The Crystal Miner Blog

Spotting a Manufactured Specimen

picture1We love minerals because they are colorful and with perfect shapes that just amaze us. We love them because they are very aesthetic natural works of art. But sometimes what we see isn’t quit real. What I’m talking about are the occasional “manufactured” specimens using real crystals glued together to create the “perfect” peice. These are usually done with combination specimens such as the ones we all know and love from Pakistan and other popular pegmatite localities. The example I am showing you here is a combination specimen with Mica as the matrix and aqumarine and garnet as the additions. Here are a couple of tips to help avoid buying such a specimen.

1. Look around where the crystals meet the matrix. To hide the imperfections or space between the two they will take some of the matrix and crush it up and mix it in with the glue to blend everything together. The red arrows point to what this will look like. Continued below….

picture2picture32. An Ultraviolet light can also be useful for detecting a manufactured specimen. Many glues used to but these pieces together will fluoresce.

3. Buy from an experienced mineral dealer. An experienced mineral dealer is much less likely to pass on such a specimen or allow them in their inventory. And remember, choose online dealers that have good clear pictures of what they are selling and have a good return policy.

Hopefully you found this helpful as you browse specimens at your local mineral show or favorite online mineral dealers. The above photos are used with permission and courtesy of Globe Minerals.



Click the picture for more information or to purchase.

  A large gallery size aquamarine specimen measuring just under 8 inches wide! You are looking at a superb specimen featuring several clear terminated gem aquamarine crystals in combination with silver mica. The aquamarine crystals display very respectable clarity and luster. We counted at least 9 terminated crystals. A stunning combination with the silver mica. A very aesthetic and showy specimen as you can see. For additional pictures and information to purchase, click the picture above.

Click here for more info or to buy.