Moldavite

We are excited to share the fascinating history and science behind the silicate glass known as Moldavite! Over the past few years, this lovely stone has taken the world by storm, rising to the ranks of clear quartz and amethyst in popularity. Thanks to the social media platform known as TikTok, Moldavite hit an all-time high in searches during the spring of 2021. As much of the world was still battling with the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people began to look towards the metaphysical properties of Moldavite to assist them through troubled times. Let our journey together begin!

 

Custom Wire Wrap Created by Wade (In-House Wrap Artist)

Moldavite accented with Facetted Tanzanite in Sterling Silver & 14k Yellow Gold

Molda-what? Moldavite!

First things first, Moldavite is NOT a mineral. It is vitreous silica with the chemical formula of SiO2(+Al2O3) It is not naturally occurring here on Earth.  It is classified as a mineraloid as it was formed by nature but is an inorganic compound that lacks a crystalline structure. Essentially, it cooled so quickly that the atoms in the substance did not have time to organize themselves. This glass is found in just a few isolated locations across central Europe. Also classified as a tektite, it is widely regarded as the only gem-quality tektite found on Earth. But where did this mysterious rock come from?

It is generally accepted that a gigantic meteorite struck the Earth where the Nördlinger Ries impact crater lies today, roughly 14.80 to 14.83 million years ago. This circular depression is located in western Bavaria and eastern Baden-Württemberg. Ries is derived from the name of an ancient tribe that thrived in the era before Roman times. The crater itself spans 24 km (~15 miles) in diameter with a depression of 100-150 m (~330-490 feet) below the rim. It was originally believed to be of volcanic origin. However, the discovery of coesite proved meteoritic origin as this can only be formed by the extreme amounts of shock pressure seen in meteorite impacts. There are other, smaller impact sites surrounding the Ries crater but a 2020 study concluded these could be roughly 500,000 years younger.

 

 Map of Impact Craters and Moldavite Strewn Fields (Geology.com)

As you can see in the pictorial above, there are quite a few areas where Moldavite can be collected. These include southern Bohemia, western Moravia, the Cheb Basin, Lusatia, (Germany), and Waldviertel (Austria). Some of these sites are nearly 500 km (~300 miles) apart. Hopefully, that gives some scale to just how significant of an impact was caused by this particular meteorite. Many of the specimens found are associated with sediments of Miocene as well as Pleistocene.

Bohemian Specimens: Elongated Teardrops

Moravian Specimens: Spherical

Besednice Specimens: Spiky "Hedgehog"

Besednice Moldavite Specimen (Topminerals.cz)

The Facts

Moldavite can be distinguished from other minerals as it is most commonly a translucent green, occasionally found with hues of yellow and brown depending on its location. Most specimens will have a "mossy" texture on their surface with some containing worm-like inclusions of lechatelierite. It is estimated there is a total of 275 tons of Moldavite, with three different grades being acknowledged, museum, medium, and regular. These grades are separated based on the quality of their appearance.*

 Grade

Museum 

Medium (A-Grade)

Regular (B-Grade)

Size

Often Largest (>10 grams) Often Larger (5-20 grams)

Typically Smaller (<5 grams)

Color/Saturation

Often Very Translucent Mixed

Often Darker, More Saturated

Condition

"Fern-like" pattern, No Damage

Little to No Damage Pitted, Weathered, Erosion Signs Broken/Damaged

 *Please Note: While these grades are well established, there is still a lot of variation in the specimens found. Not all large Moldavites are museum grade while not all small Moldavites are regular grade. Every piece is unique and should be examined independently.

 

Fun Facts

IT is estimated that if all of the world's Moldavite was found and put together, they would form a sphere with a diameter of 14 meters.

During the 1960s, Queen Elizabeth II received a raw Moldavite paired with a diamond and black pearl all set in platinum. This was a gift from the Swiss government!

Moldavite has been used since the Stone Age. It was knapped to form arrowheads and other tools.

Moldavite has been linked to stories of the Holy Grail, believe to have fallen out of Lucifer's crown before being cast from Heaven.

The rarest of all Moldavite specimens are known as "sonorous" Moldavites. These specimens were formed in such a way when they are dropped onto a surface, they will ring similar to a coin. These are often referred to as "Angel Chimes" and are estimated to make up less than 1% of all Moldavite.

 

Real vs. Fake

With Moldavite gaining the popularity it has over the past few years, its price has been on a steady increase. As with most items, when the demand increases you are more likely to encounter cheaper, imitation products as well. In 2019, we here at Mineralogy had many hand-selected specimens in our galleries for only $5/gram! How we miss those days... Our galleries are able to keep them in stock, but the market price has increased significantly. No need to worry, we still have genuine Moldavite in our stores at an extremely competitive price that is hard to beat!

 Types Moldavite Imitations

Color

Light Green to Brown Light Green

Density

2.27-2.46 2.52-2.53

Fluorescence

None Chalky White in Shortwave UV

 

It can be very difficult to distinguish the difference between genuine Moldavite and imitation pieces. The vast majority of the fakes to hit the market have been mass produced in China and sold overseas. There are a few ways that will help you determine the authenticity of a piece. If you are purchasing in person, pay very close attention to the color and texture of the specimen. Most moldavite sold commercially will have some degree of damage from the mining or transportation process. Remember, if the price seems too good to be true, it likely is. Currently, a single gram of Moldavite can range anywhere from $40 to $150 depending on the grade and uniqueness of the specimen.

If you ever have concerns about your Moldavite specimen, feel free to contact us. We have been a retail seller of Moldavite since our creation and would love to help!

 

Metaphysical Properties

No matter who you are, one look at a piece of Moldavite and you will get a special feeling from it. Whether it is a change of energy level or just an appreciation of its delicate formation, Moldavite brings a grace unrivaled by any other stone. Those who are rather sensitive to this stone often feel the sensation of heat paired with an increase in heart rate and flushing in the face. It is not unheard of people feeling dizzy when holding a specimen of Moldavite.

It is quite hard to pin down what exactly Moldavite is best used for speaking metaphysically. Just a few associations relate to connection, transformation, connectivity, and success. Being a stone of "Rapid Transformation", many people often use it to help release old, and painful thoughts.

While working with chakras, Moldavite is used to balance all of them, particularly focusing on the heart and third eye. It process of its creation means it carried positive energies in relation to every zodiac sign.