Due to its rarity, Larimar is no stranger to fakes bearing its name. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when recognizing fake from real stones. The first and most obvious way to recognize a real stone from plastic or resin is heat: a stone will always be cool to the touch. Plastic will take the temperature of the environment they are in.
A common test to recognize plastic from stone is to put a needle by a flame, then press it on the stone. If it is resin, it will melt against the needle. Fire and heat will have no effect on stone. This is commonly called the “Lighter test”.Plastic Larimar is also pretty easy to spot in a side by side comparison.
Plastic Larimar will tend to have a uniform color and display consistent and repeating patterns.
Fake Larimar can also be made from synthetic materials or common stones that are stained or dyed to resemble Larimar, but look out for these few key things that will differ from real natural Larimar:
- Larimar is originally formed from hot mineral rich fluid being forced into cracks and fissures formed by tectonic activity; the liquid form makes the pattern of the Larimar gemstone very specific called spherulite, spherical body generally occurring in glassy rocks such as Larimar ; these patterns are very different from stones like Agate or Chalcedony, which have patterns resembling bands of color all throughout. Glass, which has no pattern, is also not close to natural Larimar and can easily be recognized as is.
- – “Larimar Quartz” is a label given to stones that aren’t Larimar but more or less resemble it. Larimar isn’t a quartz, so if you see this name, you already know not to expect natural Larimar gemstone! Larimar is a pectolite, unlike quartz, which is a very common white or colorless mineral that tend to be dyed to resemble other gemstones.
- Larimar substitutes are usually dyed Howlite, Quartz or Amazonite. Dyed stones are usually lack the natural color variation of real Larimar. They lean toward the green end of the spectrum and have a slightly translucent look with a consistent color. They can also have highly concentrated spots of color where the dye has absorbed into cracks and voids in the stone.
There are many articles written online about genuine Larimar not being translucent. This is not however a reliable test. It is unusual to see translucent Larimar, but there are occasionally pieces with a very dense crystalline structure that are somewhat translucent when held up to the light. Keep in mind that the thinner the cut of the stone, the more likely it is to be translucent to light and pale in nature. This isn’t a characteristic proper to Larimar, and is a rule that will apply to all gemstones on the spectrum. For deeper, more vibrant color, pick jewelry that have dome or cushion-shaped gemstones and have larger cuts of stones. The smaller the stone, the lighter and more transparent the color will be.