It is easy to recognize Original Rudraksha by its Facets or Faces or Mukhi’s. Here the descriptive words describing the Mukhis are interpreted to mean the deep lines from the lower part to the upper part of the Rudraksha Bead. Original rudraksha can easily be recognized by looking at these deep lines or Mukhi’s and also by observing the exterior surfaces of the different Mukhi Beads. The different Mukhi Beads have distinctly different growth patterns of the thorny surface protrusions.
Original rudraksha have many sizes and shapes to include round, elongated, semi circular, convex and flat. The smallest Rudraksha has the size equal to the black pepper and then larger to the size of garden peas and then the size of Amla Fruit. There is also extra large Collector Grade Rudraksha. Beads from Nepal are large, round with deep and well defined faces and have a natural hole and are much sought after. Others found commonly in Srilanka and South of India is flat and convex and holes have to be drilled in them. Indonesian beads are tiny in size with not so deep and defined mukhs on them.
In modern scientific studies specific to Electromagnetic Properties the larger Rudraksha were found to show maximum inductance and capacitance as compared to the smaller ones. This information verifies the Vedic Knowledge regarding why Rudraksha of larger size have been praised in the Puranas. To confirm this again it is also normal to see pictures of the Gurus and Saints in India who are wearing Malas of the larger Rudraksha.
Due to the increasing importance and price of original rudraksha it is also made artificially and these artificial Rudraksha continue to be sold in limited quantities in the marketplace.
One of the most common artificial Rudraksha sold are the 1 Mukhi Round that is actually a 3, 4 or 5 Mukhi Round Bead with all lines except one filled in with glue and powdered Rudraksha from another bead. When floated in hot water the glue softens exposing the bead. Also seeds from trees having fruits similar in look to Rudraksha are sold with one line carved on them. They can only be recognized by their look, feel , weight and smell by experienced people. The artificial 1 Mukhi Rounds normally sell in the area of US $500.00 and more. Investigations by Rudralife has revealed that round 1 mukhi has not been produced by any tree of Nepal till date , which only shows that all these sold are fake without needing much further investigation.
Balls made of synthetic material are also carved with 21 to 27 lines and are beautiful collector items. Examples of these are found in our fake bead section and they are really beautiful works of art for the collector. The lines carved on these beads are normally shallow and the surface of the Bead does not normally have the deep contours of the original rudraksha Beads.
In the general market place there is said to be other criteria to recognize Original Rudraksha such as sinking and floating of Rudraksha in water and spinning between two coins. These are not correct criteria. Original Rudraksha Beads are simply recognized as a natural authentic Bead by inspecting the Mukhis and different thorny surfaces and then purchasing according to the quality desired.
Generally the 5 Mukhi Original Rudraksha are found easily. Original Rudraksha having 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 Mukhis are found in less quantity and their price is generally more than the 5 Mukhi Rudraksha. Prices are established according to rarity in the market place and are also determined by the quality of production of any one year. Production is represented by about 20% highest quality and 60% average quality. It needs to be mentioned that there are at least two grades of Original Rudraksha that can be purchased.
The golden test to recognize the mukhi of Original Rudraksha is to cut the bead horizontally and count the number
of holes and seeds in the cut section. The number of holes and seeds will be the same like the number of lines or mukh. A 7 mukhi Original Rudraksha will have 7 holes in its cut section and a 14 mukhi rudraksha will have 14 holes. Even the small size Indonesian bead if cut horizontally shows the same features and you can see beautiful tiny holes equal to the number of mukhis. The image on the right side shows different cut sections of Rudraksha.
The price paid for original rudraksha does not affect its religious or spiritual or medicinal importance or value. Retail prices range widely depending on where Original Rudraksha are purchased. There is no link or connection with the price of Rudraksha or the buying and selling of Rudraksha and its religious and spiritual and medicinal effectiveness and importance. What is most important is that the Rudraksha be authentic and of high quality.
Fake Rudraksha of higher faces of eight mukhis and above are often made out of lower mukhi beads. The most common method is to carve additional lines. For example, a 13 mukhi rudraksha can be easily made from an 11 mukhi rudraksha, a 14 mukhi rudraksha from 12 mukhi rudraksha and so on. This gives higher margin for the seller. For example, a 10 mukhi rudraksha may sell for Rs1,500, but if two additional lines are created to make it a 12 mukhi rudraksha, it can easily fetch him Rs 3,000. The profit is often distributed among the artisans, the trader and the retailer. If only one additional line is carved, the margin could be around Rs 800. Again, it depends on the mukhs. For example, if a 14 mukhi rudraksha is made from a 13 mukhi rudraksha by adding one line, the effort can get as much as Rs 5,000 per bead. For fake rudraksha It will require very close and expert examination to identity the additional line as the line tends to look nearly same as natural lines. Often the additional line is made after heating the tool, which will normally be very sharp so that a clear line is created without any blurring. However, hot tool darkens the line.
The artisans, who create fake rudraksha beads, are experts in their own way. It is for them to decide where to create the additional lines to avoid suspicion. Usually, the additional lines are created at the end of the longitudinal portion as there is more availability of space here. The artisan has also to be careful so that the lines do not look straight as created by a sharp instrument and they have to be serrated and the depth of the lines should match that of original lines.
It is unfortunate that unscrupulous elements are using this divine bead to exploit the gullibility of people. Even educated people are fooled by these elements, who pass on spurious seeds like betel nuts and berries as Original Rudraksha. People should take extreme care and look for any minute differences in the size, shape and depth of the lines and reject such beads outright.
References : Kamal N Seetha (2014) The Power Of Rudraksha