Ever wanted to own a moldavite ring? Here is what you need to know about this gorgeous yet unique gemstone.
The Origin of Moldavite
Moldavite, also known as “vltavin” or Bouteille Stone, is a natural vitreous gemstone with an unusual origin. It is believed to have been formed as a result of a meteoroid impact that occurred 15 million years ago in central Europe and is regarded as an “extraterrestrial gem.
It is one of the two types of gem-quality tektites or natural glass formed from meteorite impacts. Tektites were named after the Greek word tektos for “molten” and are a mixture of aluminum oxide, silicon dioxide, and metal oxides with an amorphous crystal structure.
Moldavite is a pale to dark-green gemstone that possesses a vitreous luster after being cut and polished, with a scarred, rough surface. They can be transparent or translucent with a mossy appearance accentuated by bubbles and swirls.
Its name is derived from the town of Moldauthein in the historical region of the Czech Republic, Bohemia, where deposits were first found. However, it was first introduced as ‘chrysolites’ by Prague University’s Josef Mayer at a Bohemian Scientific Society meeting in 1786.
Moldavite has been found in Southern and Northwestern Bohemia, Lusatia (in Germany), Waldviertel (in Austria), and Western Moravia, with the total amount scattered around the earth estimated to be around 275 tons. Scientists have estimated that we would have exhausted the supply of gem-quality moldavite in about ten years’ time.
Determining The Value of Moldavite
How would you discern the quality of your moldavite ring? The value and price of moldavite depend on its grade, color, and size. Moldavite comes in three grades with varying appearances. Regular grade moldavite typically comes in a darker, more saturated green hue, with a closely spaced pitted or weathered surface.
Moldavite can be found in a variety of green shades, including deep, forest green to blue-green or brown-green. However, moldavite in a lighter shade of pure, light to medium green with no brown hues is ideal and the most desirable.
High quality and museum-grade moldavite, is much more translucent than the regular grade, with a distinct fern-like pattern and of course, a huge price difference. Rare and valuable museum-grade moldavite stones are primarily exhibited by collectors of rare gemstones, whereas high-quality moldavite is popular with designer jewelers who make one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted jewelry out of them. Smaller and lower quality moldavite is used to make novelty items or collectibles.
Moldavite also occurs in a variety of shapes and cuts according to their molten origins. Those of the finest, highest-quality are faceted, while the rest are traded and purchased in their natural state. Common shapes include the disc, drop, elliptical, spiral, oval, and splash shapes. Moravian moldavite tends to come in a spherical shape, while Bohemian moldavite is elongated or drop-like.
Myths and Legends of Moldavite
Having been revered since prehistoric times, moldavite has a rich history, its mystical status captured in a host of myths, legends, and lore.
According to Czechoslovakian folklore, moldavite was believed to bring good fortune and protection to its wearer, harmoniously restore marital relationships, and help with fertility. They were given as betrothal gifts and made into amulets and talismans.
During the excavation of the “Venus of Willendorf”, the oldest known statue of a goddess symbolizing motherhood and fertility, amulets, talismans, and ritual knives crafted from moldavite around 25,000 years ago was also found.
Moldavite was highly prized throughout the Middle Ages, being strictly reserved for those of royalty and nobility. Its name in Sanskrit is “Agni Mani” which means “fire pearl”. It is also associated with the mystical phoenix, which was believed to have been consumed by and reborn in fire, standing as a spiritual symbol of transfiguration and renewal.
Moldavite has also been associated with interesting tales such as the legend of the Holy Grail used by Christ during the Last Supper, the celestial battle between Lucifer and the Archangel Michael as well as the Philosopher’s Stone.
In astrology, moldavite is one of the natural birthstones of people both in the middle spring between April 20 to May 20. Although it is not associated with any specific zodiac sign, it is a stone born of the stars and hence, a universal product for all the signs.
Mysterious legends aside, there are plenty of other reasons why you may want to purchase a moldavite ring, pendant, or bracelet. Most of them have their roots in the spiritual and the metaphysical.
The Healing Properties of Moldavite
If you have ever turned to crystals for their perceived physical and emotional healing properties, you may have heard about moldavite being used for the same purposes.
Nicknamed “The Stone of Transformation” due to its intense vibrations, high energy frequencies, and transformative powers, moldavite is believed to help with physical, spiritual, and emotional ailments and issues, and is frequently used in chakra balancing and energy healing therapies.
Although it is most commonly associated with the Heart Chakra and the opening of the Third Eye, moldavite is also used as a general energy cleansing crystal that wards off negative energies and helps to improve one’s memory and intuition. Its cosmic affiliation to space and the stars is a large part of its appeal, making it popular with those who practice meditation and spiritual healing. Wearers and users have also reported tingling of the “receiving” hand, an energetic “moldavite flush” that spreads to different parts of the body.
A moldavite ring, for example, is believed to bring about varying effects depending on the wearer. According to chakra healers, the placement of a ring determines the body’s polarity region. Moldavite rings channel different types of energies for different fingers, so it is really up to the wearer’s personal beliefs and desires.
A Bohemian Beauty
Regardless of whether you intend to buy moldavite jewelry for their purported metaphysical purposes or the visual appeal alone, we can all agree that they make worthy investments. Given that the value of moldavite is based on factors like size, shape, structure, and color, rough stones produced by mines in the Czech Republic are in high demand and are expected to rapidly rise in value over time.
However, if you are looking for a moldavite ring or pendant for a special occasion, i.e., an engagement or wedding ring, cut moldavites are the way to go. The gorgeous hue of moldavite can be easily preserved if it is cut into round or oval shapes. There is also the popular cushion cut, which offers the added bonus of a larger stone with the wow factor.
Moldavite rings can also be paired with glittering white, yellow, or white gold diamonds for extra oomph; they are definitely worth splurging on, and may become long-lasting symbols of a romantic union or marriage!
If you wish to highlight its connection to the world of the extraterrestrial, moldavite can even be combined with other meteorite materials to make beautiful and unique jewelry pieces that are bound to make heads turn.
Fake Or Not?
As with all valuable gemstones, fake moldavite stones are aplenty and can be hard to spot. How do you know if the moldavite ring you are planning to purchase is authentic?
Moldavite is one of the rarest stones to ever exist, and the finite supply means that they can only be found in one region in the world. 99% of all moldavites come from South Bohemia, and the area near Besednice and Chlum is a popular mining site.
Unfortunately, there are tons of sellers selling fake moldavite made out of green bottle glass, making it hard to tell the difference. It is important to know how to differentiate the genuine from the fake, and you can do so with the following pointers.
What is the color like? Real moldavite is dark, mossy green. If you are looking at a stone in a vibrant and bright shade of green, yellow, blue, or red, it is probably a fake.
Is the texture rough and shiny? Real moldavite contains sections of worm-like lechatelierite, a mineraloid devoid of any crystal structure with a bubbly or swirly interior. Fake moldavite may have similar colors and exterior designs, but the unique structure of lechatelierite cannot be replicated. Avoid stones that look clean and flawless.
Finally, enquire about the origin. If the seller claims that the gemstone was mined somewhere other than the Czech Republic, you can be sure that it is a fake. Material sold as “African moldavite”, for instance, is not genuine, even though there are tektites originating from Africa. Sellers and retailers should be able to guarantee the authenticity of the moldavite product without any hesitation.
Caring for Moldavite Jewelry
Moldavite measures 5.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, which makes it susceptible to scratches and external damage. Be extremely careful when cleaning moldavite, especially moldavite rings. Use only water and mild soap or detergent, not an ultrasonic or steam cleaner, and wipe with a soft cloth. Avoid exposing your gems and jewelry to strong sunlight or temperature fluctuations, and store them separately, away from other gems.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to go forth and purchase the moldavite ring of your dreams!