How to tell if Black Tourmaline is Real or Fake? 7 Ways

Jorge Silva
How to tell if Black Tourmaline is Real or Fake? 7 Ways

Tourmaline comes in many colors, so it can be difficult to distinguish between real and fake black tourmaline.

However, there are some telltale signs that you can look for. If you’re unsure what color your stone should be, consult a chart of tourmalines.

First, take a look at the stone’s shape.

Is it rounded or angular?

Fake rocks generally have angular shapes with sharp edges, while natural stones tend to be more rounded.

Second, inspect the surface of the gemstone; fake stones often have lots of impurities visible on their surface, while genuine stones are smoother.

Third, place the gem against a white background and shine a light behind it; if any light passes through the stone, it is likely fake, as genuine black tourmaline will only reflect light rather than pass through it.

Are there fake Black Tourmaline crystals?

Real Black Tourmaline
Real Black Tourmaline

Many black tourmaline crystals available on the market are not real.

The first thing to look for is color. If it has a yellow tint, then it’s likely fake. Next, take a magnet and see if any black tourmalines stick to it.

If they do not, then they’re probably fake as well. Look at the shape of the stone.

Fake stones will be cut into squares or rectangles, while real stones are shaped like spheres or ovals.

It is also possible to tell how old your black tourmaline is by looking at its luster, which may have faded over time.

When you hold a fake stone next to a window, you should see colors reflecting off of it.

However, when containing a genuine black tourmaline next to the window, you should only be able to see dark shades and never any colors.

Does a fake crystal have spiritual properties?

Using a real Black Tourmaline

Tourmalines are often faked, and you’ll need to know some key differences between real black tourmalines and fake ones.

  • Fake crystals are lighter in color than real ones;

  • Fake crystals have a metallic luster, while real ones have a vitreous luster;

  • Also, fake crystals will produce a different type of fluorescent light than the real ones, with colors ranging from green to yellow or red.

The fake crystal doesn’t have spiritual property as it has no healing effect on your body as does not conduct electricity.

And lastly, if you find any cracks on the surface of your black tourmaline, then that means that it is not authentic.

Cracks in stones like these are only caused by heating, which can change the color or alter other properties like density.

Fakes will also contain what is called Fairy Dust, tiny dots that appear at random within the stone; these flecks can range from silver to gold and generally form near where impurities are present.

How to tell if Black Tourmaline is real? 7 Ways

How to tell if Black Tourmaline is real or fake

When it comes to natural gemstones, authenticity can be hard to determine. With Black Tourmaline, however, there are some critical tests you can run to ensure you’re getting the real deal.

1) The Physical Appearance

Black tourmaline is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in various places around the world.

It has a very distinct physical appearance, and some people may be able to tell if it’s real or not simply by looking at it.

One of the first things you may notice about black tourmaline is its color. It will be an intense, deep black color with no other colors.

The next thing you may see is the crystal structure.

There are two ways that black tourmaline crystals are structured: either hexagonal prisms or bundles of thin needles.

Another way to identify the authenticity of your black tourmaline is through its weight. A real piece should feel heavy for its size compared to a fake one.

2) Scratch Test

Tourmalines can be black, brown, or green.

The only way to tell for sure what color your tourmaline is without doing a scratch test would be by looking at the crystals under a microscope.

Scratch test  If you have a rough piece of quartz and sandpaper, you can use that to do the scratch test.

With sandpaper on one side and quartz on the other, rub them together to create abrasion on the surface of both pieces.

Rub the two against each other with medium pressure until you see where their characters meet.

You should look at these two points to see which is scratched more deeply. If it’s the quartz point, your tourmaline is most likely a real gemstone; otherwise, it’s just another type of crystal.

You could also try using aluminum foil instead of sandpaper to avoid scratching up anything else while conducting this test.

3) Salt Test

If you have a salt shaker, you can use it to test your black tourmaline.

Pour a little water on the stone, then take some salt and sprinkle it on top of the wet stone.

You should see crystals form right away. Sometimes this happens so quickly that you don’t need to wait for anything else.

Once again, this is an easy way to tell if your black tourmaline is real or not because salt only reacts with real stones like black tourmaline and not fake ones.

4) Fire Test

Tourmalines have a pyroelectric property, producing an electrical charge when heated. Hold the stone in the flame of a candle and see if it produces sparks.

If there are sparks, then the stone may be real.

Fire test tourmalines have a pyroelectric property, creating an electrical charge when heated.

Hold the stone in the flame of a candle and see if it produces sparks.

5) Burning Test

The Burning Test – Place the stone in a flame. If it burns brightly, it’s not real. Place the stone on the stove and turn on the burner. If it starts smoking or catches fire, it’s not real. 

The Hot Plate Test – Put the stone on top of a hot plate. If it doesn’t react, then it’s not black tourmaline!

6) Magnetism Test

Tourmalines are paramagnetic, which means they are attracted to a magnet.

So one way you can test if your black tourmaline is real is by using a solid attraction and seeing if it sticks.

  • If the stone sticks, it’s not real because magnets should repel all genuine tourmalines.
  • If the stone doesn’t stick but leaves a residue of dust or white powder on the surface, it could be treated with borax (a process known as borating) or soaked in hydrochloric acid.

7)  Ice Test

 The Ice Test – Fill a glass of water and place the stone inside.

If no bubbles or steam are rising from it, then it’s not real. This test is the simplest way to know that your black tourmaline is fake.

There’s an easy way to tell if your black tourmaline isn’t real: touch it with your finger!

Tourmalines can be heat-treated so that they’re more complicated than usual and won’t scratch as quickly as you would expect.

How to spot fake Black Tourmaline right away?

Real crystals

If you want to know whether your black tourmaline is real or not, you should look at the hardness and density of the gemstone.

The hardness scale runs from 1-10, with 10 being the most challenging mineral to scratch. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to test a stone’s hardness.

To test a stone’s hardness, use a needlepoint or a sharp object and try scratching the stone’s surface.

To spot the fake black t right away, rub the stone on a cloth to see if any type of lint sticks to it.

If there are no particles, this could indicate that this black tourmaline may be fake.

Make sure that the polish on the black tourmaline is shiny and smooth when rubbed against the light.

When looking for flaws in gemstones like color zoning, ensure they are evenly spaced across the stone.

Final Words

The gemstone black tourmaline can be found in many shapes, sizes and colors. It is challenging to tell the difference between a synthetic or natural stone.

The best way to know for sure is through a lab test. If you are not able to afford this option, here are several ways to tell if your black tourmaline is real 

  • Check its weight. Natural black tourmalines will always weigh more than synthetics because they contain denser material;

  • Compare its color with other specimens of the same type of rock known to be genuine. You can also compare it to other stones with similar colorings, such as onyx, pyrite, chalcedony, and amethyst;

  • Look at the transparency of the stone. Pure black tourmaline should be completely opaque, while simulants will be translucent;

  • See how glossy it is under the light. A real black tourmaline should reflect light off its surface like a mirror, while fakes tend to look duller in comparison;

  • Compare it with another piece of black tourmaline you know to be authentic.

So, do you already know how to spot fake crystals like Black Tourmaline? Please, feel free to leave your comments below!

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