The authenticity of the rudraksha, whether it is pure or fake, can be tested by a few simple tests below:
1. Floating in water Test:
A test like ‘Rudraksha that sinks in water is original and the Rudraksha that floats in water is a duplicate’ is just a myth.
A genuine Rudraksha could either float or sink in water depending upon the density or moisture trapped in the bead. A genuine Rudraksha that is not oiled, very dry & light in weight will float. Similarly, a bead that is heavy or oiled or kept in water for some time will sink because of the moisture in it; a recently plucked bead might sink because of moisture in it & at same bead if lying in your collection box for a couple of years might float due to its dryness. Further, the same dry bead if kept in water for a few hours or days shall absorb water & start sinking slowly.
2. Milk Test:
It is often claimed by many cheats or ignorant vendors that a genuine Rudraksha when put in a jar of milk; changes the colour of the milk. Many a times what happens is that the Rudraksha beads are coated with mud by the farmers to protect it from insects. So once the Rudraksha coated with mud is put in milk it starts loosing its coating & brings about a change in the colour of the milk. This coating can be done even on a fake bead which will bring about the same change on the milk.
3. Copper Coin Test:
There are many other criteria written to prove the authenticity of a Rudraksha bead like revolving between two coins & the milk changing colour after the bead is soaked in it for a night. But all these are not a correct criterion because a bead with magnetic field will rotate & if the bead is coloured with mud for protection it will loose its colour.
Moreover, nowadays, Rudraksha beads are not fake but the mukhis on them are fake.
A skillful artisan can increase the mukhis (facets) of a low priced Rudraksha bead by neatly giving extra cuts & converting it to a higher mukhi (facets) Rudraksha bead that will fetch him a higher price. Similarly, he could also hide or block a few mukhis (facets) on a low priced Rudraksha bead converting it to a lower Mukhi bead that would fetch him a higher price. Only an experienced eye can detect this.
These artisans also use superfine glue to attach or join two or three Lower priced beads together converting them to a highly priced Gaurishanker or an exorbitantly priced Trijudi Rudraksha. Nevertheless, these glued beads can be detected by dipping them completely in boiled (not boiling) water. There are chances that the glue would give in and loose strength and the two or three beads artificially attached may get separated from each other. But Nowadays due to the usage of superfine glue by the artisans there are chances that the beads may not get separated, So ultimately it is the experienced eye that can detect the same.
Ultimately, the only way to convince yourself or buy a Rudraksha bead is on trust. The Rudraksha should be brought from a genuine supplier who is accountable to the people.