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Updated: Mar 20, 2022

When I first became interested in magical ideas (or at least when I first realized I was), I was really big on crystals. I think a lot of people are/were when starting out. They're just so cool!

So this is going to be a small post with some very basic info about crystal identification and care.

I've done posts about crystals before, like in the Curious Lore notes and one of the Culpeper posts, in case you'd like to read those.

My sources for this particular post are varied, but everything here is true to the best of my knowledge and shouldn't cause any harm if followed. So let's get into it.


Some crystals will fade or otherwise be damaged if left out in the sun/in a window for too long. Here are a few of the more popular ones. - Amethyst - Ametrine - Celestite - Citrine - Fluorite - Green Aventurine - Rose Quartz - Smokey Quartz - Turquoise

CRYSTAL AUTHENTICITY TIPS Some crystals are faked or passed off as other minerals so unscrupulous sellers can make a quick buck. Some crystals are man-made and never occur in nature. (They're still cool, but for the sake of information...) Agate - most agate is dyed to give it bold colors - natural agate tends to be gray, brown, or white - natural agate tends to be translucent Amber - tiny cracks or air bubbles are a sign that amber is real - amber tends to be a little warm to the touch Bismuth - Bismuth crystals are always man-made; natural bismuth is dull gray, lumpy, and has no crystal structure Bloodstone - if the stone is rubbed on white porcelain and leaves a red mark, it is real bloodstone Calcite - some calcite is formed with uranium, which makes it glow in the dark - calcite comes in a variety of colors: pure calcite is white or clear, but impurities in the stone can make calcite orange, blue, green, pink, etc. - calcite is translucent-to-opaque Carnelian

- might be dyed agate, which will display striping when held against the light; natural carnelian will show a cloudy distribution of color

- perfectly round air bubbles are a telltale sign that the crystal is made of glass or plastic

- most citrine is actually heat-treated amethyst; natural citrine is usually more like a cloudy-yellow clear quartz

- a lot of real fluorite glows under UV light (usually glows blue, but can also glow red, yellow, or green)

- goldstone is always manmade; it is essentially colored glass

- natural hematite is not noticeably magnetic in the common way

- wipe with acetone nail polish or alcohol. If color comes off, it has been dyed

- look for little golden/silver flecks (iron pyrite) mixed into the stone; if these are present, the stone is probably real lapis lazuli. Not all lapis lazuli has these flecks, and some fakes do, so this is not a 100% perfect method for authentication.

- real malachite will not have black lines, only shades of green

- real malachite feels cold and does not warm easily like plastic or glass

- real malachite has very inconsistent patterns

- rub your finger on the stone, then lick finger to check for salty taste; if salty taste is not present, the stone might be rose quartz or orange selenite *DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK, NOT ALL ROCKS ARE SAFE TO LICK*

Quartz (and all varieties thereof)

- perfectly round air bubbles are a telltale sign that the crystal is made of glass or plastic

- glass will magnify words on paper; quartz won’t

- selenite is rarely (if ever) faked, so chances are good that any selenite is real

- If it’s fake, it’s generally made of dyed howlite (thinner, more uniform lines than real turquoise) or plastic.

- If a black-light makes the stone glow, then it is not natural turquoise, but a resin-based stone

- Put acetone nail polish remover on a cotton ball and scrub the stone. If the color washes off, it was dyed howlite

- Heat a needle and set it against the stone. If the stone melts at all, it is made of plastic

- None of these methods should hurt genuine turquoise

So there you go, just a few basic tips. I might make a post with more detailed information in the future.

Stay safe!

- me

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