How to Tell if Malachite is Real or Fake
Malachite is a beautiful crystal, with the most unique appearance. Its swirls and banding are truly inspiring, and a real piece of malachite brings the most beautiful, transformational energy.
But, the bad news is, there are a fair number of shops selling fake malachite. I am actually shocked at how often I see fake malachite pendants hanging up in crystal store shelves. Whether you are buying crystals online or in person, it’s important to do your research so you can tell if they’re real or fake. Fake malachite can make a pretty piece of jewelry, but it definitely won’t hold the same energy or value!
If you’ve recently purchased a piece of malachite, and you want to know if it’s real or fake… you’re in the right place! This blog post will give you some easy tips on how to tell if your malachite is real or fake.
Here are 5 ways to tell if your malachite is real
1.Hold the stone in your hand
Real Malachite has a good weight to it. When you hold it in your hand, it will feel dense and a bit cold to the touch. Fake malachite is most often made of plastic or glass…but believe it or not, I've seen pendants labeled as malachite that were made out of wood! Pretty obvious it wasn’t real, but yet it was still labeled as malachite.
A real piece of malachite will be heavier than a piece of glass the same size. The temperature of glass or plastic will likely be room temperature, and will heat up very quickly when it’s in your hand. Malachite on the other hand, will likely feel a bit cooler than room temperature, and will take longer to heat up.
Take your malachite piece and hold it in your hand. Does it feel heavy? Is it cool to touch?
2. Look at the patterns of the stone
This is one of the key ways to tell if your malachite is real or fake. Real malachite is characterized by banding patterns that are individual, unique and varying. They are not completely even all the way around. You will see full circles, uneven circles, swirls, and lines. Some of the lines will be thick, others will be thin - and the entire design will vary significantly.
The banding on a fake Malachite is very uniform. It usually is compiled of a bunch of black lines painted onto a brighter green stone. The lines may look like circles are almost “too perfect”.
Here is a picture of a fake malachite pendant, where you can see the perfect banded lines.
3. Look at the colours
Real Malachite is identified by a beautiful deep, royal, dark green colour. When polished or tumbled, it has a slight shine finish with a silky luster.
However, you will notice fake malachite is often a brighter shade of green, and has a more ‘matte’ appearance. You will also notice the banding within the stone on a real malachite is mostly a very dark green (that looks black but isn’t quite black). A fake piece of malachite will have a consistent colour, and the banding is almost always black. There are few variations in the colouring because they are man-made.
Another thing to be aware of are the terms that are commonly used to sell fake malachite. Some sellers will use phrases like “synthetic malachite” that is in the product description (of course in tiny tiny font you can hardly see it). That’s a nicer way to say, fake. It’s also worth noting, red or multicolored malachite does not exist. If you see that, know that it is a man made stone or a mislabelled stone.
What some sellers sometimes call red malachite, is actually red-banded jasper. Two very different minerals.
4. Check the hardness
The hardness scale is always a great way to determine whether your crystals are real or fake. Of course, if you’re not a crystal store you may not have a proper testing kit. But, there are at-home tests you can do that can give a good indication.
Malachite scores between 3.5 and 4 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
It is a fairly soft stone that can get scratched easily. If you took a copper penny to the surface, it would be scratched. If you use something softer like a plastic knife or your fingernail, it won't be scratched.
5. Buy from a reputable shop
If you’re purchasing malachite online, it’s important to know a bit about the retailer. Places like AliExpress, Shein, etc. sell loads of fake malachite and it’s not worth your time or money. But, some seemingly reputable crystal shops carry it too.
Check the shop's content on social media. Do they share videos of their products often? Do they seem knowledgeable?
Check their website. Do they offer an authenticity guarantee?
Reach out to them if you have questions. This will give you a good indication of their experience, knowledge and customer service.
Do they have an in-person store? Online retailers that also have physical stores are usually safer to buy from. Why? Because their products are out in the open. Which means anyone can go in there and touch/feel the crystals and see if they are real or fake.
A well-experienced retailer will be happy to guarantee authenticity, and will be forthcoming if you need more information.
It can be difficult to buy crystals online, but with a bit of research you can feel a lot more confident. We have a huge selection of authentic malachite in our store. We are located in Hamilton, Ontario Canada or you shop for crystals in our online store from the comfort of your home.
And, yes, of course we guarantee the authenticity of ALL our crystals.
Head to our crystal shop here to see our beautiful collection of crystals and crystal jewelry.