Rock crystal is the name given to pure, colorless quartz crystals that may grow to a large size. There is a huge demand for this material from the electronics industry, and it is synthesized on a massive scale around the world.
Not only are synthetically grown quartz crystals usually cheaper than natural, but their purity—essential for use in electronics—can be guaranteed. Indeed, its very purity is an important means of distinguishing it from mined quartz as the synthetic material is extensively used in jewelry.
Common though synthetic rock crystal is in bargain-priced gems, silica glass is even cheaper to produce and can be presented as a fake for rock crystal. With a little knowledge and basic gemological equipment, glass is fairly easy to separate from rock crystal.
Image courtesy of irocks.com.
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