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Difference Between Real & Fake Geodes: Focus on These Signs

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Geodes have notably become one of the most mesmerizing enigmas in the world. While they serve as a source of precious scientific research material for geologists, they embody mystery and wonder for the general public. This has led to heightened demand for geodes, which resulted in the artificial manufacturing of fake geodes.

But there are real and fake geodes, so let us see their differences.

Fake geodes can be identified based on how they were manufactured. Synthetic versions lack flaws found in natural geodes, while composites and imitations often have evidence of bubbling, cracking, splotchy paint, artificial colour, and leftover glue.

Most genuine geodes are well sought after and are not easy to come by, as they are formed under very specific environmental conditions over long periods. There are not enough geodes to go around, and many geodes sold commercially are fake. Here’s how to spot if you are getting your hands on the real deal.

Difference Between Real and Fake Geodes
Difference Between Real and Fake Geodes

If you want to check out beautiful geodes, you can find them by clicking here (Amazon link).

What Are Natural Geodes?

Geodes can form anywhere in the world but do not develop randomly. Very specific environmental conditions are required for these treasures to be created naturally, and the geode type, shape, size, and interior contents will be highly dependent on these conditions.

They are most commonly discovered at deep levels within the earth’s sediment, rivers, and cliffs. Certain types of gem contents require specific mineral contents and mineral combinations within their surroundings to form.

Geodes are approximately round, can range from a few millimetres to several meters long, and have regular rocks’ external appearance and texture. This exterior protects the interior cavity from the surrounding sediment and bedrock.

The interior cavity makes geodes unique, lined with various mineral materials. These minerals create bands lining the internal cavity.

Sometimes, this interior is not as marvellous and can contain sediment types such as chalcedony and microcrystalline instead of glimmering gems.

The interior cavity lining often comprises tiny quartz crystals, monotone or colourful agate, amethyst, and pure white calcite. However, many rare geodes contain minerals like gem silica, rhodochrosite, and opal.

The contrast between an ordinary exterior and a spectacular shimmery interior has baffled the public, and geodes are most commonly used as scientific artefacts, natural décor, jewellery, and ornaments.

Can Geodes Be Fake? Difference from Real Geodes

Many variants are sold under the pretence of being a true geode. However, some environmental conditions result in rock formations similar to geodes, such as when crystals naturally form in a pocket of sediment.

Many people who collect these specimens do not necessarily have an in-depth knowledge of these differences as opposed to those who receive and study them.

These are easily mistaken for geodes. In terms of the geological definition, these are not true geodes. Although this sort of rock formation and the crystals inside it occur naturally, its false advertising could result from misconceptions surrounding the definition of a geode rather than being.

In addition, many skilled artists manufacture highly accurate imitations of rare geodes and market them at the value of the real thing.

Even expert gemologists, mineral collectors, and palaeontologists have been fooled by how convincing these imitations can be.

Some of these imitations are made with standard art supplies, and some geodes and gems with nearly identical properties can also be grown in labs. Some people also use small amounts of the same mineral materials that genuine gems are made out of to manufacture imitations.

TIP: Another similar issue with geodes is they are often dyed. But how do you identify dyed geodes? It can be a bit complicated, so I wrote a simple guide on how to identify dyed geodes; feel free to read it here:
How to Tell if a Geode is Dyed: All You Need to Know

How do you spot a fake geode, and how are fake geodes made?

How to Spot a Fake Geode and How Are Fake Geodes Made?
How do you spot a fake geode, and how are fake geodes made?

Having privately owned geodes has become a massive trend over the past decade. With more and more people having the funds and amenities for these natural art pieces and nature only being able to produce a certain amount, resources have become extremely limited.

Due to the high level of accuracy in manufacturing imitation geodes, it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to spot fakes or manmade versions.

However, many degrees of ‘fake’ and a few factors influence some of these manufacturing methods.

Synthetic or Lab-grown

Synthetic gems have the same physical properties, chemical qualities, and visual appearance as the real deal.

This is because synthetic gems are created by taking the knowledge of how the gem is formed naturally thanks to science, finding the same mineral contents as the genuine version needs, and manufacturing it in less time. This can result in an imitation geode or gem that is visibly identical to those created in nature.

Synthetic gems have recently become more popular as people have realized the harsh reality of the earth’s depletion of natural resources.

Synthetic gems and geodes are also produced with the highest perfection – a rare perfection in naturally forming geodes. This is easier to market and sell quickly, as most people prefer aesthetic perfection over natural versions – even if they don’t realize it.

Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between naturally produced and lab-produced gems and geodes. But, if you spot a geode that seems a tad too perfect to have been naturally formed, then odds are that it was probably made in a lab.

While this is not the ‘real deal, these are not necessarily fake. Since they are comprised of the same material compositions and have the same properties and chemical compounds, they could still technically be seen as natural. Other than geodes, a relative example of this would be lab-grown diamonds.

What is fake is the pretence of it being a ‘geode’ since the main factor that defines a geode is the process by which the crystal interior is formed within the cavity without human intervention. In this case, it would be a fake geode with a synthetic, lab-grown interior.

BTW: Do you want to know more about rock and mineral identification? The books listed below are the best ones you can find on the internet (Amazon links):


There are also composite methods that entail taking a lesser portion of the real thing and using it to coat the exterior of an imitation. Glass and other inexpensive materials are used to create the mass and shape depending on the gem or crystal being imitated.

Purchasing a geode like this with the impression that it’s actual would be equivalent to buying a giant diamond ring and then seeing it shatter into a million glass shards if dropped.

There are various methods of manipulating heating and cooling to achieve similar properties during this process. This creates identical sheen and physical properties and occasionally intensifies colours.

When this happens, indications of its origins often remain, such as bubbling underneath the composite surface or cracking.

These are some signs to look out for when spotting this imitation geode. You can also do a scratch test if you can. If it has a dyed composite exterior, sometimes this layer can be scratched off to reveal the underlining contents.

TIP: Geodes are sometimes explained as being a phenomenon. The value of a geode mostly depends on the worth of what is inside of it. Find out more in the article below:
The Value of Geodes: Are They Worth Anything?

100% Fake

What is fake is when the geode and its interior have no composite, chemical qualities, mineral composition, and nothing derived from naturally created geodes. These are simply imitation pieces that humans have skilfully and accurately manufactured.

While these may look gorgeous, there is no value other than having them as an art piece. While these still take time, talent, and labour, standard art materials are commonly used.

These include materials like pottery materials, ceramic, plastic, glass, or resin. These materials are manipulated to have the physical properties of the natural geode.

Sometimes, ordinary rocks are strategically painted and glued together to imitate ‘rock formations’ like crystal clusters and geodes.

There are a few ways to pick up on this fake geode. One can look underneath the ‘gems’ and check the mounting or base of the interior geode cavity, as there are frequent inconsistencies concerning the painting and evidence of glue.

Another simple indication is uneven colouring, and if the dye was used, it could often gather between cracks or crevices, leaving behind unnatural streaks or splotchy marks between the ‘gems.’

Of course, if none of these apparent signs provides any certainty for you, the safest and most effective way to have the geode’s authenticity checked is to have it evaluated by a professional.

You may have to pay for this, but it’s better than getting swindled for a handful of craft-painted pebbles.

There are many variations of fake geodes, some more acceptable than others. Natural geodes are scarce, and purchasing those from a reputable, licensed company such as a museum is safer.

Some geodes and gems are lab-grown, which is not a particularly bad thing since they help lower the planet’s resource depletion while still providing geode interiors of relatively good quality. Still, you should always know the actual value of your purchase.

TIP: Both geodes and thundereggs look like ordinary stones from the outside. Do you know the difference between these two rocks? Find out more in the article below:
The 7 Main Differences Between Geode and ThunderEgg

FAQ about Real and Fake Geodes

I still have not found the answer to your questions about the differences between real and fake geodes. Find frequently asked questions in the section below:

Where Are Fake Geodes Produced Most Often?

Fake geodes are most often produced in India. Fake geodes from Morocco and other countries, predominantly Asian and African countries, are also common.

What is the Price for Fake Geodes?

Prices for fake geodes range from around $10 for smaller pieces to hundreds of dollars for larger pieces. An essential factor in the price is also the quality of their processing.

TIP: Geodes look like a usual stone from the outside but at the same time hide a real sparkling treasure inside. Check out the common crystals you can find in geodes in the article below:
16 Most Common Types of Crystals You Can Find in Geodes