long crystallization, but cold and low temperatures have nothing to do with this process.

The stone has a number of features and distinctive characteristics:

  1. Hardness. On the Mohs scale, the rock has a hardness of 7,5. This means that the material is dense and should not leave scratches, even when tested with a sharp object (a needle is often used for this). All natural crystal jewelry must be free of any defects or damage.
  2. Even though the rock is hard, it is also brittle. Some buyers think that if a mineral is hard, it won’t break. This is wrong. If you drop the jewelry or hit it very hard on something, the crystal will crack in half or several small pieces will break off from it.
  3. Rock crystal as a natural material has low thermal conductivity – this means that it is quite heats up slowly. This feature is checked in a simple way: the mineral is squeezed in your hand or applied to your neck, and if it heats up quickly, then it is definitely unnatural. This feature was in demand in ancient times, when stones were used to cool drinks or food. The piece was divided into several parts and placed in jugs or other containers with water.
  4. The breed is associated with something transparent and clean due to Soviet-era marketing, when dishes were supposedly made from rock crystal. Indeed, ideally the stone should be transparent as ice, but such specimens rarely appear, so most often you can find various impurities (with hematite, rubellite or rose quartz).

How to distinguish from fakes

Jewelers quite often use minerals in their products, but not always natural, and also not always stated on the price tag, replacing them with a more budget-friendly imitation. In order to waste less money and effort, sellers use counterfeit materials to later pass them off as original.

Natural rock is often replaced with glass, cubic zirconia, Swarovski crystals and even quartz, so it is important to know the distinctive features of crystal so as not to encounter an imitation. If we consider fakes made of glass, cubic zirconia and rhinestones, then they will be distinguished by the low price of the jewelry, as well as their lightness.

Crystal is a fairly weighty mineral.

From the characteristics of the crystal it is clear that it cannot be too transparent, and also cannot contain traces of bubbles (due to the crystallization process). Excessive smoothness may suggest that this is a fake.

The most important difference between natural crystal is hardness. It is easy to leave various scratches on the imitation; even a fingernail can leave a mark.

When purchasing, it is important to check the tag, which contains all the information about the jewelry. It usually indicates what materials were used. For example, if after the name of the stone or numbers there is a mark “CZ”, then cubic zirconia was used in the decoration.

Despite the fact that the price of rock crystal is low, you can still end up with unscrupulous sellers, so it is best to choose stores with certified stones and buy minerals only from trusted suppliers.

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