Use of the term: RARE is often False and Misleading!
is my habit, I go on a "Google fest" each week to search out new
minerals and crystals, see who is making up new names for old crystals
and check out what is being called "real" when in fact it is manufactured.
You might say that fakes and forgeries is my "thing". I really cannot
stand the fact that there are people out there, selling under the
guise of "metaphysical" or "spiritual" stores, that simply are playing
a game to make money and take advantage of those who love crystals
and simply do not know any better.
After doing a great deal of searching and researching this week,
I must protest the overuse of the word "Rare". There really should
be a law. The most frequent offenders in my research appear to be
on Ebay. Now, before you get all fussy--I don't mean ALL Ebay sellers.
Most sellers have a great deal of integrity. Many are in it for
the love of crystals. But it is the growing list of offenders that
give all crystal dealers on Ebay a bad reputation (In my opinion,
the Chinese dealers are real pros at this marketing scheme). It
is these types that use "rare" far too often. It is just a marketing
word to them, and it has much less meaning or value because it is
used regularly to describe things that are common.
There is quite a discussion on Mindat.org on the word "Rare". Yes,
I started it :) I wanted to hear what the more scientific/geology
minded folk thought. We all pretty much agree it is open to translation.
There really are no specific guidelines as to what defines a piece
as "Rare". I can only really tell you what I feel "Rare" means.
So let's start there.
To clarify what I mean when I use the word "Rare" as it pertains
to crystals, rocks and minerals. For me, Rare is when there is a
limited supply of something. This could be because there was only
one mine that this particular piece came from and now that mine
is closed. Rare could mean that the specimen has unique characteristics
or crystal structure. Rare could have a historical context. For
instance, specimens that were common/plentiful in the 60's or 70's
can now be considered "rare" because we do not see many of them
on the market any more.
Case in point #1 - A Hong Kong dealer advertises a Huge Rare
Genuine Cherry Red Wulfenite crystal.
first of all, Wulfenite is not rare. Second, Wulfenite comes in
a variety of colors including: Orange-yellow, yellow, honey-yellow,
reddish-orange, rarely colorless, gray, brown, olive-green and even
black. Now if these crystals were colorless, we could talk uncommon
for sure. Third, the picture shows the specimen. The crystals pictured
are a burnt orange to orange red. There is no cherry color. I suppose
they defend themselves here by making a comment about their photography
skills (Due To Our Low Photography Level, The Real Item Is Much
Better Then The Picture). The fact is Wulfenite is not rare. Really
nice complete crystals with good color may be uncommon, yes. I truly
believe that anyone looking at this particular crystal for sale
is being misled.
Case #2 This one just KILLS ME!! RARE Nature Cherry
Red Quartz Crystal Sphere Ball. Not only is it NOT RARE,
it is a FAKE!!
could be a Cherry or Strawberry "Quartz" fake that is actually glass
with color introduced. Or it could be a manufactured, reconstituted
Quartz with color introduced. Reconstituted means that gemstone
scraps have been heated until they melt together, sometimes with
a plastic binder added, and then molded." After the process is complete,
color, in this case Cinnabar, is added to create the wispy pinks
and red inclusions. (See my "Fakes
and Forgeries" page for a picture of this impostor). This
is a pretty cut and dried fake. There is really nothing else to
say. Oh, did I mention this seller is also from Asia?
And just for the record-- Seraphinite? NOT rare, Moldavite? in general,
NOT rare (unless it is large and with special characteristics),
Amethyst? NOT rare, even if it does have a rainbow (holy cow are
you kidding me??) Epidote? NOT rare and neither is Larvikite. Angel
Stone, a combination of Quartz, Ajoite, Chrysocolla and Shattuckite?
Also NOT RARE!! (I personally have a vendor that has at least one
ten LB bag of these every time he comes to visit- at least three
times a year). These are just a few of the Ebay listings and others
I was able to look through. This is just the tip of the crystal
As I always say (and cannot say enough!), do not be afraid to ask
a lot of questions. Be prepared and do some research. And if you
are not sure? I am more than happy to assist with any questions
you may have.
Keep on Rockin!