Can you tell which of these are fake and which are real?
If not don't worry we have a guide for you, and were going to go through some of these pieces and show you the fakes and the real ones.
Moldavite is a Tektite from Czech Republic it formed when a meteor hit the earth around 15 million years ago.
So why do people fake moldavite? The answer to that is the same as the cause and solution to many of life's problems....money, moldavite was always a rare crystal and cost a lot of money generally, however the recent activity on tiktok has caused a huge increase in the quantity needed and yet the supply is the same, driving the prices up, this in turn has caused more people to start doing fakes, and better ones as the payoff it better for it.
Okay so now we know why its fakes, we now need to know how its faked.
generally the cheaper fakes from china are made using green glass that it moulded to look similar to moldavite, it is then created en masse, this leads to some quite easy to spot fakes, they generally are lower quality and some we have seen even have lines showing where the 2 halves were stuck together.
Unfortunately as prices have gone up the market has become flooded with better and better fakes, India in particular has started making some very good fakes, that even some experienced sellers have fallen for in the past. These are usually made using moulds of real moldavite pieces and they only make smaller numbers of them, this leads to better textures and less quantity of the same piece, this means that it can be harder to spot similar pieces and so one less flag is able to be raised.
So what are the most popular questions we get asked about moldavite? Ask almost any seller and I'm sure they will have been asked if they have a certificate of authenticity, now on the surface you may think that a seller should be able to show a cert for something as expensive as a piece of moldavite, after all they can go for 100s of pounds for good large pieces, the trouble is that most of the crystals are smaller selling for around 20 to 50 pounds each. Now why is that an issue? simply put the major places that you can get a stone certified (such as the GIA for example) all charge lots of money for their services, the moldavite when we asked some of these places would have cost between 100 and 200 to be certified per piece, and there in lies the issue. No seller is going to pay £200 to get a piece of £20 moldavite certified.
So then, if certificates are so expensive then why do some sellers have them? Well there's a few possibilities, 1st is that they are genuine and have very very expensive prices that cover the cost of the certificate, that's less likely than the next 2 options. 2nd is the possibility that the moldavite has been sent for testing, but only 2 or 3 of them, as a sample of the whole, and while this is a good way to get it cheaper and make it possible to get a good certificate, however for less trustworthy sellers this does open up the possibility that they send a few real pieces off and then are able to sell fakes with certificates.
3rd and most likely unfortunately is that the certificate is fake. As you can see in the image (below)
Certificates can be faked, and while this is a very basic one, it took me about 1 minute on word, it is unfortunately as accurate as we have seen some certificates be, we have seen some with photos of fake moldavite claiming it was found in the USA and Australia- something which simply cannot be true- so you see that certificates can very easily be fakes, and unfortunately it is very common for sellers using these certificates to be selling fakes more often than not.
This is not to say that all certificates are fakes but a large number are so you cant rely on them alone.
The next question we get asked a lot is "my friend has a piece and it doesn't look the same, so is yours fake?" the simple answer is no, there are lots and lots of variations within moldavite and different localities can look very different to each other-more on this down below.
The next is Texture, this is one of the easiest ways to spot fake moldavite, as one of the people who we talked to while making this blog post said 'If it looks like a melted gummy bear, its fake' and this is very true, fake moldavite has traditionally had a reputation for being shiny and wet looking, and while some genuine pieces can appear to fall into this category it should be very obvious that some are fake based on this alone, just look at these 2 images. (see below)
Bubbles and inclusions, all moldavite should have bubbles inside, if they are extremely small pieces or damaged then they may to have bubbles, it is harder to see with raw moldavite than it is with polished moldavite, but the bubbles can be any size or shape, a common misconception is that round means fake, this isnt true, they can be round, its just not as common as oval or oblong ones are, this is because of the way they cooled, also the size of the bubble, just like humans have freckles, most aren't perfectly round, but that doesn't mean that someone with a round one is lying about it. They can form in any shape and size, in extreme cases they can form tunnels and holes in the piece where one end of the bubble has been exposed, see the image below to see 2 pieces that have the bubbles forming a tube or tunnel inside the moldavite.
Price, this is the next point that is a good indicator, is it too cheap? if moldavite is selling for an average of £20 per g and you find someone selling it for £5 per g, you have to ask why are they selling it this cheap, ask them for more photos, ask for things like a photo of the moldavite with something written next to it, this helps to show that it is actually something they have there, as sometimes these cheaper pieces are real but you will never get the item you buy, its just a stock photo that's being used to scam people. Regardless of the reason behind it, if the moldavite is too cheap it likely isn't real, of course there may be a chance you have found somewhere which is selling wholesale or selling in large quantity or very low quality and so the price may be okay, but like everything in life if it seems too good to be true it may be.
The next way to spot a fake is if the seller is stupid enough to say its not from the right place, it only comes from Czech Republic so if the seller says its from anywhere else then its fake, do not trust places that say its from the USA, Argentina, Mexico, Australia etc If they say its from Germany or Austria then this is possible due to the impact site and the proximity to Czech Republic however this is less likely than if it is from Czech Republic, so still use caution.
Now this one goes along nicely with Price, simply put, if the piece of moldavite is abnormally large van it's most likely to be fake. Never found or just over 100g, and is only a few been found over that size. If you find one in a local shop or online that is over 100g, it is almost Definitely going to be fake. This is because they just don't exist And when I do exist, they are almost always in museum or major collectors private collection. This, combined with the price should give a clear indication to whether or not pieces are real. If they have 100g peace up for under 100 pounds, for example, that would be 100% fake. The other thing is if it is abnormally large for the weight you can see information by doing a quick Google search on how big the largest ever piece was. And if the piece you're seeing seems to be much bigger than the weight, it should be, then it may well be fake as the plastic doesn't tend to weigh less.
A huge thanks to the following people:
HoneyBeri Crafts (Erika) who very kindly provided us with photos of fake moldavite that they have brought through the years to help educate people on the differences of real vs fake.
Crystal Ki - Genuine Moldavite who provided us several photos of moldavite from different localities as well as giving input on some of the things she would say to watch out for when buying from unknown sellers.
The several people who have sent us photos that we can use to show fake moldavite, this includes both named and un named people depending on their wishes, we will also update this post with any new photos we get sent over the next few days too.
Below are some examples of moldavite from several people.
can you tell which of these is real or fake?
We posted these photos onto a popular Facebook crystal group, and asked them which one or ones were fake and which were real.
So take a moment and decide, which of these do you think are real? and which do you think are fake?
According to the results to our post on Facebook:
Skull 14 people said fake 1said real
Necklace 8 said fake 5 said real.
Tumble 1 said fake 14 said real 1 or 2 said they couldn't tell.
Do you agree with them?
Lets break it down and have a look;
1st the skull the 1st thing of note is that the skull has 3 colours, light green, dark green and black. here is the main issue for the skull, black is not a colour that should ever be visible in malachite, very dark greens are okay, but never true black. The pattern in the skull also just doesn't look right, the pattern appears to be too random and change suddenly in several parts; again this isn't something that natural malachite will usually do. the 3rd way we tested this skull is by doing a scratch test. Malachite has a hardness of 3.5 to 4, plastic or resin starts to scratch at a level 3 on the scale. So we needed to try and scratch it at a level 3 with something, this called for Calcite, which has a mohs scale of 3, the results were that the calcite was able to scratch the skull relatively easily. Having looked at all the evidence this therefore is actually fake malachite.
2nd one to look at is the necklace. This one caused a lot more confusion than the Skull did, so lets look at the evidence. Based on just the photo provided, there are only 2 colours visible, light and dark green, so then that's a better start, on the far right of the photo the colour drops off a little showing possible black speckles, I think that this is why some people felt that it is fake, but that on its own is not enough to say definitively.
It is important at this point to say that I offered everyone more photos if they asked for them-no one did- had they asked, the other side looked like this (see right). Here we can see the pattern has changed a lot on this side, with sudden changes visible at the bottom and bottom right, it also is not clear if there is black or just very dark green (remember dark green is okay, black isn't). so based on this alone, it is very unusual for a piece to be this different and change so suddenly, coupled with the possible black, i would lean more towards fake than real. I then proceeded to test it with a uv torch, to my surprise it actually lit up under the uv - that is to say it reacted with the uv light- this is something that shouldn't happen with natural malachite. so at this point we can be fairly sure its fake, but i did a scratch test just to be 100% sure, it showed a clear scratch the same as the skull, i also happened to notice at the same time that the pendant had air bubbles inside this was the final nail in the coffin, any one of these things on its own is enough to say its very likely fake, but all of them, its definitely fake.
3rd and finally the tumble, now all but one person thought that this one was real, so lets look at the evidence, this piece has very clear banding-something that is a small red flag just because they generally fake pieces with nicer banding. The colours in this item are both light and dark green with no sign of black-very good, remember that black is bad for malachite- so what else? does it have air bubbles like the pendant? No, what about uv? Also no. Okay so at this point there's nothing other than the banding to suggest that the malachite may not be real; with the exception of very nice banding. To be sure i did a scratch test, and it passed with flying colours, no scratch-in fact it damaged my calcite which means it is not plastic and it is definitely in the right hardness for real malachite.
Summary of the tumble? 100% real.
so I'm sure you are all wondering where these pieces are from?
The skull, that was brought by us from Chinese supplier, as part of a bundle of skulls (all the others were real but this one was fake, we no longer use this supplier due to them sending us a fake crystal).
The pendant was from Ali express, we brought this to show people you cant trust those pendants.
The tumble is one of our tumbles, we buy from a south African company that tumbles them themselves, this supplier is extremely good and supplies almost all the tumbles we sell and is very upfront and honest about their items, we do still do checks on them from time to time but nothing has ever failed.
So to summarise if you have a peace of malachite these are the main things to look out for:
Black is bad in malachite, if it has black its fake.
if it has air bubbles it is fake
if it has uv reactivity its almost certainly fake.
if the pattern changes suddenly for no apparent reason into a different style then its likely fake.
if it feels or looks wrong then it may be wrong.
scratch tests are good but not 100% when doing them as human error as well as variations in the crystal can skew the results (but the problem with malachite is that there not much difference between malachite and plastic so the scratches can affect both if not done correctly.
If you are still in doubt ask for help, ask a reputable seller for help, we see fake malachite all the time, some very big sellers sell it on their website without disclosing that its fake!!! so make sure to ask someone you trust will give good advice, don't just ask random other people, as many don't know what fake ones look like, as our pole shows.
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