Around 18 months ago I wrote a blog on the difference between real and fake semi-precious stones... With it being such an interesting subject I have updated that blog....
I have been buying semi-precious stones and beads now for over 20 years and there has always been a huge debate about the provenance of the stones that are available on the market today. It is also one of the main questions I am asked in the shop - are these real and where are they from!
I would like to think that I am a bit of an expert in semi-precious stones having worked with them for so long, that said I believe that even the best of us can be caught out from time to time with an expertly made fake!
In this blog I talk about Lapis Lazuli, however, fakes can be made into any crystal and they are not easy to spot as can be seen here
So – How do you ensure you are not purchasing a fake?
There are a number of ways you can protect yourself from purchasing fake stones.
Firstly – buy from a trusted source. Everything in Elements of Avebury is hand selected and I travel the world for the right stones. Their journey is as important to me as being honest when we tell customers our stones are real and purchased from genuine people and places.
Secondly I have built up wonderful relationships with stone and bead sellers throughout the UK and further afield. Many of the relationships are so strong that I visit the crystal sellers in their own homes! This is a really great way to ensure you are buying quality stones - it is also much easier to buy.
If you choose to buy from an unknown source via the internet then you do run the risk of receiving potentially fake stones... The Chinese are very capable of creating just about anything - really, really well! That said there are also some fabulous and genuine stones that come from China – it’s all about ensuring that you are buying from legitimate places.
Stone prices over the last 2 decades have increased substantially. Stones that were rare 20 years ago are still available to buy but either the quality is compromised, or the prices have rocketed.
Lapis Lazuli is a prime example of that, Lapis is a much sought after stone and has been used in jewellery and sold as a crystal for many thousands of years.
The rich colour of blue with little flecks of golden colour has made it one of the most popular semi precious stones, unfortunately, its popularity has also been the reason for it being one of the most faked gemstones in the world!
Cheaper gemstones such as howlite can be dyed blue to make fake Lapis. Following the link will show you how easy it is to do that and also how common it is.
There are some fantastic Crystal books out there which can help and guide you on the way a stone should look and feel. My personal favorite UK author and crystal specialist Judy Hall has released a number of fascinating Crystal Bibles and Crystal Prescription books which have stood the test of time being available for many years.
At Elements of Avebury we have a room that I have nicknamed ‘The Crystal Cave’ Inside that room are some truly wonderful beads and crystals that have been hand picked.
I am delighted to be able to offer my customers the reassurance that I take bead and crystal purchasing extremely seriously having completed a course with The Gemmological Association of Great Britain. This study has strengthened my knowledge and expertise significantly when buying crystals, gemstones and beads.
My final word.... colour, look, feel and a good book can save you £££'s when buying semi precious jewellery and beads.