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Gemstone Crystal System Density Hardness Refractive index Treatments
amorphous 2.40 5.50 1.50 none

Moldavite rough and faceted


Fair (remember it is glass!)

Although meteorites fall world wide, moldavite is from the Czech Republic

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SiO2 + Al,Ca,Fe,K,Na

Moldavite is a naturally occurring glass, originally found along the Moldau River in Czechoslovakia in 1787. It is usually a dark olive green color but can also occur in muted yellows and browns. It is one of a handfull of gems that can claim an extraterrestrial origin*. Moldavite is believed to be the outer surface of meteorites, that fused and melted during entry into our atmosphere. Moldavite has a diagnostic pattern of striae and bubbles (elongated, torpedo-shaped) that are unlike man-made glass. It does not contain crystals like those found in volcanic glass or obsidian. The Holy Grail is said to be carved out of a green stone that fell from Satan's crown as he descended from Heaven to Hell. Popular legend has long claimed this stone to be an emerald. It has recently been proposed that the Holy Grail may have been carved from moldavite, using the stone falling from Satan's crown as a metaphor for the green stone falling from the sky.

*Peridot in pallasite meteorites and forsterite/peridot in comet dust are other examples of gems with an extraterrestial origin.

Moldavites are found in a strewnfield centered around Moldavia (Moldau River Valley) in former Czechoslovakia and are believed to have come from a meteorite crater in Germany. The Moldavite strewnfield is divided into two parts and the tektites from each of these parts are distinctive in color from each other. These areas are quite small, but large amounts of moldavites have been found. The most prized are the deeply grooved and clear green pieces. The green Moldavites have been and continue to be used for stones in jewelry. Moldavites are sometimes cut as gemstones or put into jewelry as natural uncut pieces to show off their often eerie and beautifully intricate shapes.


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