I am somewhat offended that anyone finds it necessary to heat treat or otherwise color enhance a crystal. This does not mean that you will feel the same (and that is ok!!) or the crystals/minerals are not beautiful. I firmly believe in each persons choice to believe as they feel is right for them.
My concern is that heat treating, lab enhancing or adding dye to a crystal/mineral is a marketing strategy to make bucks on crystals that are C grade and below by dressing them up and giving them a fancy name.
This page is about those crystals. It is an ongoing project so will be edited and added to often. I believe education is a large part of the crystal experience, especially when the process may not be fully disclosed. As I always say, “Become self empowered! Find your crystal voice!” and this is my way of helping you along.
So let’s begin…
Agate -Any agate that is an intense, bright color (think cobalt blue, bright pink, purple, etc) is dyed. A tell tale sign is that the color is not consistent. It may appear blotchy, uneven or follow the cracks and fractures of the Agate itself.
Amegreen or “Greened Amethyst” often called Prasiolite is simply heat treated Amethyst (Var. Quartz) . The term Prasiolite comes from word, “Prase” which is a general term that defines a minerals leek green color (most often jaspers, quartz, etc. NOT to be confused with Prasolite). Seriphos Quartz from Greece would accurately be called Prasiolite.
Aura Quartz are usually lower grade Natural Quartz crystals that have been artificially coated with a ultra-thin metallic layer to produce an iridescent sheen. The natural quartz is colorless and clear without the coating. To read about the individual types of Aura Quartz, click here.
Carnelian– is often heat treated or dyed to intensify its color.
Citrine– if the Citrine is a honey to dark brown in color, it more than likely is heat treated Amethyst.
Crackle Quartz is low grade quartz that has been super heated and then dipped in a dye bath. The color may appear blotchy, uneven or follow the internal fractures created by the heating process.
Dalmatian Stone or Dalmatian Jasper is naturally a
tan to brown color with black spots. Since bright
colors tend to catch the eye, these Dalmatian
tumbles are often dyed bright colors such as green,
blue, red, or purple.
“Fire and Ice” Quartz– uses the same type of
process seen in Crackle Quartz. It is Quartz that has
experienced thermal shock- a process that leaves
pathways of fractures throughout the body of the
quartz often leaving fractures that create fake rainbows. What a lovely way to “dress up” damaged
quartz and charge a fortune, right?
Gemstones- Ruby, Sapphire and others, especially in the gem trade, are often heat treated to bring out the colors or synthesized (man made/lab).
Green Quartz (China) is Quartz that is super heated with chromium.
Green Amber is often manufactured Amber or Copal which comes about by heat treating the Amber/Copal in an autoclave or through a radiation process.
Hiddenite (Emerald Green color) var. Spodumene is often
Howlite- Any Howlite that has intense color (turquoise, blue, purple, pink, etc) is dyed. Much of the turquoise dyed Howlite is passed off as real turquoise.
Mystic quartz is similar to aqua aura, but where aqua aura is coated natural quartz crystals, mystic quartz is cut quartz which has been coated with a ultra-thin layer of metallic titanium on the pavilion faces.
Obsidian– Much of the Obsidian on the market is actually glass with color introduced. For more information visit my page entitled Brightly Colored Obsidians. Often it is marketed as Helenite or Obsidianite.
Ouro Verde Quartz is composed of quartz crystals that have been bombarded with Gamma Rays. This is also called “Lemon Quartz”. It is easy to see why this is so confusing! One website says, “Ouro Verde Quartz is a rare, ‘green gold’ gemstone exclusively from Brazil’s Bocarica Mine.” While other sites clearly state it is manipulated, ” a product of a high energy electron irradiation.”
Peacock Ore is Chalcopyrite that has been subjected to an acid wash and is often misidentified as Bornite. True Chalcopyrite is a brassy metallic gold in color.
The dark purple variety of Scapolite is irradiated and will fade in sunlight.
Sea Sediment Jasper– Sea Sediment “Jasper” is a mystery. It is NOT a jasper at all from my understanding. It is more likely a stabilized resin of some sort. One person I spoke with said it could be marble. It, for now, remains a mystery.
Siberian Blue Quartz lab grown quartz colored by cobalt.
Siberian Green Quartz has been regrown in Russia from natural Quartz combined with chemicals to produce its intense color.
Tanzanite is a gemmy variety of Zoisite. Most all Tanzanite on the market has been heat-treated to produce an intense blue to blue violet coloring.
- My personal and continuing research via databases and other geology information.
The Encyclopedia of Crystals, Judy Hall ISBN 978-1-59233-582-4