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Identifying a Real Rudraksha

As the time is changing now as a person saw that any thing is becoming popular, they start making clones of it. Even if the people has not left making clone of human and animals same way artificial rudraksha is also available in the market.

Nowadays, rudraksha seem to come in all shapes and sizes, and available at every little shop that sells alternative medicines, including a host of online stores. But make sure you get the real one. Imitations look real but don't work! Here's how to identify a genuine Rudraksha seed.

Artificial Rudraksha is often made from the wild berry seeds or nuts. But these berries cannot be made as real as the ones that are in the genuine ones and therefore easily be detected by an experienced eye. Here the facet (Mukhi) means the deep lining running through the diameter of a Rudraksha bead. Looking at these deep linings-facets one can recognize real Rudraksha.

There are a number of methods for identification of fake Rudraksha like:

Water Test

Sometimes rare Rudraksha beads like GauriShankar Rudraksha or a Trijuti are made by artificially joining two or three Rudraksha with the help of glue etc. In case of doubt, such Rudraksha bead should be placed in boiling water for 20-30 minutes. A sharp discoloration will take place at the joint in case of artificial Rudraksha.

There is another water test that is conducted as well. The bead is placed in a glass of water. If it floats it is rejected. However, this test is not very reliable because :

An unripe but genuine Rudraksha will also float in water.

Fake Rudraksha bead made of wood and impregnated with lead will also sink in water.

Rare Rudraksha beads like One Mukhi are sometimes made by tampering with higher Mukhi beads. This Rudraksha will also sink.

Cut Test

The most reliable test is to cut the Rudraksha bead. One will find the same number of compartments as the number of lines. However, the drawback is that the bead is destroyed.

Properties Test

This test is to find whether the beads exhibit properties like inductance, capacitance, conduction of electric current etc.

Copper Coin Test

It is a general belief that a Rudraksha bead when placed between two copper coins will rotate slightly either towards the right or the left. This happens due to the physical and magnetic properties of the Rudraksha beads. This test requires a high level of expertise and the buyer generally buys the bead that rotates towards right.

Eye Test

The Mukhis of a natural Rudraksha look like closed lips with deep natural partitions. Sometimes Rudraksha are faked by sticking thorny parts of one Rudraksh onto another one. This difference could be caught by a 10x lens.

However, none of these tests are full proof. The best way to buy an expensive rudraksha is by taking an Xray or by CT scan of that rudraksha gives 100% accurate results but it is much expensive.

But it is suggested that buy Rudraksha from a trusted authorized supplier.

Identification through scientific technique


One way is to follow the X-ray technique one can see the internal structure without damaging the beads. This digital X-ray test is done without complication for rudrakshas upto nine mukhis but higher mukhi beads may not give 100% accurate results due to overlapping of the internal seeds.

CT scanning

CT scanning is another method for identification of rudraksha but it is more expensive than X-ray.It gives much clear results for any rudraksha than X-ray.

CT Scanning and X-ray are expensive methods to identify the rudraksha but gives clear and accurate results.

Rudraksha are available from 2 Mukhi till 29 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 variety of Rudraksha called 1 mukhi half moon is thus sold in its place which is genuine and belongs 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 outdated 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. 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 unshapely and have extremely dry surface. These beads rarely provide any effect. One should go for Rudraksha which are heavy, bright, lustrous, shapely and emit a positive vibration.

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 Mukhi over 14 Mukhi.

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. But still it is 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. It 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.

To identify real Rudraksha, an expert's eye and touch is required. There is lot of variation in Rudraksha beads. Constant collection of different Rudraksha from different localities adds to one's experience in this field. It is always therefore better to purchase Rudraksha beads from the authentic sources.

Rudraksha world offers a free Authentication Service where there 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 Rudraksha world. Another method of Authentication can take place by scanning Beads at high resolution and sending scanned pictures to Rudraksha world, India by email at:

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