Artificial amethyst: what it is and how to distinguish it from natural stone?

Artificial amethyst: what it is and how to distinguish it from natural stone?

Amethyst is a variety of natural quartz. He belongs to precious or semi-precious stones and is known from ancient times. Transparent copies refer to precious, and opaque – to the diverse. Amethyst is mentioned even in biblical texts. Copies of this mineral decorate the crowns and the British Empire, and Russian kings. The popularity of this mineral did not fade and in our time.

Modern jewelers use it in the manufacture of various jewelry: suspensions, pendants, rings, bracelets, hairpins and t. D. Despite the fact that the amethyst is not at all rare or especially expensive stone, he began to actively fake.

Features of natural amethysta

To be able to determine the authenticity of the stone and distinguish the natural crystal from the counterfeit even at home, consider several features inherent in the present Amethyst. The most important feature is color. Color range is preferably in purple colors – from pale-lilac to dark lilac, almost black. Thanks to such a colors, gem is often called stone violet. Stone, as a rule, a translucent, uneven, non-market color.

There are green amethysts – praziolitis. They are very rare, the price is high, in the usual store you will not meet.

Crystal has a sufficient degree of hardness – 7 on the Moos scale, That is, it is difficult to scratch it problematic, however, it can easily damage it, for example, glass. For ametist characteristic Glass, pearl shine, transparency, fragility, lack of spike.

Imitation, artificial stone

Under the guise of a real gentle, unscrupulous vendors may offer imitation of glass, plastic, other natural, but cheaper minerals. In addition, artificially grown crystals appear now, including amethysts. Grow similar copies based on quartz. That is, natural material is used. The speed of creating a crystal in the laboratory is about 0.5 mm per day, that is Small crystal can be obtained after a month.

Whereas in natural conditions it will be formed more than a million years.

In most characteristics, hydrothermal samples are not inferior to natural, in some indicators even exceed. Since artificial stones are perfect. Such in nature are not found. One of the ways to create artificial minerals – hydrothermal. Its essence lies in crystallization of a substance from a hot water solution under high pressure.

Synthetic and hydrothermal crystals are not in the full sense of fake natural stones. They are more likely to artificial analogues, this is a kind of alternative to natural materials. So, the main difference between synthetic crystals from hydrothermal – this is the basis. For hydrothermal, it is taken crushed into small pieces of natural raw materials. And for synthetic not crumb, solution.

Since the main physical characteristics and properties of the gem are preserved, the synthetic and hydrothermal stones were widespread in jewelry. Masters are not so important, in what conditions the crystal was formed – in nature or in the laboratory, the color, density, structure is much more important.

In addition, hydrothermal processing can be improved by the quality of the stone.

Hydrothermal and synthetic stones are used not only for making jewelry, but also in the military and space industry, even in medical devices. The seller is obliged to tell the buyer that the stone passed hydrothermal processing. If a product with hydrothermal stone is sold, then in the description of the insertion there will be a marking “GT”, which informs that the self-artificial gem.

Often for the amethyst give out cheaper mineral – fluorite. He is softer amethyst and can be scratched with a knife.

Also, the imitation of the gem can also be obtained if you irradiate a colorless quartz cobalt, after which the crystal will change the painting on the purple. The problem is that it will quickly disappear when heated or staying on the sunlight.

How to determine the fake?

Imitation of plastic reveal the easiest way. It is easy compared to the stone, warm, is easily damaged. Even an unprepared person will cope with it.

Several ways are known to distinguish a real mineral from a synthetic or glass analogue.

  • Colour. First of all, when visual assessment of the stone is invited to pay attention to cleanliness and color. The color of the natural gem does not have absolutely smooth and equally saturated over the entire surface. There is also no ideal transparency. Of course, a similar sample would look the most advantageous in any decoration. But the fact is that in nature there are extremely rarely. And therefore we are artificially grown crystal.
  • The next point is a hardness check. For this test you will need a knife or blade that you can try to scratch a stone. As mentioned earlier, the amethyst is rather solid, so it’s difficult to leave a scratch on it. If this managed, then before you fake. Similarly, you can distinguish a mineral of natural origin from glass and plastic. If the crystal is artificially grown, then it has the same hardness as a real. Therefore, scratches will not appear on it.
  • Thermal conductivity. One of the most simple methods. Most of the natural gems (amethyst is no exception) differ in bad thermal conductivity. If you hold it in hand, then the real amethyst will warm up with difficulty. Fake – much faster. This experience is best working when comparing two samples. If you know the origin of one of them knowingly, then the difference in the time of heating can be determined by imitation.
  • Water. In this experiment, when checking on authenticity, the sample is lowered for a minute to the water and look at its edges. Real stone edge will look pale. This method is suitable for all imitation options, including for artificially grown minerals – they retain a uniform color.
  • Ultraviolet. When irradiation with ultraviolet, natural origin amethyst will be discouraged evenly, in contrast to synthetic. Last discolored spots. Even if we compare the color of the crystal during bright sunlight and room lighting, then the difference will be noticeable in natural stone.
  • Lupa. Using a microscope or magnifying glass, you can detect microcracks or gas bubbles. Artificially grown samples cannot be. Also on the surface of artificial minerals there are uneven lines – they occur when growing in laboratory conditions.

All methods of verification listed above are suitable for home conditions. There are laboratory methods – x-ray or spectral analysis. They have a high cost, but guarantee the determination of the authenticity of the mineral with high accuracy.

On how to identify a natural stone, look in the following video.

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