What is often marketed and sold as Selenite in crystal stores is a faceted version of Satin Spar. Real Selenite resembles glass more closely than Satin Spar and risks being imitated in the glass.
Do you want to know the incredible Benefits of Selenite Crystal, read here.
How to Identify if Selenite is Real or Fake?
Conduct a Fingernail Scratch Test
Despite its glassy appearance, Selenite is way softer than materials that can be used to fake it: clear glass, plastic, etc. Gypsum has a hardness of 2 on the Mohs hardness scale, as compared to glass’s 5.
The easiest way to tell if your Selenite is gypsum is to scratch it with a fingernail. If it scratches with white powdery residue, you can be assured that it is real gypsum.
This, however, will not guard you against a misnaming of Satin Spar as Selenite since both these crystals are made of gypsum. To attest to the authenticity of your Selenite and differentiate it from Satin Spar, you can check its color, luster, and shape.
Observe the Color of your Crystal for Inclusions
Selenite is a largely transparent crystal with fractures and near-perfect cleavage, meaning that it can splinter extremely easily along the fractures on its plane surfaces.
- Due to its sedimentary formation, it is largely clear of inclusions and looks colorless. It also shows no pleochroism, which means that light reflects the same color on a real selenite from all angles.
- From a distance, Selenite almost looks like clear glass with a lot of splinters inside it. However, unlike glass, Selenite holds its structural integrity even despite all those splinters.
- Satin Spar, which is most commonly falsely marketed as Selenite, can range from a satiny white to grey, with impurities that can give it rusty brown and green-looking inclusions.
- If your alleged Selenite looks more white than colorless and has a muted glowy sheen to it or occasionally occurs with undertones of red or brown, it is likely a satin spar.
- Sometimes plastic tumble stones are mimicked to give them a white marble-like finish with streaks of grey. This should be easy to spot as a fake as plastic comes nowhere close to the other physical features of real Selenite.
Notice the Crystallography and Shape of the Selenite
Selenite is the result of sedimentation and settling of gypsum impurities in riverbeds. It accumulates over several years in successive sheets of gypsum under salt-encrusted surfaces of water bodies.
It is typically found in sedimentary rocks and deposits in and around saline lakes and volcanic deposits. Selenite looks much like a transparent sheet of clear glass in its uncut form, with fractures and some occasional iridescence.
- This is in contrast to Satin Spar, which is a product of the fibrous crystallization of gypsum and therefore tends to look much more chalky, scaly, and faceted than a transparent sheet of Selenite.
- Selenite does not lend itself to lapidary purposes due to its near-perfect cleavages and high brittleness. So, if you encounter crystals carved and polished in such shapes as wands, energy towers, cylinders, and other figurines, it is most likely plastic or a neighboring Gypsum variety such as Alabaster or Ram’s horn.
- These gypsum varieties are valuable crystals in themselves but not real Selenite.
Study the Luster of your Crystal Closely
Luster refers to the nature of a crystal’s surface when it reflects light. It is a descriptive term used to understand what a crystal surface looks like when it interacts with Selenite.
Real Selenite has a sub-vitreous luster, which means that it looks almost glass-like when reflecting light. It also appears slightly pearly white along its cleavages.
- This is because the cleavages have a greater refractive index than the rest of the flat surface of the crystal. This means that light travels slower when it enters a Selenite’s cleavage than it does on the rest of its surface.
This is a feature that is unique to Selenite and is not observed in any of the materials used to imitate it.
- Hold your crystal under direct sunlight and then under a tube light and move it in your hand to test the luster. If it disperses the color of light, creates a rainbow, or reflects two different colors from different angles, it is not Selenite.
- If a shaped and polished selenite-looking stone reflects different colors when looked at from different angles, then it is likely a Satin Spar. Crystals made of glass also often scatter light in several colors and have a much more shiny luster than real Selenite.
Tip: A great test to identify Satin Spar is its chatoyancy or cat’s eye effect. In a tumbled, polished Satin Spar, light may sometimes reflect in the form of a silken line across its surface which looks lighter than the color of the rest of the stone and bisects the surface of the stone such that it looks like the pupil of a cat’s eye.
This line moves beneath the surface of the crystal and may shift with the light. Chatoyancy is produced by impurities and inclusions present in the crystal.
This is unique to Satin Spar and never occurs in Selenite. If your stone shows any signs of chatoyancy, be rest assured, it is a Satin Spar or some other variety of gypsum.
Check for the Temperature
Selenite is often used as heat insulation and is known to be a great conductor of metaphysical energies. It, therefore, typically is warm to the touch.
This is an efficient test to tell apart Selenite from quartz as sometimes clear quartz may be marketed and sold as Selenite stones.
Quartz is always cool to the touch and does not splinter on scratching with a fingernail. If you can establish contact with your crystal, make sure to take it close to your cheek and feel its temperature. If it warms easily on touch but does not splinter, it is not real Selenite either.
- Such materials as plastic could be used. To test against plastic, you can conduct a burn test, if viable. If the material burns with an odor, it is plastic.
Both in appearance and energy, Selenite is regarded as one of the purest in the crystal world.
It is, as such very effective in absorbing negative energies from around it. It is also popularly used for purifying and recharging other crystals.
For the longest time in ancient history, the Greeks believed Selenite to be a chunk of the moon itself, given how clear it appeared and due to its association with waterbeds, which are understood as the earth’s direct link to the moon’s gravitational pulls.
Selenite’s high vibrational energy makes it an effective stone for enhancing self-awareness. For this reason, the stone is also excellent when used in meditation, as it helps to provide insights and an awareness of your spiritual journey.
In this article, we have offered a guide to you, the Selenite buyer and user, to help navigate your way around the world of Selenites, its closest neighbors, and its imitations.
Of these, the easiest way to separate a real Selenite from fakes is its mineral hardness.
It is only characteristic of gypsum to be as soft and scratchable with a fingernail as a real Selenite is. But this does not ward off other neighboring minerals that are often marketed and misnamed as Selenite, such as the Satin Spar.
Some visual ways to differentiate Satin Spar from Selenite discussed above are their distinctive color, crystal shapes, and luster. Real Selenite typically appears much splintery and glassier than Satin Spar’s satin, chalky, and often milky surfaces.
Another way to tell a real Selenite apart, in combination with its softness and cleavage structures, is its temperature, much warmer than imitation materials such as quartz and much sturdier under fire than imitation materials such as plastic.
Of all the crystals that can be bought without contact, Selenite demands distinct attention and some contact at the time of buying.
Due to the inundation of misinformation and imitations in the Selenite market, you must establish a connection of faith in your seller and encounter the Selenite for itself to understand its healing capacities.
What are some practices you engage in to make an online crystal buying experience more immersive? Comment and share with our community of crystal buyers and learners.