How To Tell if Moldavite Is Real (10 Tips for Beginners)

In this article about moldavite, you will learn how to assess whether you are getting the real deal or merely green glass that has been engineered to look like moldavite.

In the next few paragraphs, I will break down for you their appearance and chemical composition.

Then I’ll show you how to avoid being scammed by teaching a few basic methods for identification that don’t require a microscope or advanced degree in geology.

How To Tell if Moldavite Is Real (EXPLAINED)

What is Moldavite?

Occasionally referred to as space glass, moldavite is a natural glass that is (theoretically) thought to have been formed millions of years ago by the heat of an asteroid impact in present Europe that created and sent natural glass formations flying. It is currently classified as a tektite. Moldavite is found predominantly in the Czech Republic and parts of Germany and Austria.

What Is a Tektite?

Tektites are objects found naturally in certain areas of Earth and are characterized by their small, glassy nature. As the result of the heat and pressure generated by the impact of a meteorite, rocks may melt at the impact site, and clouds of silicate droplets are produced that cool to a glassy form. Think of what lightning does to sand, and you will have a good idea of what happens to make tektites and possibly moldavites.

They vary in hue, structure, and shape. Moldavites are amorphous but tend to be droplet-shaped in the broadest sense and do not exceed a few centimeters in size, although there are some exceptions but very few.

Physical Description of Moldavite

Moldavite is green. The hue varies from yellow-green to green-brown and in-between. Its luster is vitreous, and a streak test will show a white line. On the Mohs hardness scale, it rates from 5 to 5.5. It is considered a mineraloid – it is a naturally occurring inorganic solid with no crystalline structure. It has bubbles and flow lines in its structure that assist in identifying real moldavite.

Chemical Description of Moldavite

Moldavite is silica-rich, and its chemical composition is expressed as Variable SiO2(+Al2O3).

Identifying Moldavite

How do you identify moldavite? Let’s concentrate on the following key areas.

Color

It’s a hue of green. If it doesn’t have some green, it is not moldavite. Green moldavite is more valuable than moldavite with brownish colors or streaks.

Bubbles and Flows

Moldavite is made instantly, and genuine moldavite will have round or elongated gas bubbles. There will also be flow textures.

Wires

Moldavite contains wires of lechatelierite

Refractive Index

Moldavite has a low refractive index, ranging from 1.47 to 1.51

Origin

Where is the seller telling you the moldavite is from? Gem quality moldavite is only available from the Bohemia region in the Czech Republic.

Price

Moldavite can be pricey, and the rule of thumb applies – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Brittleness

Moldavite is quite brittle, so it will likely be a pendant or earrings in a jewelry set, thus avoiding abrasion or impact.

Translucency

Moldavite is can be translucent, but it varies, and it is never truly translucent like green glass.

General Appearance & Texture

True moldavite may have a wet or shiny appearance, and the bubbles and wires are key. No flaws mean it is an imitation or fake. Impurities are prevalent in real moldavite.

Grading

Moldavite can be graded into one of three categories.

  • High or museum quality moldavite – translucent, very green, and expensive, with fewer flaws
  • Medium quality – halfway between regular and high quality
  • Regular quality – darker and heavily saturated, the moldavite appears weathered.

How to Avoid Misidentification

Imitation or fake moldavite is often simply green glass that has been manufactured to look like moldavite, and you should look out for the following tell-tale signs.

Seams

The green glass is molded, and you may spot a seam.

Czech Republic

It is most likely fake if it’s being marketed as moldavite from a place other than the Czech Republic (or Austria or Germany). African moldavite is not a real thing.

Size and Shape

Although there are a few exceptions, most moldavites are small, no more than a few centimeters. Large pieces of moldavite are likely imitation glass.

Color

If it’s a pure light green and very polished, it is likely fake. Think beer bottle green.

Dealer

A shady dealer is a bad idea. Reputable dealers will market and sell the real deal. A dealer without reviews or with a very short history may try to sell you fake moldavite.

Translucency

If the moldavite appears extremely translucent, it is a fake. Think green glass.

Metaphysical

If you believe in the metaphysical, then merely holding the imitation moldavite will tell you it’s not the real thing. Moldavite is purported to be very distinctive, including heat and tingling sensations. You may even become disoriented. It is an ascension stone with a high-frequency rate of energy.

Why Is Important to Be Able to Identify Moldavite

If you want to buy a moldavite piece, it is important to know how to identify genuine moldavite. Nobody wants to be caught out with a fake, no matter how pretty.

If you believe in the metaphysical, then real moldavite can be disorientating if you are not prepared.

Identifying Moldavite if You Are a Beginner

Moldavite is a naturally occurring mineraloid predominantly found in the Czech Republic in the Bohemia region. It is readily sold as an ascension stone or set in jewelry. The physical aspects of moldavite are useful for discerning whether your object is genuine or imitation. Remember to look at the following:

  • Color
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Texture including bubbles and wires
  • Flaws

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional source, like a gemologist, if you just aren’t sure.

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how to tell if moldavite is real