How Can You Tell If Lava Beads Are Real?


Lava beads made into pretty bracelets and necklaces and are a perfect way to diffuse your favorite essential oils. 

Lava Rock is known for having wonderful properties. They can help you to balance the emotions, keep you mentally strong, and are believed to help keep your moods in check. Especially your temper! 

They can also help to logically work through your problems, bringing clarity of the mind, while also looking lovely as a bracelet or a necklace! 

So to make sure you are benefitting from all those fabulous qualities, you may be wondering how to tell if you have the real thing and not just a plastic copy. 

In this article, we are going to explore some of the simple ways you can identify the real thing. 

So let’s start with the short answer as to whether your necklace or bracelet is made of true lava beads. 

How can you tell if lava beads are real? Real lava beads should look spongy, ceramic ring-like, and with a rough texture. They should be lightweight and red, red, brown, or black in color. They also should not fade during the cleaning process. They should not burn, melt, shatter, or have an unusual odor. Any holes should be non-uniform. 

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Now that we’ve looked at the short answer, let’s delve a little deeper and start with finding out a little more about lava beads in order to help you determine if you have the real thing or not. 

What are lava beads? 

Lava beads have really hit the spot in terms of fashion jewelry trends, accessory, and jewelry design and have become a welcome addition for essential oil advocates to wear their favorite scents close to their skin all day, naturally diffusing the oils. 

Lava Rock beads are a type of igneous rock and are made from a cooled down molten rock known as Basalt found commonly in volcanos. 

For the rock to melt successfully it requires temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius. As the volcano erupts, red hot molten rock pours out of the volcano and flows away as lava until it becomes cool, solid, porous, and black.

However, with its heavy use in the jewelry industry, one great challenge is to find out if the lava beads are real or artificial. This article will give a clear understanding of how to find out if lava beads are real or artificial.

“red hot molten rock pours out of the volcano
and flows away as lava until it becomes cool, solid, porous, and black.”

How can I tell if lava beads are real? 

Lava beads are so popular for a number of reasons, but one of the chief reasons is its raw energy which comes directly from the earth. This awesome energy represents rebirth, renewal, fertility, and strength. 

But how do you really know if your lava beads are the real thing? 

So let’s get down to discovering some quick ways of making sure you are capturing all that wonderful energy with real lava beads. 

Identifying Lava Beads 

Although there are more chemical ways to check if lava beads are real, below are some common and general ways anyone can easily identify to discover if lava beads are real.  

The following are some ways to identify real lava beads from artificial ones. 

White “Lava” Stone: Natural lava (basalt) is only available in shades of black and brown. All white and other colors that are commercially sold as lava are a similar stone (likely pumice, which is also volcanic).

  • Real lava beads should look spongy, ceramic ring-like and with a rough texture
  • Lightweight
  • Light red, red, brown or black in color
  • Will not fade during the cleaning process

Another quick way is by doing some small tests to see if they burn, melt, shatter, or give an unusual odor. 

Let’s take a little more in-depth look below at these handy four ways of checking out fake lava beads from the real thing. 

“Another quick way is by doing some small tests to see
if they burn, melt, shatter, or give an unusual odor.”

A spongy or ceramic ring-like texture

Lava beads are becoming interestingly popular because of their spongy like or ceramic ring-like texture, which gives them a unique look, perfect for jewelry, and for diffusing aromatic, relaxing essential oils. 

This special texture is given to lava beads through the tiny holes that form on the surface of the bead. And because lava is a natural substance, these holes or pores will be random or not uniform, clearly showing they are natural.

So real lava beads will have many tiny non-non-uniform holes giving that perfect natural texture. 

This means that artificial lava beads may have more of a solid and even look with very few and more evenly spaced holes or pores.

“real lava beads will have many tiny non-uniform holes
giving that perfect natural texture.”

Lightweight

Again one of the main reasons why jewelry designers make use of lava beads is because of their extreme lightweight and versatility.

This means that lava beads are relatively easy to thread. Above all, it’s very comfortable for users to wear jewelry made with lava beads because of their lightweight and smooth texture. 

Real lava beads should feel less heavy than other types of manufactured beads and be easy to handle. It really is the pores or holes on real lava beads that give its spongy texture and also make real lava beads less heavy.

The lightweight of lava beads makes them perfect for diffusing many different oils such as Lavender, Lemon, Geranium along with citrusy orange and lemon.

Find out here some of my favorite blends with Lavender and Orange

Light red, red, brown or black in color 

Because lava stones are natural substances, high temperatures will burn red, lower temperatures will burn out in light red or brown and any black lava stones will not burn out at all. 

So this is why natural lava stones are more likely to have these shades of colors. 

However, there is also a school of thought which says that lava beads can only be brown, black, or dull black, and others are dyed.

Will not fade during the cleaning process 

The lava beads as the name implies, are made of cooled lava stones. This lava is virtually indestructible! And is very very tough. 

If you are examining the lava stones on your bracelet or necklace and handle them gently, you will find out how hard they really are! 

The real proof of the pudding will be when you come to clean your lava stones as true lava will not fade easily when you wash it. 

After washing your stones, if they fade over time when they have been in contact with water, your stones are most probably artificial ones, possibly made of pumice. 

Artificial lava beads are also more likely to break down in the water over time. 

“True lava will not fade easily when you wash it.”

Rough texture 

Although lava beads have a sponge and ceramic ring-like texture, they should feel hard when you touch them. 

Their original texture is hard and rough to the touch. Some lava beads can be very abrasive and might even scratch you in their raw form. 

But don’t worry as most of this roughness is made smooth in the development process 

Lava beads that are not real can have a softer or spongy feel to them. 

“Although lava beads have a sponge and ceramic ring-like texture,
they should feel hard when you touch them.” 

Fake beads wear more easily 

Another way to check if your lava beads are real is if pieces wear off when they are handled roughly. This will be because of the artificially soft characteristics of the material being used. 

Waxed lava beads. Real or fake? 

Real lava beads are often waxed. It could be this waxed coat or layer which gives the lava beads a smooth, sleek, and shiny look to. It’s this smooth surface that makes them ideal for jewelry design.

It could also be that sometimes real lava beads are waxed with different colors to change their original color. 

As lava stones are highly porous, they can easily absorb the color of the material they are waxed with, making them look like different colored lava beads other than genuine black or brown.

And as waxed lava beads are mainly used either to wear next to the skin or for ornamental purposes, they are also treated in paraffin to make their rough edges smoother. 

This gives the lava beads a shiny and sleek look. 

So it can be that real lava beads when waxed will be more likely to have an artificial look. 

In cases such as these, it’s best to: 

  • Ask the seller directly if the lava beads are real 
  • Use one or more of the other methods above to determine if your lava beads are real or fake 

“real lava beads are sometimes waxed, with different
colors to their original color

And finally… 

So there you have it. The definitive guide to identifying your pretty lava bead necklace or bracelet as the real deal! 

Don’t forget to check out my other helpful articles if you are a fan of lava beads like I am! Top 10 Benefits of Lava Stones and Lava stone Bracelets and Why You Need One and ’22 Lava Stone Meanings in Life, Spirit, Emotion, and Strength’ Or maybe you would like to know ‘Can you wear lava beads in the shower?’

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