Rudraksha are available from 2 mukhi till 27 mukhis. The five faced Rudraksha are found easily and abundantly. One faced Rudraksha round variety has never been found till date and is thus a myth. A Rudraksha called 1 mukhi half-moon is thus sold in its place which is genuine and belong to a family tree of rudraksha. This bead is found easily and price is also not high. However there are suppliers who sell this half-moon variety also at exorbitant prices taking advantage of the rarity of round 1 mukhi rudraksha. Round 1 mukhi rudraksha however is the most highly sold bead and is faked in many forms by unscrupulous suppliers. Many of these beads are made from berries and betel nuts and Areca nuts. Some have a stem implanted in them artificially to give a real look. Also some suppliers sell fake 1 mukhis which have Serpent, Trishul, Lingam etc carved on them. A real Rudraksha does not have these markings. Rudraksha having 2,3,4,6 and 7 faces are found abundantly and hence their prices are not high. Fake rudraksha are made by carving extra lines in these lower mukhi beads to obtain the rare and higher priced higher mukhi beads. Also some scrupulous people fake Gauri Shankar Rudraksha by gluing together two Rudraksha beads. But these can be again detected by little experience and awareness. Please note that the idea of informing about Fake Rudraksha is not to scare away people, but to make them aware. Genuine rudraksha sold are also available in plenty naturally. But it is the greed of suppliers to make more money that forces them to deal in fake beads. Also in the case of rare Rudraksha beads of higher mukhis fakes are sold by such suppliers to satisfy the increasing demand of these beads.
It is not very difficult to recognize a real Rudraksha. On account of its increasing importance and price, it is made artificially also and these artificial Rudrakshas are also being sold in market. Artificial Rudraksha used to be made long ago by using wild berry seeds or nuts or wood. But now this is an out-dated technique and the Nepal suppliers of today are making these by carving out extra lines in a lower mukhi bead to get a higher mukhi bead, or hiding extra lines to obtain a rare lower mukhi bead and even by gluing together parts of rudraksha beads to obtain another rudraksha. Thus these fake rudraksha look externally like real rudraksha and thus have to be examined more carefully. But in these artificial Rudraksha, no facet can be made as real as the ones that are in the genuine ones and can easily be detected by an experienced eye. Here the facet (Mukh) means deep lining from the upper part to the lower part of Rudraksha. Looking at these deep linings-facets one can recognize real Rudraksha. One needs to use magnifying glass for this purpose and examine for artificially carved lines (which are generally very sharp) and glued surfaces on the bead.
There are many other criteria written to recognize Rudraksha, such as the sinking and floating of Rudraksha in the water and revolving between two coins. But it is not a correct criterion. Even an unripe but genuine Rudraksha may float in the water, and a non-genuine ones made out of wood impregnated with lead or by tampering a real rudraksha may sink. Therefore, we should not bother about these suspicions and false notions. The Rudraksha should be brought from a genuine supplier who is accountable to the people, and who would accept returns. Buying rudraksha is like buying Gems in which buyers buy from a trusted supplier only and thus buyers needs to consult other previous buyers for the genuine suppliers and their experience of dealing with them, before taking a decision to purchase these beads.
Another thing to be noted is that rudraksha being a natural product; it is available in many qualities from low, medium, high to collector. A buyer should avoid low quality beads which are light weight, have broken surfaces and are unshaped and have extremely dry surface. These beads rarely provide any effect. One should go for rudraksha which are heavy, bright, lustrous, well-shaped and emit a positive vibrations.