1
What Is Moldavite, and How to Spot Fake Moldavite?
Real Moldavite from Besednice, Czech Republic. Photos: GoldenHourMinerals


Tectites are members of a large group of impact glasses, formed by the collision of a meteorite on the Earth’s surface and the subsequent melting of surrounding rocks.

The most famous tectites used as gemstones are moldavites from southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic. These were formed by a meteorite’s impact in the Ries crater in southern Germany 14.7 million years ago, about 500 km from their occurrence.

Moldavite is an impact glass, produced when terrestrial silica is fused in the intense heat and pressure created by the crash of large meteorites.



The chemical formula of moldavite is SiO2(+Al2O3). Its properties are similar to that of other types of glass, and reported Mohs hardness varies from 5.5 to 7. Moldavite can be transparent or translucent with a mossy green color, with swirls and bubbles accentuating its mossy appearance. Moldavites can be distinguished from green glass imitations by observing their worm-like inclusions of lechatelierite.

As true genuine Moldavite is getting more rare and the price is going up, the counterfeiters are getting better at their craft. The identification of moldavite with a natural-looking surface is much more difficult.

Moldavites are popular for their pleasant green color, enigmatic origin, and interesting etched texture. They are used in jewelry, in either faceted or natural form. The price of moldavite has risen in the last few years, and as a logical consequence imitations have become more widespread.

As Moldavite's Value Grows, So Does the Market for Fakes How to Spot Fake Moldavite

How to Spot Fake Moldavite?
Huge moldavite fakes seen in Hanoi. Photo by Jaroslav Hyršl.
As true genuine Moldavite is getting more rare and the price is going up, the counterfeiters are getting better at their craft. The identification of moldavite with a natural-looking surface is much more difficult.

The identification of faceted moldavite is simple. Besides their flow texture and abundant bubbles (almost always much more abundant than in an artificial glass), moldavites contain “wires” of lechatelierite, a high-temperature form of SiO2. Lechatelierite is very easy to see with a loupe due to its lower RI.



Tips to look for in fake stones :

  1. If these all appear to be the same shape or resemble the pictures on this page
  2. If they appear Shiny / Wet looking
  3. Faceted stones do not have bubbles, or inclusions, it appears flawless or clean like glass
Some counterfeiters are even now creating a mold from an actual genuine piece of Moldavite and replicating the color and texture to almost close to perfection. The best way to catch this is by noticing the stone is flawless and the price asked, which is a very low price usually.

Fake Moldavite
Fake Moldavites
If the Moldavite you are examining is bright vibrant green in color, you are most likely looking at a fake Moldavite that was produced by melting green glass bottles. Also, be aware that the larger the Moldavite, the higher the price, as most genuine Moldavite is sold by the gram.

If the seller claims the stone was mined anywhere but the Moldau River valley in the Czech Republic, it is most definitively a fake. 

If the Moldavite looks really wet or shiny, like melted glass, you are more than likely looking at a fake Moldavite. Now, there are some sellers that state up front that their Moldavite is lab-created, created or synthetic, which is just green glass made and formed to look like Moldavite. 

Just be aware that if it states lab-created, created or synthetic, you are getting green glass or maybe worse. Some fake Moldavite on the market isn't even green, which is a true sign that it is definitely fake. Below I will include some pictures of real and fake Moldavite so that you may see the difference for yourself.

Further reading:
Moldavites: Natural Or Fake?
A Guide to Genuine Versus Fake

See also:
Benitoite: The Rarest Gemstone Found Only in California
Conch Pearl: The Only Natural Pink Pearl
What is Sea Glass, and Where Can You Find It?

Post a Comment

Ella Scott said... April 4, 2018 at 6:15 AM

This article has suggested to me many new ideas. I will embark on doing it. Hope you can continue to contribute your talents in this area run 3

 
Top