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Mineral Fakes What to look for & What to do when you find one.

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Presentation on theme: "Mineral Fakes What to look for & What to do when you find one."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mineral Fakes What to look for & What to do when you find one

2 What constitutes a Mineral Fake? The specimen is not the handiwork of Mother Nature The crystals did not grow naturally The crystals were glued into place The crystals were dyed, irradiated, coated, etc. I personally believe that modern specimens matched up with old labels are fakes too.

3 Why would someone make a fake specimen? Enhance the perceived value of a rock A way to use nice crystals and pass them off as exceptional specimens A way to essentially steal from unsuspecting buyers Personal reasons…

4 Some distinctions need to be made Repaired specimens are not fakes Restored specimens are not fakes As long as the Repair and/or restoration replicate the original specimen. As long as that information is noted on the specimen label

5 How do you know youve been had? This thing looks perfect! Man, I am going to buy it! Wow! What a great deal I got! I cant wait to get a better look at this when I get home under my microscope! Ah Crap!

6 The first thing to realize is that we all buy and likely have bogus minerals in our collections. The best dealers in the world have a drawer full of them, including me, and all museums have them too. They are EVERYWHERE!

7 Your Most Valuable Tools for Fake Specimen Indentification Handlens A Microscope A UV light source Experience

8 Now for some examples

9 Heliodor from Tajikistan Aquamarine that gets nuked goes yellow

10 Wulfenite from Tsumeb

11 Hard not to see the glue and crushed matrix which was added in

12 Fluorapatite from Germany

13 Every single crystal was glued into place with a mix of glue and crushed matrix

14 Elbaite from Elba Island

15 Flakes of feldspar added to the glue. Under a scope it hurts to look at it.

16 Proustite from Peru

17 The crystal is literally hanging by glue and little pieces of matrix…

18 Nice Cuprite from Mashamba

19 Except that the big crystal is glued into place…

20 Euclase from Zimbabwe

21 I gotta clean that iron oxide out! Hmm.. Nothing seems to get the FeOxide out !

22 Oh…Its because it is all glue!

23 Exceptional epidote from Pakistan!

24 Except for one thing…

25 Gold from Arizona

26 Every piece of gold is a little piece of leaf gold glued to the matrix.

27 Why is the gold only on one surface?

28 Gold from Mexico

29 Nice crystal but what is all that shiny stuff around it? Hmmm…

30 Even the little spots of gold have been glued in place!

31 Helvite from Fujian, China

32 Oh… that is why it was so cheap…

33 Frankenstein rock from Korea

34 Looks pretty good from here. But why two different colors of fluorite?

35 Pale violet and pale green fluorite… Two colors of fluorite is only rarely seen in nature on the same rock

36 And oh yeah, the scheelite was glued in too.

37 Manganite from Germany Looks like an exceptionally fine rock if you ask me!

38 I sure do wish all the terminations were complete.

39 More important, I wish that the crystals actually grew there instead of being glued there…

40 Fluorapatite from Austria!

41 Theres even another crystal on this rock!

42 I gotta get all that debris away from the crystal so it looks killer!

43 Except… All that debris is glued into place to look like matrix…

44 Gold from Russia…

45 This specimen was cast and then soldered to some other gold bearing matrix. An atomic absorption test proved that the alloy was copper and silver with gold while the other visible gold was void of any copper.

46 My gift to Scott Werschky


48 Pretty decent job if you ask me!

49 Ok – so now you have found your mineral fake. Whats next? Contact the dealer and let them know. Be nice about it and keep in mind that most dealers were likely been duped before you. Every dealer worth his or her salt will gladly refund you your original purchase price. If there is a dispute go to a non-partisan 3 rd party to get a 2 nd opinion. The vast majority of the dealers out there are honorable people and will stand by their name.

50 Any Questions?

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