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You are watching: How to tell if lapis lazuli is real

Lapis lazuli is just one of the oldest gemstones known. That’s why there room dozens of fakes evolved due to the fact that antiquity. In ancient Egypt, lapis lazuli to be a favorite stone for amulets and also ornaments such together scarabs. Ground into powder, lapis lazuli produce ultramarine, the finest and most expensive of every blue pigments, which was supplied by some of the most important artists the the Renaissance and Baroque (Titian, Vermeer).

Real lapis lazuli is a rock yet not a mineral. Real lapis lazuli consists of the key three minerals: lazurite, calcite, and pyrite, if fake lapis lazuli is usually stood for by one blue even phase. Fake lapis lazuli is usually also smooth and also too uniform, which shows its unnatural genesis.

There space dozens of types of lapis lazuli fakes. They are dyed, reconstructed, and also synthetic. Another kind of lapis lazuli fakes is the imitation by other natural and also human-made materials. Keep reading, and also we will help you to differentiate them all!

Table of Content
How to Tell if Lapis Lazuli is genuine or Fake? The key Differences

How to Tell if Lapis Lazuli is Real

Real lapis lazuli is a rock, so that is composed of various minerals. Friend will check out swirls that white calcite and also gold-color flakes of pyrite within a real lapis lazuli. Mineral are located according to irregular herbal patterns. Pyrite crystals generally concentrate right into veins.

Real lapis lazuli has its herbal imperfections, which make it important beautiful. Lapis lazuli or lapis is a deep-blue (ultramarine) metamorphic rock created of

Calcite – CaCO₃ – a white and also soft mineral, which occurs as gentle swirls or veins in lapis lazuli;Pyrite – FeS₂ – or fool’s gold – metallic yellow mineral, which perfectly contrasts the ultramarine shade of lazurite.

Lazurite is typically connected with some other minerals choose diopside, humite, forsterite, hauyne, and also muscovite.

How does genuine Lapis Lazuli look Like?

Here is a checklist for real lapis lazuli:

Real lapis lazuli has actually a distinct ultramarine color.Real lapis lazuli is opaque.Real lapis lazuli, as any kind of other herbal rock, is quite hard and also tough. It also remains cold to the touch because that a lengthy time in comparison come glass or plastic analogs.

How come Tell if Lapis Lazuli is Fake

Because of a few thousands that years’ demand on lapis lazuli, there space a lot of high-quality fakes that showed up during that time. The very first fakes space deeply rooted in ancient Egypt (yes, fake troubles are not new), other fakes space made in modern laboratories with the help of state-of-the-art appliances.

Fake lapis lazuli do of glass or plastic is uniform blue and also warm to the touch. Some fabricated lapis lazuli will have actually yellow flakes, however they will be i ordered it in a continuous pattern. Fake lapis lazuli stood for by herbal sodalite has a dull blue color and also lacks yellow pyrite.

All of them deserve to be categorized right into three groups:

Synthetic lapis lazuli, the physical and also chemical nature of which completely correspond to the herbal one; yet it is do in laboratories.Imitations, where an additional natural or manmade product looks choose lapis lazuli. Organic imitations are stood for by sodalite, or dyed howlite, or magnesite. Manmade imitations are simple glass or plastic.

Genuine pyrite or ‘fool’s gold’ is surprisingly an overwhelming to imitate. Any kind of imitation attempts end up looking much too uniform and perfect because that it to it is in real.

Like a most other gemstones, lapis lazuli have the right to be very cold come the touch. Return glass imitations room cold together well, castle will easily warm up when held. Real gemstones frequently remain cool also after fairly an extensive holding.

TIP: You have the right to often uncovered a tumbled lapis lazuli because that sale. Tumbled lapis lazuli is really beautiful. But do girlfriend know just how long to tumble this gemstone? uncover out the precise values for different rocks (lapis lazuli included) in the short article below:

How lengthy To Tumble Rocks? specific Values For various Rocks

How go Fake Lapis Lazuli watch Like?

Fake lapis lazuli generally lacks yellow crystals that pyrite. Fake lapis lazuli structure is too uniform and regular patterned. The color of fabricated or dyed fake lapis lazuli deserve to be too bright, or evil versa, in the instance of sodalite imitations, the color will be dull blue with plenty of white veins.

1. Fake lapis lazuli represented by amplified natural product looks too bright. The dye can be spread not evenly and that’s why spots of dye concentration deserve to be present.

2. Fake lapis lazuli represented by rebuilded material, whereby pieces of low-quality lapis lazuli room glued or unify together, might look like a conglomerate.

3. Fake lapis lazuli stood for by top-quality synthetic material (e.g. Gilson Glass Lazuli) fully corresponds come the physical and chemical nature of the natural one. However, the texture will have actually some differences. In fake man-made lapis lazuli, the specks of pyrite space too smooth and also too uniformly patterned to it is in real, and the blue color is also even.

4. Fake lapis lazuli imitated through sodalite likewise lacked pyrite and also looked a bit dull. Sodalite might be semi-opaque, while natural lapis lazuli is always opaque. Another way to tell the difference is a streak test. Lapis has actually a light-blue streak, when sodalite has actually a white streak.

5. Referrals on how to point out glass or plastic as imitations are the very same as usual. Fake lapis lazuli stood for by glass has actually a glassy luster, while actual lapis lazuli looks waxy. Fake lapis lazuli made of glass is also too perfect. Also some gas bubbles have the right to be present in low-quality fakes.

6. Fake lapis lazuli made of plastic are lot softer than actual material. Plastic fakes also feel warmer come the touch than genuine stone.

TIP: Lapis lazuli is yes, really cool rocks. What various other rocks carry out you discover cool? uncover a perform of usual cool rocks in the article below:

What room Cool Rocks & whereby to uncover Them? Follow this Tips

Real vs. Fake Lapis Lazuli: The key Differences

Here you are welcome to check a table through the key differences between natural and also fake lapis lazuli. However, us kindly recommend you look for the aid of a expert gemologist in case of an high-quality purchase.

Characteristic featureReal lapis lazuliFake lapis lazuli
ColorDeep-blue, ultramarine color.Too glowing colors. Vibrant, electric-blue color in situation of plastic or glass fakes.Dull grayish-blue colors in instance of sodalite imitations.
TransparencyOpaque. The light can go through.Fake lapis lazuli made of glass or plastic or imitated by sodalite have the right to be semi-opaque.
Dye enhancementNo dye presence. Dark-blue shade is evenly spread on the whole sample. Blue color cannot be gotten rid of by acetone.Spots the pure dye concentration deserve to be observed. The dye deserve to be removed or damaged by water, alcohol, and also acetone.
Presence that pyrite yellow crystalsPresent.In many fake cases yellow specks space absent.In synthetics fakes yellow flakes deserve to be present, however, they will certainly be arranged in a continual pattern.
Touch testReal lapis lazuli continues to be cold for a prolonged time.Glass and plastics fakes will certainly feel warm in a few seconds.
Acetone testThe color is stable and doesn’t fade away.Dyed lapis lazuli tends to lose its color.
Differences in between real and also fake lapis lazuli

TIP: carry out you want to try to tumble her lapis lazuli rocks? you should know that not all rocks deserve to be tumble together. Find out what to take it into factor to consider when tumbling different rocks with each other in the short article below:

What‌ ‌Rocks‌ ‌Can‌ ‌Be‌ ‌Tumbled‌ ‌Together:‌ ‌Complete‌ ‌List‌ ‌With‌ ‌Tips‌

Where to Buy real Lapis Lazuli

Real lapis lazuli of the highest quality is rare enough. The best material comes from Afghanistan, Chile, and Russia. Therefore the an initial piece that advice to defend you from buying a fake is to ask the resource of the lapis lazuli.

The best place to buy a genuine lapis lazuli is minerals and also rocks shows. There are two world-known mineral shows: The Munich show in Europe and The Tucson show in the US. There are a most independent gems and mineral professionals who are prepared to analyze every little thing you want.

In the case of lapis lazuli, it’s much better to protect against such renowned platforms as Amason and Etsy. We room not informing you that every little thing is fake there, yet it takes an ext time to discover a responsible seller. Constantly ask a resource of lapis lazuli.

BTW: execute you want to know an ext about rocks and also minerals identification? The books listed below are the best ones you can discover on the net (Amazon links):


Lapis lazuli is among the most beautiful gemstones, i beg your pardon was highly praised because antiquity. Its shade is mysterious and gold specks are intriguing. Lapis lazuli is quiet in high need from jewelry designers and mineral collectors. Being a material recognized for centuries, lapis lazuli has actually a lot of fakes.

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The best approach to prevent fakes is to pay fist to pyrite yellow crystals and also calcite white veins. Real lapis lazuli is praised for its imperfections. Perfectly even samples room a sign of any kind the fakes. Regularly arranged veins and pyrite flakes are likewise a authorize of fakes. Too perfect texture suggests a man-made origin that lapis lazuli.

TIP: Do you desire to begin collecting rocks? Rockhounding is a good hobby but rock collecting deserve to be a little bit tricky also for knowledgeable rockhounds. Check out the complete guide on absent collecting in the post below: