Malachite is a beautiful gemstone that is popular in a variety of jewelry. Its popularity also makes it one of the most faked crystals in the world. But how can you tell if your malachite jewelry is real or fake?
There are a few clear signs, such as a different color, lighter weight or the price, that indicate your stone isn’t real. In this easy guide, we take a close look at malachite stone and how you can tell the difference between fake and real.
How To Tell If Malachite Is Real?
Green malachite is a rare stone that can command high prices. Plus, it is also relatively easy to produce fake malachite crystals. This means that the crystal market is full of fakes and imitations. This being said, there are a number of ways to check if you have a real malachite or a fake product.
Check The Color
What makes malachite so special is that it always has a green color. Some malachite crystals are a lighter green but genuine malachite should be a striking dark green.
Real malachite crystal usually has soft, faded shades but the stone itself is always green with non-repeating patterns. If the color and the pattern are too uniform, then your stoke is likely a fake.
You may be offered multi-colored malachite or blue malachite but these color variations don’t exist naturally. While there is a blue-green stone known as azurite malachite, this is actually a mix of malachite and azurite which means that it’s not pure malachite stone.
If you see a multi-colored stone sold as malachite, then you can be certain that this is a fake stone because malachite only ever comes in shades of green.
Check The Weight
Another way to find out if your malachite is real is by checking the crystal’s weight. A genuine malachite gem contains a large amount of copper which makes it heavy.
Many fake malachite stones are typically made from clay or plastic which is a lot lighter. A real malachite stone should be between 3.6 and 4.05 g/cm3.
Check The Price
Another indicator that your malachite may not be genuine is the price. If a malachite crystal is sold much cheaper than anywhere else, then it is most certainly a fake. Real malachite gemstones are expensive because malachite clusters are a rare find.
Plus, the polishing and weathering of these stones give each malachite its unique appearance. This means that malachite gems and jewelry are worth hundreds of dollars.
In comparison, producing a fake malachite made from clay or plastic is a quick and cheap process. That’s why fakes are often so much lower in price than real gemstones.
This being said, even an expensive malachite may still be a fake, so make sure to check the other signs on how to tell if malachite is real.
Check For Streaks On The Crystal
If you want to tell a fake malachite from a real crystal, then you need to take a closer look at the streaks of your stone. A real malachite piece has bright green streaks with lighter green lines.
The pattern shouldn’t be uniform or too even. You will find that fake malachite pieces often have lighter colored lines because it’s challenging to recreate the natural look of malachite.
When you rub the gemstone against a white porcelain tile and see a green streak, then you can be sure that your malachite gemstone is genuine. A real stone also doesn’t leave any scratches on the tile because it’s too soft.
Check The Feel And Temperature Of Your Malachite
While you can’t use this method for online purchases, it’s a great way of telling a real malachite from a fake crystal when you are in a store. Genuine malachite stone always feels heavy and cold to the touch, no matter how long you hold it. In this way, malachite is similar to jade.
However, fake malachite is light and gets warm after you hold it for a while because the plastic or clay of the fakes is a good heat conductor. This being said, if your fake malachite is made from glass, then it can still feel heavy and cold, so make sure that you also check some of the other factors.
Look At The Stone’s Cut
While you are observing the stone’s color and pattern, you should also take notice of your crystal’s cut. Malachite is a soft stone which means that it is usually grafted into small jewelry pieces or beads.
As this process is done by hand, malachite is never perfectly cut. However, fake, synthetic malachite beads may look perfectly spherical. This means that if your stone looks too perfect, then it is likely to be a fake.
Check The Clarity And Transparency
As malachite naturally occurs in non-crystalline form, it has a dull and opaque appearance. This being said, you can give malachite a shine with some polishing. Fake malachite stones may also look dull but you can’t polish them easily.
Plus, glass malachite may have a shine to them but it will look translucent. Real malachite is only semi-transparent and it should have a subtle shine.
Perform An Acetone Test
If you looked at all the above things first and you are still not sure if your malachite stone is real, then you can conduct an acetone test. As nail polish remover contains acetone, simply place your malachite into nail varnish remover for 30 seconds.
Genuine malachite will look fine after the acetone bath but fake malachite dissolves. Just keep in mind that this test will damage your stone, so only use it if you really need clarity.
Malachite is a beautiful, green stone but it is also very rare, so you can find a lot of fakes. Before you buy your new crystal, make sure that you look at the color, clarity and the stone’s pattern to find out if the malachite is real.
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