How do you Identify Crystals Correctly?
If you have just started out in your crystal journey, you may be overwhelmed and confused over all the contradicting information you see online. Who can you trust as your viable source of information? This isn't a regulated industry, so you got to start thinking critically about the information you are reading. Even with my most trusted suppliers, I study all the materials I receive instead of taking their word for it.
Correctly identifying crystals and minerals takes time (that is why I do it for you!) and a lot of time is spent on comparing photos on trustworthy websites, plus a lot of web trawling! However I complied a list of great websites to help you learn about crystals so that you are aware of fakes and incorrectly labelled crystals!
A lot of the times, you just have to spend a lot of time trawling through the vast web and find reliable sources of information.
If you aren’t sure how to identify the crystal that you have, the best place to go is the forum on mindat.org and just ask on their forum! The members of the site are pretty knowledgeable, but you do need to provide good photos of the crystal in question. I notice that this community doesn't treat polished crystals as real crystals, and only mineral specimens as true crystals (just letting you know).
Mindat also has an extensive photo gallery on various minerals specificed to regions. It has very good pictures of true specimens and I use it a lot to help identify crystrals I am unsure about. It is also excellent for seeing the localities of where different crystals/minerals are found, just to double check the legitimacy of your crystal if the seller can inform you of its origin.
An amazing website on quartz created by an amateur quartz expert. It really helped me to understand more about smoky quartz and citrine. There were so many Youtubers stating they can tell apart between treated citrine and non-treated citrine which I thought was impossible (unless it is heat treated amethyst) and this site confirmed my opinion. Also there is so much confusion about what citrine is so this site is really good for clarification. There is no secure version of this site but there is nothing to sign in, or buy, or add any of your details so it should be good. I visit it a lot and I had no problems. I have personally contacted Amir (the site owner) for some citrine related topics and he is incredibly helpful.
This is a great site too for comparing easy to confused crystals which the site categorised as “lookalikes”. It also has some great information on various crystals/minerals as well, and written so that it is easy to understand. I particularly liked how they compare Astrophyllites with Anthophyllites, as pretty much 99% of Astrophyllites (and Arfvedsonites) sold on the market are actually Anthophyllites. P.S.I have NEVER seen a true Arfvedsonite sold on the market actually and it is on my wishlist.
The below sites are also good for your general knowledge of minerals. Search for the crystal in question, and great blogs will appear!
Other Interesting Sites
The below blog about Ocean Jasper on this site was really good, so you can read through their other blogs as well if you wish.https://www.entertheearth.com/the-geology-varieties-and-history-of-ocean-jasper-part-one/
The below is an article about Gobi Desert Agates. For the Chinese article, google chrome can translate it for you and it makes sense, just click the vertical 3 dots you see on the right corner of the chrome browser and look for “translate”.