Often called "Bottle stone", theMoldavite is an olive green colored gemstone. It belongs to the group of Tektite minerals, which are described as natural glass stones. With beautiful coloring and a vibrant shine, many people believe that Moldavite was born from the stars. Apart from its unique appearance, moldavite is best known for its unusual origin; the stone is believed to have formed from condensed rock vapors shortly after a meteorite impact thousands of years ago.
A few years ago moldavite was thought to be an artificial stone. After researchers found the stone to be natural, it was later believed to be a type of volcanic obsidian glass. Finally, the stone turned out to be a member of the tektite family and was given the name "chysolites". A few years later, the gem was renamed "Moldavite", after the place where it was discovered - Moldauthein. In this article, we explore Moldavite in more detail.
How to Identify Moldavite
For trained professionals, Moldavite is relatively easy to identify. The chemical composition of the stone contains aluminum oxide and silicon dioxide. The hardness of the stone is quite high, with a value of 5 on the Mohs scale. Its density is measured at 2.3. Professionals can also identify Moldavite by its refractive index; similar to that of Obsidian volcanic glass, the index can be measured easily with the right equipment. For the untrained eye, identifying moldavite is a little trickier. In this case, the best way to identify the stone is its glass-like appearance and olive green color. Sometimes specimens show a slightly darker or lighter shade of green. When cut and polished, the stone exhibits a strong luster, which is usually accompanied by a rough surface.
Moldavite can sometimes be confused with other similar-looking minerals. This natural glass stone is closely related to volcanic glass, obsidian. Popular for gemstone jewelry, obsidian has a series of different trade names such as "Snowflake Obsidian" and "Gold-Sheen Obsidian". For professionals, the differences between Moldavite and Obsidian are clear; however, to an untrained eye, the two may look nearly identical.
The different colors and types of moldavite
Although Moldavite is always green in color, the exact shade of the specimen may vary. A variety of shades of green are common, ranging from pale green to deep forest green. Occasionally specimens may appear brownish green, but these are considered the least desirable. On average, the most desirable color of Moldavite is a medium green with no brown tint.
The appearance of Moldavite can vary from transparent to opaque. The most valuable specimens are almost entirely transparent. Stones of this nature are not only beautiful, they are also extremely rare; they therefore have a high price. On average, most Moldavite on the gemstone market is opaque with slight translucency. Completely transparent specimens are called "museum quality", while everything else is considered "ordinary quality". The museum-grade Moldavite also features a unique fern-like pattern. Ordinary quality specimens are generally darker in color, and their surface often appears rough and pitted. Unlike other gemstones, moldavite is rarely heat treated or enhanced. However, the stone is sometimes fused with other varieties of borosilicate glass to improve its appearance.
Where is moldavite found?
As we mentioned earlier, the name "Moldavite" comes from "Moldauthein", a town in the Czech Republic where the stone was first discovered. Today, moldavite is found in various places around the world. Notable sources are Germany, Austria, West Moravia, and South and North West Bohemia. Currently, 99% of moldavite comes from South Bohemia and the remaining 1% from West Moravia. While the stone is occasionally found in Germany and Austria, these deposits are generally minimal.
Today, the estimated amount of moldavite in the world is around 275 tons. A few years ago, many moldavite mines were in operation all over the Czech Republic, all producing the stone at a commercial level. Today, only one mine is still in operation. Experts have estimated that all gem-quality specimens will be extinct within the next ten years.
Healing Properties of Moldavite
Legend suggests that Moldavite was first used to bring good luck to whoever saw it. Today, many people still consider the gemstone a "lucky charm". Thought to bring peace and harmony in relationships, the stone is also popular among married couples. Additionally, moldavite is believed to promote fertility and alleviate unpleasant symptoms associated with pregnancy; With this in mind, a piece of good quality moldavite can be beneficial to people who are trying to conceive or are in their first trimester of pregnancy. The olive stone is believed to help cure a range of other physical ailments, too. Most notably, the gem is believed to relieve asthma, gout, and various allergies. People suffering from the flu or a cold can also use moldavite to relieve their symptoms.
Vitreous Moldavite is popular all over the world. Today, the most notable deposits of this stone are found in South Bohemia, although specimens are also found in West Moravia, Germany and Austria. Prized for its vibrant green color and glassy appearance, good quality Moldavite is often used in designer jewelry. Whether you hope to use the stone for its benefits in crystal healing or are looking for a beautiful addition to your jewelry collection, buy a good quality piece of Moldavite to reap the rewards.