The business of stones is an odd one indeed.  There is so much misinformation, in the metaphysical market especially, that it can be difficult to know what is true and what is false when it comes to identification.  It’s a full-time job some days just to ensure that the minerals we provide to our customers are accurately represented.  On this page you will find test results of some of the minerals we have sent to be tested by Mineralogist Al Falster in the world-class mineralogical laboratory of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum.  Equipped with X-ray machine, scanning electron microscope, microprobe, ICP-MS equipment, and a full optical lab there’s no job too big or too small for Al Falster.  We are so grateful for his help in cracking the case on several misidentified minerals.  We hope over time we can slow the spread of misinformation throughout the metaphysical market by presenting the scientific evidence of the true nature of these magnificent minerals.

“Lithium Quartz”, as it was labeled by metaphysical vendors, became an extremely popular and hard to find crystal from Bahia, Brazil everyone wanted in their collection. 

Healingcrystals.com says:

“Lithium Quartz Crystal is pure clear quartz with inclusions of magenta-colored Lithium ions. Lithium Quartz is a combination of pure clear quartz with inclusions of Lithium rich minerals.  The Lithium is often seen as a pale pink to mauve phantom within the quartz.”

Ravencrystals.com says:

                “Lithium quartz occurs as prismatic quartz crystals with phantom inclusions of lithium material.”

Crystalhealingforwomen.com:

“Its colors are thought to come from inclusions of Lepidolite, a Lithium mineral, as well as other minerals such as Manganese, Aluminum, Iron & Kaolinite.

Lithium Quartz Crystal is pure clear quartz with inclusions of magenta-colored Lithium ions

I could go on, but basically each shop just adapts the same description over and over.

Here’s what the laboratory found:

  • The pink color is a result of iron content, submicroscopic particles so finely divided that they yield the pink color observed.
  • Manganese is also present but in far lower concentration than iron and titanium.
  • Aluminum was not detected; thus the pink color is not caused by inclusions of lepidolite.
  • Lithium is not a chromophore, the pink color is not related to lithium.
  • Lithium content: 32 parts per million, far less than other lithium bearing minerals.



“Blue Tara Quartz” is a metaphysical trade name for little quartz points with blue fibrous and prismatic type inclusions from Ipupiara, Brazil.  Everywhere I turned online to tell me more about this stone read the same: “Riebekite and Olenite included quartz” with a list of metaphysical properties to follow based off those inclusions.  Nowhere could I find any mineralogical information about this stone so once again, off to the lab!  Here’s a few of the myths I was hoping to get a confirmed fact or fiction result on:

Enchantedcrystal.com:

                “The blue coloring comes from a mineral inclusions of Riebeckite and Olenite.”

From a seller on depop.com February 2019:

                “…new find of quartz that has olenite and riebekite tourmaline which makes the crystal blue”

Here’s what the laboratory found:

  • Magnesium and Lithium are present in the inclusions. Olenite must be free from these two elements, therefore the inclusions are not Olenite.
  • Riebekite was not present in the samples we sent to laboratory; the fibrous inclusions were in fact also in the tourmaline family along with the structured prismatic inclusions.
  • The presence of magnesium, lithium, and the low aluminum content concluded that the inclusions are between the schorl-elbaite series and the schorl-dravite series both in the tourmaline group.



 

 Amethyst Roots have become increasingly popular over the past couple years at the major gem trade shows in the US.  Most of them have an unmistakable silhouette, large amethyst termination with phantoms tapering to a thin etched smokey base.  When we had the opportunity to purchase a batch with mysterious acicular black inclusions, we jumped on it!  The vendor referred to the inclusions as “toads” and left it at that.  My personal hunch was goethite sprays, and another mineralogist suggested Macfallite inclusions.

Here’s what the laboratory found:

  • The inclusions of radiating sprays are hollandite, a barium-bearing manganese oxide.
  • The inclusions are virtually iron-free.
  • This much less common than encountering sprays of goethite as inclusions.