Do you like the bright shiny geodes at the rock shops? Chances are half of them are either fake or dyed to look this way. As a matter of fact, 80% of natural geodes are relatively dull and earth-colored.
Therefore, it is very important to be able to spot the difference between natural and dyed geodes before buying one.
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What are Geodes?
According to expert geologists, geodes naturally occur at sedimentary or volcanic rocks. These sedimentary rocks contain a hollow cavity lined with a number of crystals. Therefore, the natural geodes look like typical grey rocks lying on the ground. However, once the rock gets broken and polished, it reveals the true natural beauty that was hidden inside the dull rock.
How to Extract Geodes?
Geodes extraction is a complex process that requires experience as well as appropriate equipment. Otherwise, you risk damaging a potentially valuable geodes crystal rock.
- Geodes are natural crystals that occur inside hollow sedimentary or volcanic rocks.
- These rocks are similar to typical rocks and keep the geode crystal protected inside a hollow cavity.
- The geode mineral is carefully broken by modern equipment to ensure the cavity is extracted whole or with minimum damage.
- By now, the crystal is dull, and most of its shine is hidden under a layer of impurities.
- Therefore, the extracted geo crystal is polished using machines and sandpaper till it reveals its natural beauty.
However, some experts don’t stop at the polishing stage. They try to further improve the geode’s looks by dyeing it to produce various geode colors.
How to Identify Dyed Geodes?
According to James Fisher, a geode merchant, more than 60% of the geode crystals are dyed to make them attractive. For instance, a white crystal geode attracts fewer customers than the same crystal dyed in a vivid tone. However, some geode crystals are naturally so attractive that they require nothing more than polishing to sell at a befitting price. Therefore, if you are interested in buying natural geode crystal rocks, you should look for the following properties:
- Geodes are naturally dull and earthlike colored. Therefore, geodes with bright and vivid colors are probably dyed or artificial.
- Natural colored crystal rocks have a consistent transition band. Anything other than that is likely to be dyed.
- Most of the natural geodes are of inconsistent colors due to the presence of crystallized minerals. Therefore, if you stumble on a crystal with uniform color is usually faked.
- Polishing only enhances the natural color and shine. However, simply polished geode crystals will never resemble a diamond.
Reasons Behind the Natural Geode Color:
The literal meaning of the word geode is earthlike. Geode crystals are naturally found in the form of a lining inside natural volcanic rocks. The Geode quartz itself is in the form of transparent or white crystals. However, it doesn’t mean that geode is not naturally present in any other color, such as red geode or green geode.
Geode crystals or quartz are natural mineral magnets. Most of the crystallized minerals attach to the lining to form various colors. For instance, most of these mineral impurities resemble the earthy color, and the difference in consistency of the minerals produces the different shades and unique colors of the crystal.
Other natural colors of the crystals include purple geode, yellow crystal geode, green quartz, etc.
How do Dyed Geodes Resemble Natural Color?
Geodes are naturally formed inside sedimentary rocks and are often found in dull colors. Therefore, some lightly hued geodes can be permanently dyed to look more attractive and exhibit a vivid color. However, the shade of the color determines whether your dye looks natural or artificial.
It is possible to dye lightly hued quartz to resemble natural colors using simple household equipment. However, it is advised to only dye the natural geodes to enhance their beauty and not to change the type of crystal.
- 4 cups water
- Natural Geode crystal
- 4 oz. fabric dye
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 cup vinegar
- Stainless steel stockpot
- Take the stockpot and fill it with four cups of clean water.
- Place the pot on flame and add salt as well as vinegar to the pot.
- Mix thoroughly and let the water come to a rolling boil.
- Add the fabric dye to the boiling pot and stir well using a wooden spoon.
- Clean your natural geode crystal with clean water and put it in the solution.
- Turn off the flame and let the crystal soak in the solution for 6-8 hours till it cools down to room temperature.
- Remove the crystal from the solution while wearing a glove to prevent staining your hands or clothes.
- Rinse the soaked crystal with clean water till the water runs clear.
- Place the crystal on a newspaper and dry it in the sun.
This process will leave a permanent but light tint on the crystal. However, if you want even brighter shades, you can repeat the process as many times as you desire.
Why do they Dye Geodes Crystals?
The main reason to dye a natural geode crystal is to improve its color and make it more attractive. Moreover, dyed geodes crystals sell faster than in natural color. It is due to the fact “ what looks good sells well” that merchants dye a perfect crystal. These dyed crystals are available in the form of nodules, slices, and small tumbled stones.
Typically, small geodes are dyed in different shades to form green geodes, blue geodes, and even purple geodes to resemble amethyst.
However, not every geode crystal needs to be dyed to sell at a practical price. For instance, larger geodes crystals, especially quartz, are often sold only after polishing due to their appealing colors and shapes.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How are geodes dyed?
Geodes can be dyed using multiple methods such as Lattice diffusion. Coating, Bleaching, irradiation, and using fabric dye.
What are dyed geodes usually comprised of?
Dyed geodes can either be natural or synthetic. Naturally dyed geodes often consist of only crystal and dying ingredients.
Do dyed geodes lose the natural properties?
Yes, most of the geodes are dyed using chemicals and ionization, which alters the natural properties of the geodes in the process.
Are rainbow geodes real?
Yes, Rainbow geodes are naturally formed quartz that consists of metal vapors. Their beauty is hard to resist and forms the famous POPI.
How big is the largest geode ever found?
The largest natural geode even found is the Pulpí geode, located at a depth of 150 feet.
Natural geodes are valuable crystals, but people often confuse them with dyed and artificial geodes. Therefore, it is essential to know the differences to choose the perfect geodes crystal. I hope this article has helped you to know everything about dyed geodes and how to spot them.