In English it means ’golden river’, it is copper raspings in glass, it can be glass in more colours it shines in the same way. We can usually meet with it as sunstone but sunstone is an other thing.
Dyed howlite or magnesite
They usually dye howlite or magnesite turquoise and sometimes they sell it as turquoise or turquenite which is a commercial name for dyed howlite or magnesite and this doesn’t exist as a natural mineral. The real turquoise is at least 10x more expensive. I have seen lapis blue or coral red dyed howlite or magnesite.
Opal glass ( Opalite )
As it’s name says it is glass. There were a lot of them sold as moonstone, opal and sometimes as opalite, natural opalite exist but it has nothing in common with glass.
Naturally real fire agate exists and if it is in good quality it is very nice and expensive. It’s an imitation, it’s likely a heat treated carneol only from very far similar to the real.
Ulexite is a real uncommon but interesting gem it is sold as cat’s eye… ect. this is also glass and it has ’cat’s eye effect’ which is due to the structure of glass.
Raspberry, strawberry and cherry quartz
Natural strawberry quartz exits but since several years nicely dyed glass is sold as raspberry strawberry or cherry quartz.
Nice colourful glasses have been found in Tutankhamun’s tomb already. Later in the Roman Empire cheaper jewelerry were made of them too. In Venice and in the workhouses of the Czech Jablonec and Turnov glass shaping was done at high level. In 1758 in Vienna Joseph Strasser a jeweller started using at making jewellery a the strass gem (later named after him) which is made of quartz, plumbum oxide potessium carbonate. This material is much shinier and nicer. Nowdays more environment friendly materials are used like titan, zirconium ect. instead of plumbum as Swarowski do. In all other situations there is no problem with glass sold as glass and not as natural mineral.There are lot of methods for distinguishing real minerals from glass for example gas bubbles, other typical inclusions, toughness, ect. or on the charge of a professional with instruments.
Aura quartz is actually metal steamed rock crystal, which is steamed with (gold, titan, iron, ect.) it depends what colour we want.
The most of the citrines on sale are heated or heat treated amethyst, it is generally accepted, it’s not mentioned.
Lots of agates (pink, purple, green, blue, mostly brighter colours) are dyed with special techniques. There are natural agates with nice original colours but they are rare and much expensive, they are in most cases gray or brown.
Bismuth is a native element mineral, occurent in nature, but it is very rare, so we can almost only meet with the man-made, grown, spectacular representatives.
For a long time we know alum, what is produced from alunite a natural mineral. If we make saturated solution of water and alum, after the evaporation of water we get nice alum crystals. Basically it is uncoluoured, but it can be coloured with food colouring too. Luckily it isn’t toxic (but don’t eat it) it’s pore constrictor, bacteria killing and styptic effect is known for a long time. Sometimes we can meet with nice crystals made of it.
It is a blue vitriol mineral, which occurs in nature, but we can only meet with unwounded natural crystals in dryer areas because it dissolves in water. It is one of the most common sold synthetical mineral, what we can meet because it is easy and cheap to crystallize and it has bright blue colour. Unfortunately it is not always toldt, that it is not natural and it is toxic. If we touch it, it is no matter (it is also used in food industry in small quantity), but if about 10 gramms get into the body it’s a problem. Orally ’luckily’ it has emetic effect and it usually gets out fast, but don’t give it to children.
Lopezite is a natural mineral but it is very rare. It dissolves in water easily so that grown pieces can occur in the market. It can be sold well due to it’s bright red colour, warning: it’s toxic.
For a long while we meet with synthetic resin based imitation, it’s colours are really hit off, it is similar to malachite. Real malachite is heavier (higher specific weight) and this imitation’s tone’s stripes are different and it is (not always) cheaper than the real.
The quartz is one of the most common minerals on the Earth but man-made pieces are produced too (grown in autoclaves), from the 1970s it is mostly used for industrial purposes ( electronics, smart phones, digital cameras, ect.). Sometimes we can meet with them in jewellery, it is really hard to distinguish them from the originals usually with the inclusions (morsel inclusions) professional is needed.
Zirconia (cubic zirconia CZ)
Zirconia (ZrO2) zirconium dioxide is a man made (synthetic) gem, in jewellery it is the cheap, affordable substitute of the expensive diamond, colourful gems are made of it too. It turned up in the market at the first time in 1976. We shouldn’t confuse it with zircon which is a natural mineral (ZrSiO4 zirconium silicate) it’s tan coloured version is the hyacint. Anyway zirconia has a natural ’version’ the baddeyelite (ZrO2) which was discovered in 1892 in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Zirconia is distinguishable in more ways from the diamond with diamond tester, different specific weight, toughness, angle of refraction, ect. well it alo needs a professional.
Recently on some websites luminous gems are started to be sold for example named as natural jade stone which is lighting, some people were looking for these in my store. These are usually greenish and after we put them in light they light on their own. These have only two problems they aren’t natural minerals and they don’t light. These man-made ’gems’ are made of strontium aluminate and may consist of a bit of europium, Strontium aluminate is usually used at sasafety signs (for example emergency exit sign ect.) and other similar things. Now a chicken egg sized piece is sold for 100 USD.
Amber imitations. In the picture you can see imitations. One of the ’most popular’ imitated stone is amber. Good quality Baltic amber has always had high prices it used to be imitated and it is also imitated nowdays as well. Copal is actually ’young’ amber, some certain processes had not ended on it ’not wholly petrified’ (acetone trial). Pressured amber in definite pressure and temperature from real amber (usually scraps) changes to ’made’ amber. Glass imitations are harder than amber and felt to be colder (higher specific weight). Plastic imitations has whiffy plastic smell at ignition. Real amber sails on seawater (about 3dl water and 2.5 teaspoon salt). If we stick it with a heated needle it has fine pine amber fragnance. The plastic imitations are smelly when we do it with them.
Some words about turqouise and it’s imitations. There is an actual example, one of my customers sent me a picture and a question. In the picture there was a purple stone and the question was that ’Is it real?’. It had a name too: Mohave Purple Turquoise. First of all this kind of real turquoise exists, and it’s rare. After this there’s the original turquoise stabilized, which can be told natural, because turquoise is frequently porous and vulnerable and stabilized with resin. Also there are ’turquoises’ made of smaller pieces (trash from grinding) + resin + dye + other materials. I would divide the previously mentioned stone to this group. There are recronstructed turquoises they only consist a little turquoise if they do. Most common dyed howlite and magnesite sold as turquenite. And there are the completely plastic and resin ect. imitations. If the customer is told about what it is it’s correct, if not, it’s an other category.