Thursday, 5 March 2015

Gemstones: real or fake? AKA: Know what you are buying….PART 2

Hi.  Thank you so much for coming back to visit!  It’s good to see you!  

Before we talk about fake stones, I wanted to briefly mention misnomers.  If a stone has a topological word before the name of the gemstone it is not what it is represented to be. Here are some examples:  An Oriental emerald is a green sapphire.  An American ruby is a garnet.  Australian jade is quartz that's been treated.  

Also important to note:  there are many beautiful “stones” out there that are composites of genuine stone and imitation stone.  An excellent example of this is jewelry made with opals.  It is often made with composites.  There are several types of composites.  One of several is to make the base of imitation or lesser quality stone and then place a layer of genuine stone over on top.  

There are many many more points on this topic.  If you would like more info I highly recommend doing more research.  If you want more info here, please leave a message and I will write about it.
Now…Fake Stones!  A pet peeve…

A while ago, I bought a stone that were utterly gorgeous.  I like to add anecdotes to my jewelry descriptions (  In the course of looking for info on the particular stone, I found there was no such stone.  I am no stuck with very expense glass because I cannot sell it for what I paid for it because I, in good conscience, cannot sell it as anything but glass.  I want to make sure you, the consumer, is aware of this new trend.

Here is a list of some fakes/scams flooding out of Hong Kong (found online and in stores), posted on Facebook by Jamey Swisher, a gemologist. (   I see these stones all over.  They are beautiful.  I just believe you should be price conscience when you by a piece of jewelry featuring one of these stones.

Dragon agate or dragon vein agate, some is quench cracked, bleached, and dyed agate some is quench cracked, and dyed glass.
Succor Creek Jasper, some is low grade jasper scraps, others are polymer materials, some is low grade stabilized cherry creek jasper
Druzy tiger's eye jasper or tiger's eye jasper, very low grade iron stained kyanite or low
grade serpentine in quartz
Picasso Jasper, most is low grade stabilized cherry creek jasper, some is composite or polymer materials
Kambama Jasper, some is the real deal a stromatolite, others are simply resin/polymer composites
Leopard skin jasper, not even close. Most is low grade agate or onyx or travertine that have been dyed, some are again, polymer composite type
Turquoise & pyrite matrix, dyed, composite material, created by taking low grade scraps of whatever material can be gotten, artificial and/or natural, then adding dye,  resin/polymers/epoxy and then compressing into blocks, then slabbed and cabbed.
All kinds of Jade carvings, everything from dyed serpentine, to composites, to polymer/resin, to dyed lepidolite
Flame Jasper, everything from dyed and stabilized low grade chert to resin/polymer
Cherry Quartz, everything from quench cracked and dyed quartz to entirely resin/polymer creations, to quench cracked and dyed glass creations
Fluorite with pyrite/Amethyst with Pyrite/Fluorite & amethyst with Pyrite, everything from amethyst & fluorite chips mixed with pyrite looking stuff in a composite to colored slag glass and metal shavings in a resin/polymer composite.
Sea Sediment Jasper, again, everything from complete resin/polymer dyed creations, to dyed composite materials, to low grade jaspers stabilized and dyed, majority is dyed polymer/resin creations
Agates. mainly low grade dyed agates, but some are, again, dyed resin/polymer creations
Druzy Geode agate cabs, some are simply geode pieces stabilized and dyed two or more colors, others are solid geode insides with resin/polymer pieces and are composite dyed materials
Fire Druzy Agates, more composite or just low grade geode type pieces quenched and dyed
Crazy Lace Agate, everything from dyed composites to dyed resin/polymer to dyed low grade agate or rhyolite or travertine
Dyed Variscite, almost all of it is dyed resin/polymer creations, some are dyed composites, others are low grade impregnated and dyed jaspers or rarely low grade impregnated and dyed variscite
Rhodocrosite, dyed and stabilized travertine
Opalite, just a type of man-made glass
Snowflake obsidian, actually a very low grade cheap Dalmatian jasper
Lapis Lazuli, mainly dyed man-made composite materials
Rainbow stone, man-made dyed composite or polymer/resin creations
Opal Cat's eye from Sri Lanka, just man-made fiber optic glass
All kinds of colored turquoise with and without metal and magnesite, almost all is simply dyed man-made composite materials with NO turquoise in it, some, very little, is actually low grade dyed reconstituted turquoise compressed with resin and metal to make the man-made composite materials
Ruby in Zoisite, nothing but serpentine mixture
Larimar, just dyed resin/polymer in most cases, dyed aventurine quartz in others

Have a great night. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.


  1. That crystal site you mentioned above has been closed and the dominion name now up for sale. Tonite ai was inspecting some "Sea Sediment Jasper mixed with pyrite I just got from Ebay. Yep shake uuour head I can invision it. The 11pc. set is graduated to be used as the center piece of a necklace, typically sold, I only paid a little over a buck, won a bid, but I am surprised at what i got, dont know if its the experience I have little of, or logic ? Because I am a novice on stones, but these stones dont look right, like a photocopy wrapped around polymer clay, how they did it? But I scratched one and the coating disappeared and on top of my magnafying glass is fine clay dust, tihs stuff is hard yo scratch, but it is not rock!the outer color is like a photograph of fake, the lines are too straight, swirls, spots dont look like rock was mixed with a Rosen, and the backs have tiny holes, several on each I started to scratch on the side next to the drilled hole,the finish is too perfect and flat shine is off, cold but not like stone. Can you tell me how they make this or direct me to a site w info? Darn stuff isnt even dyed rock. Also there are many(Indian) sellers on Ebay using dyed stones, glass, and using your typical (Artesian .925.Sterling silver settings)and making them with non-metallic base metal then plating w silver selling as .925 with semi-precious settings. (Asia)is producing your typical Fine Jewelery settings,stamped.925 with a non-metallic base metal plated w silver set w plastic or other faux stones as the real thing auction, getting $1.50 tov$25 depending on bidders. I get sick of seeing so much,so many are also buying to re-sell and passing the bad on to sites like, Mercari, Poshmark, Letgo,& Facebook, I dont see how people believe they are getting a .925 Sterling setting w turquoise, topaz, moonstone, or Larimar, etc for $1, $2. " The Scams are ruining Traditional Artesian Jewelery, nothing is sacred? Thanks for reading, hope to hear back from you, Sincerely Ellen J.

  2. As a fellow artisan I fully understand your frustration and agree with you wholeheartedly! Unfortunately I cant help with how those particular beads were made, but kudos to you for noticing and investigating before trying to pass it off to a customer as "natural" :) Having been "scammed" as well by foreign sellers, I now only order my gems and cabs through one particular seller from India whom I know I can trust as Ive hade several positive orders from him, and one opal dealer (who happens to be current the president of the Opal Association Inc of Australia) - though there are a LOT of scams, there are still honest people looking to sell honest, legitimate gems fro a reasonable price. Remember- you get what you pay for! :)