Report 3 -   The Horror Gallery 
by Marco Marchesini

Here in the show we found so many non-minerals for sale that we considered to put together some pictures of some ugly and bad things. This "horror gallery" might also be useful to some beginner to avoid buying wrong stuff.

We start with this: broken Elbaite badly glued on cleaved fluorite. So naf that should be armless...

Here we have something much more tricky: dark Heulandite on quartz. Some accommodation space was carved into a natural quartz, then the crystals were glued and some small quartz fragment added to hide any exceeding spacing. Good enough to cheat the expert dealer that showed us this piece.


The quartz is also produced by industrial process as it is used in many electronic applications. Here  we have some synthetic quartz correctly labeled, but is not always like that.


In this case the quartz crystals are natural, the color absolutely not...what to say?


Some Chinese dealers had interesting new fakes. On the left carved (and possibly sand blasted and greased) "globular" fluorite. On the "calcedony grapes" actually made of man made spheres that seem to have glued together.


The so-called Zincite, obtained as side-product in melting processes is still around. Definitely these are not minerals.


Cheating is also widespread for  fossils. Here some examples of cast reproducing the shape of trilobites on exhibit to warn the attendees. Several suspicious specimens were noticed around. The clues to spot fakes are several, for instance the same cast is reproduced several times giving an unrealistic cut and paste effect. Consistency of association, matrix and age should also be taken in consideration.

"Potpourri" of man-made iridescent black "moissanite" and colored alum clusters, aside stone turtles and other amenities.


Man made copper sulphate crystal clusters. In this case the dealer clearly stated that these are from lab.


That's all folks... in the next report there will be something much more natural. Stay tuned.


Mineral Section Tucson Home Report