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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