Rock Discoveries

Spotting Real vs Fake Moonstone: Essential Tips for Gemstone Lovers

Moonstone is a natural gemstone that is recognized for its unique characteristics. As with many gemstones, there are imitations that may be passed off as real, causing much disappointment and loss to unsuspecting buyers.

That is why it is essential to know how to identify real and fake moonstone. This article will highlight the significant differences between real and fake moonstone and how to identify them.

Identifying Real Moonstone and Its Characteristics

Real moonstone is a type of feldspar mineral with a micro-layered structure. The feldspar mineral is made up of two types of minerals, albite, and oligoclase.

Albite is a white mineral, while oligoclase is a greenish or yellowish mineral. As these two minerals crystallize together, they form a moonstone with its characteristic blue and white adularescence.

Adularescence Phenomenon in Real Moonstone

The adularescence phenomenon is a significant characteristic of real moonstone. It is a visual effect that occurs when light is diffracted by the intergrowth of albite and oligoclase.

To get the best adularescence effect, moonstone is often cut into cabochons. The sheen of real moonstone cabochons is usually blue or white, and it moves as the gemstone is viewed from different angles.

Color and Clarity of Real Moonstone

Moonstone comes in various colors, such as blue, white, green, yellow, brown, and gray. The most common color of moonstone is white.

Real moonstone is semi-transparent and may contain some inclusions or small fractures that are visible to the eye. Usually, these inclusions look like centipedes.

The clarity of real moonstone is not as transparent as other gemstones and may have a cloudy appearance.

Perpendicular Fracture System in Real Moonstone

Real moonstone has a specific type of fracture system called a perpendicular fracture system. It is made up of several cleavage directions and fissures that run in different directions.

When examined under a microscope, one can see various centipedes running through the stone. These centipedes are a classic identifier for real moonstone.

Quality Factors of Real Moonstone

The quality of real moonstone is determined by its body color, sheen color, and sheen orientation. Body color refers to the color of the mineral used to make the moonstone.

The better the color, the better the quality. Sheen color refers to the color of the adularescence, with blue and white being the most desirable.

Sheen orientation refers to the areas where the sheen appears. The better the alignment, the higher the quality.

Identifying Fake Moonstone and Its Characteristics

Fake moonstone, on the other hand, is usually made of opalite, glass, or plastic. Opalite is a man-made material that is produced by heating glass.

It is characterized by its milky appearance and homogeneous structure. Opalite is also sometimes referred to as “Tiffany Stone.” However, opalite is not a genuine gemstone, and it should not be marketed as one.

Differences Between Real and Fake Moonstone

To spot the difference between real and fake moonstone, here are some key areas to pay attention to:

Micro-Layered Structure

Real moonstone has a micro-layered structure, while fake moonstone has a homogeneous structure. To determine the micro-layered structure, examine the gemstone from different angles, and look for the intergrowth of albite and oligoclase.

Touch Test

Fake moonstone feels warm to the touch, while real moonstone feels cold. This is because opalite and glass are poor conductors of heat, unlike real moonstone.

Sheen Color

Real moonstone cabochons have a blue or white sheen. In contrast, fake moonstone usually has a milky, bluish, or reddish hue in the adularescence.

Hardness

Real moonstone has an approximate hardness of 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, while opalite is significantly softer and can be scratched easily.

Fracture systems

Fake moonstone does not have a perpendicular fracture system as seen in real moonstone. In contrast, air bubbles are usually detected in fake moonstone.

Price and Clarity

Fake moonstone is significantly cheaper than real moonstone and may have a higher clarity.

UV Light Test

Real moonstone responds to UV light, while opalite does not respond to UV light.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is essential to identify real and fake moonstone to avoid being ripped off. Real moonstone is characterized by its intergrowth of albite and oligoclase, perpendicular fracture systems, blue and white adularescence, semi-transparency, and inclusions visible to the eye.

On the other hand, fake moonstone is characterized by its homogeneous structure, air bubbles, milky appearance, and warm to the touch sensation. While real moonstone may be more expensive, it is definitely worth the investment.

Moonstone is a fascinating gemstone that is notable for its characteristic blue and white adularescence. While the beauty of this stone is unmatched, it is essential to know how to identify real moonstone from the numerous imitations that exist in the market.

With that said, this article will teach you how to identify and spot real and fake moonstone effectively.

Identifying Real Moonstone

Real moonstone is characterized by natural imperfections, layers, fractures, and a micro-layered structure. It is rare to find a completely flawless moonstone, as it naturally contains tiny fractures and inclusions.

The internal layers in genuine moonstone are visible to the naked eye, which is central in distinguishing it from a fake. Additionally, the fractures seen in real moonstone are not always visible to the naked eye, but they appear when viewed under a microscope.

The intersecting fractures form a unique pattern that is a classic identifier of real moonstones. When examining a moonstone, look out for its color tone.

Real moonstones come in a variety of colors that range from white, blue, green, and gray, but they have a characteristic velvety, translucent appearance. You can also identify real moonstone by the way it feels when touched.

As a result of its crystalline structure, real moonstone is cold to touch, unlike its counterfeit counterparts.

How to Spot Fake Moonstone

Fake moonstones are becoming increasingly common in the market. They are made of various materials such as plastic, glass, or opalite.

To spot a fake moonstone, there are several key identifiers to watch out for. First, fake moonstones lack natural imperfections, and its layers are either nonexistent or less visible.

Unlike real moonstone, the fractures in fake ones may appear uniform, and they are not as small as those found in natural moonstone. Secondly, fake moonstone has a uniform color tone and lacks the velvety, translucent appearance natural to real moonstone.

Rather than being cold to touch, fake moonstones tend to be warm, as they rely on the heat from the wearer’s body. Third, air bubbles are a prevalent characteristic to look out for in fake moonstones.

These bubbles may be visible to the naked eye or require the use of a magnifying lens to detect them. Fourth, fake moonstones may have color variations that are unnatural or inconsistent with natural moonstones.

The adularescence of a fake moonstone is likely to be one constant color rather than the blue and white tones that characterize natural ones. Lastly, a UV light test can easily detect fake moonstone.

When placed under UV light, genuine moonstone shows a yellowish-green glow, whereas fake moonstones do not glow or may have a completely different color. General Table for

Differences Between Real and Fake Moonstone

In summary, below is a table that outlines the differences between real and fake moonstone.

| Characteristic | Real Moonstone | Fake Moonstone |

| ———————- | ————————–| —————————|

| Micro-layered structure | Present | Absent |

| Touch test | Cold | Warm |

| Sheen color | Blue or white | Other variations |

|

Hardness | 6-6.5 | Softer than 6 |

|

Fracture systems | Perpendicular fracture | Uniform fractures |

| Air bubbles | Present | Present |

| Price and clarity | Higher and Cloudy | Lower and Clear |

| UV light test | Glows yellowish-green | Does not respond to light |

Conclusion

In conclusion, knowing how to identify real and fake moonstone can be the difference between getting value for your money and being duped into buying an imitation. Real moonstone has natural imperfections, layers, fractures, and a micro-layered structure, while fake moonstone lacks these characteristics.

Spotting a fake moonstone involves looking out for warmth, color variations, air bubbles, a lack of imperfections, unnaturally uniform fractures, and failure to respond to UV lights. With these tips in mind, you can save yourself from possible disappointment and invest in an excellent piece of gemstone.

In conclusion, identifying real and fake moonstone is crucial when buying a gemstone to ensure you get what you pay for. Real moonstone has natural imperfections, layers, fractures, and a micro-layered structure, while fake moonstone lacks these characteristics.

Spotting a fake moonstone involves looking out for warmth, color variations, air bubbles, a lack of imperfections, unnaturally uniform fractures, and failure to respond to UV lights. With these tips in mind, you can save yourself from possible disappointment and invest in an excellent piece of gemstone that is worth the price.

FAQs:

Q: What are the most common colors of real moonstone? A: The most common colors of real moonstone are white, blue, green, and gray.

Q: How does real moonstone feel when touched? A: Real moonstone will feel cold to the touch due to its crystalline structure.

Q: What type of fracture system does real moonstone have? A: Real moonstone has a perpendicular fracture system with intersecting fractures forming a unique pattern.

Q: What is the UV light test for identifying fake moonstone? A: When placed under UV light, genuine moonstone shows a yellowish-green glow, whereas fake moonstones do not glow or may have a completely different color.

Q: What are some common materials used to make fake moonstone? A: Fake moonstones are made from various materials such as plastic, glass, or opalite.

Q: How can I ensure I am buying genuine moonstone? A: By purchasing from reputable dealers, requesting gemstone certificates of authenticity, and looking out for the characteristics of real moonstone.

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