Clear Quartz is the purest form and typically occurs in clusters with beautiful, well-formed crystals or massive shapes. In this article let us explore how to identify if a Clear Quartz is Real or Fake.
Before that let us look at the information to know about Quartz.
Quartz is composed of silicon oxide and is clear and colorless, except when tinted by other mineral impurities. This gives us several vibrantly colored offerings such as amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, etc.
Quartz is one of the most abundantly occurring and universally mined forms of silicon oxide on the earth’s surface. As a result, everything from radios and watches to computers, cell phones, and television circuits contains quartz for its piezoelectric capabilities.
To the simple beginner, therefore, there would seem no reason why quartz would be faked.
This changes when we talk about cut and polished quartz in crystalline forms —as points and spheres.
Like all members of the quartz family, clear quartz lends itself to many forms of lapidary uses, such as cabochon cutting, faceting, bead making, and decorative carving for jewelry and in healing practices.
The variety of online crystal stores and internet healing communities centered around crystal meditating has meant that quartz crystals are increasingly being imitated in glass and other plastics.
How to Tell of Clear Quartz is Real or Fake?
Look for Inclusions
An inclusion is any material that is trapped inside of another mineral while that mineral forms. These can include liquid or gas bubbles or fractures caused by radioactive material in the host mineral.
Naturally occurring quartz crystals are often twinned, distorted by, and so intergrown with adjacent crystals of quartz or other available minerals in the earth’s crust.
These show up within the crystal in its several fractures, sometimes as crisscrossing lines and hydrothermal veins spread throughout the insides of the crystal or attached to its walls, as can be seen in the adjacent picture.
Look for these inclusions when you hold a clear quartz in hand or browse for one in online stores.
If you find an obvious crystal point or sphere with absolutely no fractures or inclusions inside it, it is likely to lead crystal or glass.
Since glass is a supercooled liquid in which the atoms are not so neatly arranged in a long-range periodic array, it has no internal cleavage planes along which fissures can form and inclusions rest.
Check for the Presence of Bubbles
Sometimes, the glass may be blown and polished in ways to add powdered inclusions during the smelting process. To distinguish real clear quartz from glass, you must look for minute, static air bubbles, as present in the glass in the adjacent picture.
Tip: Remember that you can get water bubbles in real quartz crystals that get trapped inside the crystal as it grows, but these are bigger, much more obvious to the naked eye, and can occasionally move.
So the simple presence of bubbles inside a crystal does not negate its authenticity as quartz.
Observe How the Crystal Interacts with Light
One exciting way to tell apart glass from clear quartz is their respective refractive indices. A refractive index measures the degree to which light bends when it passes through a medium.
Clear quartz is made of silicates, which have a relatively higher refractive index than glass.
A handy way to test the refractive index of your crystal is by the text-under-the quartz-test.
For this, all you need is
- a page of printed text
- your crystal
Place the text under the crystal and look through it. If the lettering through the crystal appears distorted in multiple directions, it is clear quartz. However, if your crystal magnifies the lettering, then it is glass.
Try the Scratch, Drop, and Burn Test
Quartz grows over several million years, making its atomic structure extremely strong. Thus, quartz measures a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Since this scale measures the resistance of a mineral to scratching, diamond is always at the top of the scale, being the hardest mineral with a measurement of 10; while glass measures about a 5 to 6 on the hardness scale.
We can use this information to tell apart a glass crystal masquerading as clear quartz by conducting three relatively simple tests: dropping, scratching, and burning.
Despite their limited applicability, these tests can only be conducted on crystals you already own and, under adult supervision, to find out the ways to identify imitations.
Drop and Scratch Test: A clear quartz crystal does not shatter when dropped due to its hardness. However, a glass crystal may break completely or within its walls if it is particularly dense.
Glass and plastic, commonly used to imitate clear quartz, also scratch more easily when dropped than clear quartz.
Burn Test: Burning can also definitely verify the authenticity of your crystal as plastic, which is commonly used to imitate quartz beads and stones in jewelry, is inflammable and burns with a strong odor.
Clear quartz, on the other hand, neither glows nor disfigures under a flame. Fire may leave a black, sooty residue on real clear quartz, which can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. It does not, however, affect the structural composition of the quartz in any way.
Observe if the Crystal is Cold when you Touch it
Clear Quartz is exceptionally easy to handle, unlike most imitation materials. On the other hand, plastic and glass are subject to easy changes in their temperatures depending on their immediate environments.
You can check the temperature of your crystals by placing them against your cheek or in your palm and if they warm up to the heat of your body, they are likely imitations.
Check for the Sonority of the Crystal
You can test the sound your crystal makes when buying crystals from a gemologist or a rock store or if you have access to more than one stone. glass is much more sonorous than clear quartz.
When tapped against each other, glass often makes a high ‘clink’ or ‘chin’ sound. Due to its density, when tapped against another crystal, quartz makes a low-pitched sound that reverberates throughout the crystal as a vibration. This is why it is a great carrier of the energies it is invested with, as opposed to glass.
Observe the Luster
Luster refers to how a stone responds when it reflects light. This is a significant property to differentiate clear quartz from another common imitation stone: Calcite.
Calcite is a calcium carbonate mineral, which may pass all the above tests used to test for quartz imitations. Not only may Calcite, much like clear quartz, be icy cool to touch on a hot summer day, it may also appear, as shown in the adjacent picture, with internal fractures and inclusions, without air bubbles.
It may even sound similar to clear quartz because it is also a naturally occurring mineral mined from within the earth.
One test to distinguish Calcite from clear quartz then is its luster. Calcite has a waxy luster unlike clear quartz, i.e., under light, the stone may appear to have a layer of wax or grease on its surface. On the other hand, Clear quartz is duller and has a transparent, vitreous luster to it.
In this article, we have accomplished our way around several common synthetics and naturally occurring imitations sold as clear quartz: glass, plastic, and Calcite, and how to identify them.
If you are buying clear quartz or already have one and suspect its authenticity, you need to prepare all your faculties of sense: sight, touch, sound, and smell (shall you decide to do a burn test).
Testing a crystal for originality is not so much an act of invoking the police in you nor a move to protect yourself from the harm of an imitation out in the market. It is an act of opening yourself to the sensorium that places you directly under the healing capacity of the quartz. In fact, it is in a seance with the history of the earth and the labor of those who make its offerings available to you.
Glass can be a source of healing just as much as Calcite or quartz can be if invested with meaning and deliberation on the user’s situation is not so much what stands between us and healing, as much as it stands between us the history of the earth.
The quartz passes through multiple preserves of reality: the geological, gemological, and lapidary before it makes its way to us for perusal.
To confirm that it is the offering of the earth is to situate ourselves in alignment with the history of the earth, its dust, and the minerals that make us, and to borrow from them the capacity to imagine collective joy and abundance.