Q: I have recently purchased some rudraksha from a source that has been selling for over 20 years. I still feel that it is best to check the authenticity of the beads. How may I do this ?
A: Many long time suppliers in Nepal and India deal in counterfeit Beads as part of their normal Trade and this is simply a part of the business Mostly the round one mukhi and then any mukhis over 14 Mukhi.
Is not easy to figure why some rules for testing exist because many times they are misleading.
Authentic Rudraksha will both float and sink depending on how much moisture is trapped in the Bead so there can be no valid test for Authenticity based on sinking or floating. If the authentic Bead is a couple of years old and really dry from being in a collection box it will float because it is totally dry. Is still an authentic Bead. If you leave the Bead in the water for a couple of days it will take on enough water and sink If the Bead is new from this season then the Beads are normally not dry due to their freshness and there is moisture trapped in the Bead. When placed in glass of water the Bead will find its buoyancy level somewhere from the bottom of the glass of water to the top depending on the amount of moisture it is carrying. We have found that any and all authentic Beads will either sink or float depending on whether it is really dry or still has moisture from being a freshly harvested Rudraksha Bead.
Counterfeit round 1 mukhi are sold in both India and Indonesia. Small pieces of Rudraksha are glued on four of the lines of a five mukhi bead thus leaving only one deep line. Can be detected by boiling in water for 2-3 hours . The other hidden lines would show up in a different colour as the glue softens. Pieces chip off on regular wearing . Another method to remove glue that is not water soluble is to place Bead in Liquid Nitrous Oxide so it melts the more sophisticated glues.
Fake beads can also be made from wood, cork, gum or from a type of clay. As well as from the inner wood of the plant species Aquillaria agallocha and from the wood of Chestnut (Akrod) plant.
One can often times spot a fake bead by uses a magnifying glass.
To identify real Rudraksha, an expert's eye and touch is required. There is lot of variation in Rudraksha beads. Constant collection of different rudrakshas from different localities adds to one's experience in this field. It is always therefore better to purchase rudraksha beads from the authentic sources.
Rudra Center offers a free Authentication Service where their might be reasonable doubt regarding authenticity for any Rudraksha Beads purchased anywhere in the world. For this service the client pays shipping both ways to Rudra Center. Another method of Authentication can take place by scanning Beads at high resolution and sending scanned pictures to Rudra Centre , India by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on Rudraksha Testing