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Real or Fake K2?

We've seen recently that a lot of Chinese sellers are popping up and selling fake K2. This is not a fake in terms of being a fake crystal, it is a genuine crystal, but one that has been mislabelled as a more expensive one so they can charge more money for it (like the very common practice of selling Blue Calcite as Celestite). What they are selling as K2 is in fact another lovely blue spotty crystal, Blue Apatite in Cleavelandite, however it is from Madagascar, not Pakistan, which totally rules it out of being K2. This is what genuine K2 looks like, and the Madagascar Blue Apatite for comparison:

real k2   Blue Apatite in Cleavelandite

K2 can only be found in Pakistan, named after the second highest mountain in the world, K2, where it is found in an incredibly remote area. Despite it's slightly odd appearance that makes it appear dyed, it is made up of Azurite in Granite, a very rare geological combination in which are the blue spots over the opaque granite background. The very fine grained granite is composed of quartz, muscovite, biotite (both mica minerals) and sodium plagioclase (a type of feldspar). You also sometimes see spots of green Malachite in with the blue Azurite as well! 

The Granite is totally opaque, with a solid look and black spots, whereas the Apatite in Cleavelandite has a much more soft looking, translucent base. The spots are often a similar shade of blue, although the Azurite tends to be much more defined. Below are two images of Chinese sellers passing off the Apatite in Cleavelandite as K2:
Fake K2   Fake K2 2
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  • Lindsey

    I love this site for clarification on the many mislabled stones out there. PS-unless you saw the ppl in whatever country taking the stones directly out of the mine and handing them to you, how can you really know it came directly from a certain mine?

  • Jay

    Ok now I’m VERY confused .. I have looked through. Microscope and found every single object inside of it in a few stones from the strand that they say to look for in authentic K2. And on super sites that sell very HQ bracelets for gor thousands of dollars an also sites that are Pakistanians and they look exacally like your photos you have posted up above infact the one you have as genuine k2 . It may def be but the 2nd one would be one they say that has formed longer and got read of most of the black ..

  • Marielle

    I am almost certain they have found alternate ways of falsifying K2. K2 is found in one place. It is expensive and very rare, so why is internet overflowing with granite with blue spots? Granite is found everywhere, it’s cheap, and I am certain they are now using ink of some sort to drop color onto the granite to “make” K2, because the price they are selling them at does not reflect a very rare stone.

  • Naketa

    @Rachel you only need to look at it, really. The bottom one doesn’t even look like granite when you really think on it. The Madagascar Blue Apatite is special on its own. I have one sold to me as k2 and while I was a little disappointed initially, I’m really happy I got such a pretty crystal anyway. Sounds like your seller is a fake though sadly.

  • Lisa Riggs

    Love your site! Not only can you shop, but you can also learn so much about crystals on every level.
    Thanks for being amazing x

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