People have been mining, collecting, buying, and selling crystals for what seems like forever. Throughout the years, some popular stones have been mislabeled or given "trade names" that aren't true to the mineral itself. And sometimes, they aren't even crystals at all! Let's clear up some of these misconceptions!
1. Rainbow Moonstone is not Moonstone
The beautiful black and white stone with flashy rainbows is almost always labelled as Rainbow Moonstone in the crystal community. In fact, I have personally never seen this crystal properly labelled. Even our own "Rainbow Moonstone Spheres" are labelled as such in our shop since that is what the majority of consumers understand it as. In actuality, this is White Labradorite! Moonstone is a completely different mineral family. Labradorite and Moonstone have some similarities in their mineral makeup, but they are distinctly different and should definitely not be coupled together under the same name. Or, at least clarifying the misconception in the product's description if you are selling White Labradorite - which is what we do for our "Rainbow Moonstone" items. At the end of the day, the trade name is what most people recognize this stone to be and it is easier to clarify in the description than cause confusion for people who don't know the real name!
2. Amber is not a crystal
Amber is a very popular choice in both the crystal and jewelry community. It's common to see beautiful amber pendants, bracelets, and rings made of the honey yellow stone. It may come as a surprise to many of you that Amber is not a crystal at all! It is actually fossilized tree sap. It doesn't take away from the beauty or power of it, though, it is actually quite a magical piece to add to your collection. Although Amber doesn't have a crystalline structure, it is still a natural mineral from Mother Earth and carries quite profound spiritual energy in healing child wounds, connecting with ancestors, and shadow work. Check out this article to learn more about where Amber comes from! Image shown above is a gorgeous piece of Amber with a natural insect inclusion!
Genuine Selenite Gypsum found at local shop
3. Selenite? Satin Spar? Gypsum?
You're probably familiar with Selenite in the crystal community. It has been most popularized by its ability to cleanse other crystals, which is why you often see it in the form of charging plates, bowls, or wands. This is all good and true, but the "Selenite" that you often see on the market is actually Satin Spar. The frustration with this misconception is that Selenite is a much rarer (and thus more pricey) crystal, while Satin Spar is much easier to get your hands on and usually very affordable. It makes it difficult to find true Selenite when the market is oversaturated with mislabelled Satin Spar. The confusion arose, I imagine, because both crystals are in the same family - Gypsum - but grow differently during the formation process. Satin Spar Gypsum and Selenite Gypsum are the true and correct names for each mineral. More confusion arises with "Desert Rose Selenite," which is also part of the same family, but should be called Desert Rose Gypsum. Selenite Gypsum is much more translucent than Satin Spar Gypsum and forms in big slab-like shapes, so you won't find true Selenite in the form of towers, carvings, or bowls. It remains true that both forms of Gypsum have amazing properties in cleansing other crystals they are near, but it's good to know the difference.
4. Natural vs. Heat-Treated Citrine
This is a big one. Natural Citrine is one of the more expensive crystals on the market, and at some point someone discovered that you can bake Amethyst to extremely hot temperatures, which causes it to turn a yellow, Citrine-like color. Heat-treated "Citrine" is still a natural stone, but manually altered to change the color. Nevertheless, it is still a beautiful piece to have in your collection, but it is important to understand the difference between the two. Natural citrine will never form in clusters the way Amethyst does, and heat-treated Citrine is much more orange in tone than its natural counterpart. Natural citrine is distinctly different, rarer, more expensive, and becoming increasingly harder to find. There is nothing wrong with picking up some heat-treated Amethyst, but if you see it labelled as Citrine, now you will at least understand it to be false. Crystal sellers should always be transparent if any of their items are man-made or manually enhanced, and it's a good thing to keep an eye out for.
5. Man-Made Stones
It is extremely common to see man-made stones on the market in the crystal community. There is nothing wrong with that of course, but the issue arises when sellers attempt to pass these pieces off as natural. Opalite is a man-made glass, but is often labelled as being genuine Opal or Moonstone - neither of which it is. Goldstone is a completely man-made stone and is quite beautiful with gold shimmers, but too often sellers try to pass it off as Sunstone or another natural mineral. Stones like these being man-made does not take away from their beauty and there is nothing wrong with purchasing man-made items, but they should always be clarified as unnatural pieces and it can be a good indicator of whether a crystal shop is reliable or trustworthy.
All images used in this blog are owned and under copyright by Frankie's Crystals Co.