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Purity & Identification

Tests for a Genuine Rudraksha

Although Rudraksha bead is a gift of Lord Shiva for the benefit of entire mankind, yet in Ancient days very few people which primarily included Saints and Brahmins were aware of the benefits of Rudraksha Beads. Hence, the Rudraksha beads were available in abundance since their demand was restricted to a select few people. However, in recent times, a lot of research and work has been done on Rudraksha beads and their benefits due to which there has been an unprecedented surge in their demand which can not be fulfilled because Rudrakshas grow naturally while their demand has surpassed their growth. This short fall in requirement of Rudraksha beads have led some people to make fake Rudrakshas wherein either they are made using artificial materials like wood, areca nut, nutmeg, tulsi, etc. or at times, the original Rudraksha beads are tempered by adding / hiding one mukha to convert them into costlier ones which makes it very hard for a normal person to differentiate them from the real one. For example, a 14 Mukhi Nepalese Rudraksha is around 4 to 5 times costlier in comparison to a 13 Mukhi Nepalese Rudraksha and therefore adding an extra mukha artificially by skilled hands to a genuine 13 mukhi Nepalese Rudraksha can easily convert it into a 14 Mukhi Nepalese Rudraksha which may pass almost all the common tests for a genuine Rudraksha. It is due to this reason that only a Cut Test or the X-ray Test or Laboratory Test done by experts under a Microscope can be a perfect answer for establishing the Authenticity of a Rudraksha Bead. Please find below a few commonly known test for Rudraksha Beads along with an Analysis of their creditability.
 

There are few methods of testing a Genuine Rudraksha :

Cut Test :
 

A full proof method is to cut the Rudraksha bead horizontally. One will find the same number of compartments as that of the number of lines (mukhas). However, the drawback is that by this method, the bead gets destroyed. However, a better technique wherein a Digital X-ray is taken of the Rudraksha bead and ideally, there should be an equal number of chambers visible in the X-ray as the number of mukhas. However, this technique is also not very reliable due to over lapping in higher mukhi Rudrakshas thereby creating confusion and false results.
 

Properties Test :

 

The other method is to find out whether the beads exhibit properties like Inductance, Capacitance, Conduction of electric current etc. However, this test also requires sophisticated instruments and experienced people to measure these properties which is beyond the scope of normal customer.
 

The Copper Coin Test :
 

It is generally believed that if a Rudraksha bead is placed between two copper coins, it should rotate slightly. This is said to be due to the physical and magnetic properties of the Rudraksha beads & is generally conducted by many clients who are unfortunately not aware of the real fact and reason for rotation. In reality, the fact is that if any object is roundish (like Rudraksha bead) and have protrusions like those found on Rudraksha beads, it will rotate if it is held between any two smooth metal coins due to mechanical force which gets applied on the pivoted surface of Rudraksha bead and it has got nothing to do with the genuineness of the Rudraksha. Alternately, there may be no rotation at all if the Rudraksha is very tightly held between the two coins or if the protrusions are flattish thereby resisting the movement. In all such cases, where the Rudraksha bead does not rotate at the hands of clients, they conveniently conclude that the bead is a fake.

Hence, this test should not be relied upon as it can conveniently lead to a false impression that the Rudraksha is a fake even if it is a perfectly genuine Rudraksha.
 

Eye test :
 

A Fake or the Artificial Rudraksha may look like a real one but in these Rudraksha, the facets (mukhis) can not be made as real as those present on the real Rudraksha. In a Rudraksha, the facets or the mukhis means deep lining from the upper part to the lower part of Rudraksha. Looking at these deep linings (facets) with the help of a magnifying glass, one can easily recognize a real Rudraksha. Nowadays, most of the Gem Testing Laboratories have started testing Rudrakshas also wherein a fake Rudraksha can be easily identified under a Microscope.
 

Water test :

It is a known fact that the specific gravity of water is one and any thing having a higher density than water will sink in it irrespective of the fact that it is a Rudraksha or any other item. A perfectly ripe Rudraksha therefore usually sinks in water since it have a specific gravity higher than that of water and it is due to this reason that a sinking of Rudraksha in water has been labelled as a test for its genuineness which is very unfortunate, deceptive and can easily lead a genuine Rudraksha bead to be labelled as a fake Rudraksha.

The test wherein the Rudraksha Bead dips in water (commonly known as water test) is not dependable because :

4The Rudraksha bead being tested is genuine but it is not fully ripe and hence, does not sink due to the fact that there is a lot of Air trapped inside the Rudraksha which does not allow it to sink in water in spite of being a fully authentic and genuine Rudraksha bead. This is exactly similar to a person holding on to a Life Jacket while in water which prevents him from drowning. This very Rudraksha bead will sink if it is worn for a few months because during this period, the trapped air will get relieved due to the rudraksha bead being exposed to a number of other liquids like Body Oil and other oils. Sometimes the hole in the Rudraksha is very big being a natural phenomenon and in such case also, the Rudraksha may not sink in the water in spite of being a genuine one.

4 Alternately even a fake Rudraksha made out of wood and impregnated with lead will sink in water thereby giving a false impression of a real Rudraksha.

4 Some times a rare available Rudraksha (like one mukhi) is made by tempering other easily available real Rudraksha beads of lesser value like a 2 mukhi & such Rudraksha will also sink in water.

Conclusion :

Hence, although widely accepted as a test of genuine Rudraksha bead, a Water Test can also give highly erroneous results due to which even a genuine Rudraksha may be labelled as a fake one while a fake Rudraksha may be accepted as a genuine Rudraksha.