|A Scintillating Guide to Chinese Fakery and Fraud in the World of all things Turquoise or.....|
A Scentillating Guide to the Herbal Essences, Holistic & Ethereal Properties of Fake Chinese Turquoise or........
If you still think you are buying the real deal and it even marginally looks anything like what is displayed below even after reading this then I'm sorry, this world was not meant for you.
|Hmmm.......Something looks a little off here.|
|And what, pray tell is this?
You will receive: One 16" Strand Bead Size: 25-28x13-15mm A+ Turquoise Nugget Carat Weight: 294.84 Carats Retail Value: $95.67
right? Lets see, whip out my calculator and 295 carats =
ounces and Mr. Wok is selling this rarest of antiquities with a
starting bid of
Something smells a little fishy here. Lets take a closer look at those beads:
This must be the rarest of all Turquoise - Ancient Chinese White Turquoise.
Use some caution, folks. Those fakes are looking pretty good.
|I thought I was kidding about with the Ancient Chinese
White Turquoise comment.
I was wrong. I wasn't.
And last but not
least a side by side comparison with my fake Chinese turquoise
nugget and the real items.
This is a test.
See if you can differentiate the fake Chinese Turquoise
nugget from the genuine items.
If you have any trouble at all, I don't know that I can be of any further assistance.
Molly was kind enough to write in and share her story:
Hi, I don't have a question on any thing you have for sale.. but do want to ask about your research on the fake turquoise stones....we recently purchased a large stone from China.. 24# nugget.. I tested with a hot needle, and it has not been 'stabilized" no plastic smell...., I came on line looking to see if I could find info about this large piece and where it was dug.
Nice to hear from another turquoise nugget owner. The hot needle test won't tell you much of anything unless it is a reallllllly cheap imitation.
Would be of most help to me and since I haven't updated either of my sites in a while, would be a link to the item you bid on, the price you got it for and a couple good high res photos of your nugget. I could do quite a bit with that minimal amount of information.
What is your intent with this piece? Is it a single piece for jewelry, something to be broken down for multiple uses?
Some of the fake stuff is quite impressive and beautiful in its own right, just so long as you know what you are paying for and prospective buyers know what they are getting.
Anyway, if you feel like sending a bit more detail along, I would be most interested.
Mike took it over to the gem store in Moscow, Id. It was a large specimen piece...24 pounds. It actually was a piece of died Howelite (sp) the seller is going to give Mike the money back ( a pretty penny). The seller had gotten it for another dealer, actually traded him a lot of his jasper inventory.... so he was pretty upset... the story was that it was dug in a mine in China...the reason I got on line in the beginning was to see if I could find a news article about it because it was such a huge piece.... that was when I ran across the articles about fakes, and I just had a gut feeling about the whole thing.
thanks for getting back to me. we appreciate it.
Hi .....just following up with some pictures of the 24# Chinese "turquoise" nugget. It ended up being dyed howelite.... the man we purchased it from returned our money,and planned on contacting the individual he got it from. thanks for your assistance.
Now that is one awesome chunk of fake rock!
January 2010 Update:
Bud was kind enough to send this along:
Wow, thanks for posting your fake turquoise guide, so glad to see it!
I've recently heard from Chinese students at the school where I work that they also reconstitute jade, lapis, malachite, amber, coral, pearls (can you imagine!!) and other gems so I don't buy from anyplace in china now since I don't know what I'm getting.
I buy from US sellers to help our economy and even then ask if they can guarantee that the gems are undyed, untreated, un-reconstituted, etc. and for turquoise specifically, what mine it came from.
Asking what mine tends to help lower fraud risk...and being educated on the mines and what the turquoise looks like from the mine helps too. I am even cautious about antique stuff from China too, since just because it's older does not mean it's fake.
Thanks again for posting,
Thanks for taking the time to write. I as well as many others probably weren't aware of the extent to which minerals can be reconstituted, packaged and sold as the real deal.
Good idea to question which specific mine the mineral came from as well. As you said, it is also a great reason to buy American in these trying times.
01/17/10 - I'm bored today. Let's see what's going on in the world of Fake Chinese Turquoise......
Looking at this fine piece of Chinese dyed Howlite, I can see that there are still a lot of suckers out there. I also noticed that fake Chinese rocks have lately taken on a spiritual quality. Apparently fake dyed Howlite has rare healing powers, as well do other minerals emanating from the world of creative things to do with toilet bowl cleaner.
Anything else worth noticing? Not much, other than this must be one large hunk of Howlite and it doesn't really look like a 'Crystal Sphere' , as advertised in the title.
Boy I'm feeling better about this already.
It is High Quality!
It is so surprising beauty!
And it's only about $200.00 a pound!
The thing that stands out about this other than the joker's spelling problems, is that if you discover the fake, he wants to refund you your money before you get the chance to leave negative feedback. That way, he can keep the complaints to a minimum and continue scamming as many people as possible.
What else is going on out there............
Here's a better looking Fake Chinese Turquoise rock and this is a bit different in that an Anglo is holding it in his hand. This piece of junk is better looking than others. I had a look at this guy's store and it looks like he mostly sells the genuine article and he obviously has no clue when it comes to evaluating turquoise.
Now this is interesting looking and I have no idea whether this is fake or the real deal.
I am leaning towards the real deal and if I was interested in this piece, I would notify the seller that it is
going to be examined six ways from Sunday and if it is not authentic turquoise, there is going to be bad feedback beyond belief, followed up by numerous complaints to the Ebay Fraud Squad - assuming there is one.
I see the extremely rare form of White Chinese Turquoise is still out on the streets and selling for pennies on the dollar. My guess is that the scientists creating their last batch of 'authentic' turquoise forgot to go to the store for more TidyBowl Cleaner and rather than lose the batch, declared it one of the rarest of minerals and tried to pass it off for $19.95.
Don't believe me?
I'm getting better with Photoshop (except for the feathering part) and I would guess with the proper amount of TidyBowl cleaner, this gem-class piece could have been called Royal Peacock Blue Turquoise, imbued with only the finest of spiritual essences and found only in the remote Howlin Cho Fakee mines of northern China.
Well, this one is a little less gaudy and I used an alternative method in this fake Chinese turquoise nugget display. Now I get to learn about removing artifacts - but not today. Not bad, though!
08-14-2010 - A New Term Arises: The Variegated Fake Chinese Turquoise Nugget
Trolling around Ebay for the latest in superior Chinese Turquoise Nugget craftsmanship, something changed.
I think someone learned a new word, and that would be 'Variegated'. There also seems to be some attempts at minimal disclosure - how to disclose that what is being sold is in essence a fake without having to say the actual word.
......and of course there are those who have no qualms about selling you 'genuine' Yellow Chinese Turquoise.
A Stab at Honesty - Howlite Turquoise!
The howelite in this photo is amazingly similar to the 'genuine' yellow Chinese turquoise in the previous photo.
Never a dull moment in the land of fake Chinese turquoise.
2011 - A New Year! Lets see what the purveyors of Fake Chinese Turquoise are up to..............
My, the Chinese purveyors of 'Authentic Turquoise' have been busy. Turquoise now comes in all colors of the spectrum I think I like Hot Pink and Jet Black the best, although I am somewhat affected by the calming colors of pale pink. I wonder if any of these stones are scented as well, I mean if you think Americans are total suckers, the why not go after it whole hog. Something like:
'May I present for your sensuous pleasure, the rare blush rose turquoise. Found only around ancient pyramids in Eastern China (at least that's what they say on Coast to Coast), this blush colored turquoise takes on the lingering scents of roses past, imbuing it with an ethereal quality and spiritual essence found nowhere else in the world.'
............and it's yours for only 99 cents a strand.
I think the most original new idea is buying fake Chinese turquoise in a party pack (two over, three down), or the natural freeform frog.
If you are cogitating on buying some turquoise this year and are confused by the myriad possibilities presented on Ebay, and don't know where to turn........you've come to the right place.
Simple guide for buying turquoise:
If what you are looking to buy resembles any of the images in this collage and it is being passed off as turquoise and it purports to come from China, Hong Kong or Australia in particular, it is NOT TURQUOISE.
It is DYED HOWLITE or WORSE.
And I don't want to cause too much disappointment out there but the 'natural freeform turquoise frog' shown here is NOT NATURAL, NOT FREEFORM and NOT TURQUOISE and only marginally, a FROG!
2012 - The Year for Thinking Big - Fraud on a Grand Scale........and another Shift in Terminology.
This year the ChiComs have shifted gears.
Now we are seeing 'FreeForm' and 'FreeScale' fake Chinese turquoise and the general theme seems to be 'Bigger is Better!'
WHAT? ARE THEY KIDDING?
They must be following the precept that if you can tell a big enough lie enough times, people will begin to believe it.
In this case it's slightly different - see if you can sell a big enough lie enough times to reel in the suckers.
And where is the EBAY Fraud Squad? You mean this doesn't show up on the most primitive of radar screens?
We've all heard of Caveat Emptor, but this is barenaked, outright fraud!
EBAY, are you kidding? Are you all operating on 20 Watt bulbs over there or what?
Brought to you by the 24 hour a day Howlite factories pumping out all the fradulent turquoise they can sell, and supposedly located in a real place where real turquoise actually comes from......... Hubei, China.
Funny, these fakes look like just like purple geodes to me.
Then again, in China - anything is possible.
This clown has a 98.9% rating. Rating in what? Fraud?
This isn't even worth further comment. If you're stupid enough to shell out the $$$ for this,
then the ChiCom selling this deserves an early retirement.
If you do decide to go against the gods and buy one of these fine examples of Chinese fakery despite all the warnings; find solace and comfort in knowing that the base is probably highly irradiated plastic, thereby significantly shortening your existence on this planet.......and your misery as well when you finally wake up to the fact that you've been scammed.
I don't get it. Is this a rare gemstone or a bead?
So much for the sheer ridiculous.
Now to the mundane in the world of ordinary Chinese Turquoise Fraud.
Boy this makes me feel better already. Especially the obvious command of the English language.
Leave it to Hollywood, CA to get in on the action too:
Here we have 'fresh orange' fake turquoise with 'veins of gold' running through it - naturally, or course.
We also have hot pink, brown and yellow, and other assorted 'gem quality' Howlite or just plain old epoxy the seller purports as turquoise.
You wouldn't believe how much this Hollywood huckster is charging for these works of 'art', or maybe you would.
I might add that yes Dorothy, there is a difference between fake turquoise, dyed geodes and agates, and what you are referring to is actually dyed agate.
'Freeform' Fake Chinese Turquoise
In this year of 2012, we are now seeing 'freeform' fake Turquoise slabs for the low-low price of............WHAT?
Free shipping though......mighty white of them, woudn't you say?
However, my heart has warmed slightly to see 'freeform' chinese fake turquoise frogs are still on the scene. I kind of like them.
Too bad though, that the sellers of these psuedo turquoise pieces can't label them for what they are.
I think the Chinese view the rest of us as the Japanese equivalent of Gaijin in that honesty doesn't matter if you are dealing with someone who is not Chinese.
So what happens when people finally begin to wise-up about fake Turquoise Rough from China?
Well, uh.......lets see..........Claim it comes from somewhere else?
Bingo!! Claim it comes from Mexico!
And what fine looking material this is...........
I do like that sickly plasticky sheen......... Urethane?......Nawww - that would cost too much.
Direct from the La Banana Mines just south of Juarez, this piece yellow rough is selling at let's see...
($51.00 / 9.15).....only $5.57 a pound!
You know, it would be quite helpful to the cause if you lernt to spell 'Mexico' in your false advertising campaign but then again I suppose it's par for the course. 'Mexcio' though, just doesn't quite have the same ring to it...........
If that is too much for your wallet, how about this chunk for only $3.77 a pound!
These pieces believe it or not are being sold by an individual on the East Coast who claims to be a legitimate dealer.
I suspect the owner's father probably was.
The current owner.......either he's totally ignorant about turquoise or he salts fraudulent pieces in with the genuine, and that is not an uncommon practice in the world of EBAY mineral sales.
2012 is Shaping Up to be an Amazing Year in the world of Chinese turquoise fakery and fraud.
2013 - A Boring Year all in all.
The only thing of marginal interest to me in the world of Turqoise Greed, Scams and Suckers came from a clown named John, supposedly residing in San Jose CA.
For some reason I think this guy is ESL, Dyslexic, a really bad Babel Fish user or another fine example of the problems facing our inner-city public school system......or quite possibly a combination of all:
Thanks for the night stress !looking for the great rare nuggets in china turq. saw you story !!! so you want real stone the best for your jewery for fair price ???? nevadagem.com cligreat book too get copy amazon !!! we did !! he has some just what your looking for china hubei gem at 3.usd ct he has big one we want 209 gr. we have 1 fine dealer in turq. rocks real just hard waxed some tinted we take that all off . me in ca san jose . john
Further commentary on this would be pointless, as was the year of 2013 for fake Chinese turquoise nugget fraud. I hope 2014 provides for better writing material..
To all you other victims of Chinese fakery and fraud........feel free to contribute to the diatribe by sending along some pics and commentary of your own. I've been doing this since 2006 pretty much by myself and I could use a little help nowadays in spreading the word.
~ Thanks, Dan