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Is Your Jade Roller Real?

September 4, 2018

I spa!

I attended the annual International Spa Association (Ispa) event a few weeks ago, and got to try out some emerging spa treatments. The spa industry means big business with upwards of $17.5 billion dollars in yearly revenue. But the yearly event is more about fun and new launches.

In a crowded beauty calendar, the annual Ispa event stands out as one of the best, with everything from spa cuisine, to hands-on demos of new techniques and products to  lots of mini spa treatments.

That’s how I (gemstone) roll

One treatment, incorporated the very trendy idea of using Instagram-friendly gemstone rollers as part of an overall mini-facial. 

The gifted aesthetician from the Chuan Chicago spa (from The Langham, Chicago) used Kerstan Florian products along with a jade roller to somehow magically depuff my eyes and iron out fine lines near my eyes. I’m not sure what brand of facial alchemy was involved, but it made me want to break out my own gemstone roller again and see if I could duplicate some of that action on my own.

Back to the gemstone rollers

Crystal and crushed gems have been used in various skin treatments for thousands of years.  And while jade has traditionally been the most popular for, Rose Quartz–which is traditionally believed to attract love, even the ability to love the face that greets you in the mirror– is fast gaining traction. Gemstone rollers have been used since ancient times in beauty treatments, with jade in particular being the gem of choice in Ancient China.

Meanwhile, the jury is still out on whether the gemstones themselves help, or if it’s simply the massaging action coupled with the natural coolness of the stones that do the work.

But are they real?

Here’s the thing, whether or not the gemstones  perform some sort of beauty wizardry, your chances are better if you actually use gems instead of glass. And yes, there are lots of cheap knockoffs out there that are just as expensive as the real deal.

The beauty experts at (who just launched a collection of 10 new gemstone rollers) offered some tips on how to know if you have a real gemstone roller or a cheap knockoff:

  • Jade: If you have a piece of real jade, clink it against the stone in question. If it sounds like plastic beads, then the stone in question is probably fake. Both jadeite and nephrite have a very high density (jadeite – 3.3; nephrite – 2.95). Density is measured by dividing the weight (in grams) by the volume (c.c.)
  • The main way to tell the difference between quartz and glass is ‘magnefication’.  If you put your crystal over words in a book or a magazine, real quartz does not magnify the words.  Where as, glass does
  • Check for air bubbles – air bubbles generally mean it’s glass.
  • Glass is an amorphous solid. Amorphous just means that due to quick cooling, the molecules didn’t have time to arrange themselves in a crystalline repeating geometric pattern. Quartz, on other hand, cooled slowly & does have the geometrically perfect molecular structure that all crystals do.
  • If your quartz is really vibrant & pretty uniform in color it may be dyed. A tell-tale sign of dyed quartz is excess dye collecting in cracks.
  • Perform a Mohs hardness test. Quartz crystals are harder than glass. In 1812 German geologist Friedrich Mohs invented the hardness scale used for testing minerals and other materials. Glass ranks around 5.5 on the Mohs scale. Quartzcrystals rank as 7 on the Mohs scale. Therefore, a piece of quartz crystal will scratch a piece of glass. Test the unknown stone under inspection by trying to scratch a common piece of glass such as a glass bottle. If the object easily scratches the glass, the specimen probably is quartz crystal. If scratching the glass takes a lot of effort, the specimen likely is another piece of glass.
  • Put them in a bin of water for a few hours (or even weeks) to test if they are colorfast.
  • Obsidian: Examine the general appearance of obsidian. It has a distinctive smooth glassy appearance. Obsidian is really a frozen liquid with small amounts of mineral impurities.
  • Clear Quartz: will typically show some inclusions like lines, waves or cracks.  Glass is either perfectly clear or may show some bubbles.

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