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Moldavite – Real or Fake?

/ Post by Jan Mathews

8 Ways to identify the authentic Moldavite stone.

Moldavite is such a beautiful and special stone, a tektite really… with a fascinating origin. It is found only in the Moldau River valley in the Czech Republic where it formed from a meteorite hitting the earth about 15 million years ago.

Moldavite is in very limited supply and thus fairly expensive. Consequently, it is a ripe market for counterfeiters … so how does one tell the difference between an imposter and the real thing?

Its not always easy, but experience helps. In person I can immediately tell the difference with the naked eye, the feel and a quick look with a magnifying glass. However, photos can be quite misleading. It can help to get the opinion of someone with Moldavite experience to look at a prospective purchase. And don’t be fooled by so called “Certificates of Authenticity.” Those are easy to make up on a computer and most of them are completely meaningless. However there are tell-tale signs that can point out the real thing from the imitations. Here’s what to look for

1. Recognize real Moldavite

The real thing is truly beautiful. It has a unique pattern with irregular pittings and wrinkles on the surface that are characteristic of tektites. The stone has a translucent, dark to light olive green color and a very high spiritual vibration. The surface is not particularly shiny unless it has been polished or faceted. The natural finish is more of a matte, not shiny finish. Authentic Moldavite is found in smaller pieces. Anything “giant” over 50 gm is probably fake, as well as anything in a large wand or cigar shape.

2. Know the Seller

Virtually all fake Moldavite is manufactured and sold from China, Thailand, Hong Kong or India. Manufacturers there have perfected somewhat the process of making molds from real Moldavite and then using tool marks to make them look unique. You may see individual stones for sale or even large lots with incredibly low or astoundingly high prices.

These fakes are sold in the USA primarly online (eBay, Etsy, Amazon) or through the Alibaba and AliExpress networks. It is even possible to see fakes at some of the gem shows with “off name” wholesalers or fakes that have worked their way into the collections of unsuspecting retailers. So it is critical that the retailer have enough experience and the professional contacts to buy from a proven and 100% reputable wholesaler. Over the past 20 years I have bought Moldavite from only one well known, reputable Czech Republic gemstone dealer that is licensed by the government of Czech Republic to mine and ethically source Moldavite. He taught me how to distinguish fake from real so I can be 100% certain of its authenticity.

moldavite_img1

3. Understand how its done

Fake Moldavite is cast in molds from green glass, resins or other materials. The surface may appear wet and shiny with a bright green, homogeneous color. The texture will probably be similar from piece to piece and may not be finely grained. Or the texture can be more on the smooth side and the nuances of the real stone are missing. So its good to compare multiple pieces from the same lot and see if there are consistencies. The difficulty now is that the counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated and adding fake textures so it is harder to distinguish. However, there are more telltale signs to look for.

4. Compare and Contrast

The picture below is a good example of fake Moldavite – the texture is smooth like glass and very shiny. It is also being sold directly from China. The probability of this piece being fake is very high.

The picture below is an authentic piece of Moldavite and a gemstone ring sold in the Bliss Crystals shop. You can immediately see on the rough piece that the texture is finely grained with a more natural matte finish. The edge are naturally irregular and the color is more subtle. Looking at the ring you can see that when authentic Moldavite is polished and cut as a gemstone, you will probably see tiny air bubbles and/or very small inclusions of lechatelierite inside the stone by using a magnifying glass. It is almost impossible to duplicate this natural phenomenon with glass.

moldavite_img2

5. Origin

Authentic Moldavite is always from the Czech Republic. If the Seller claims it is from another area or is lab created then it is not authentic. Period.

6. Color

The real color is a softer, moss green, not a shiny bright green. It is never brown, red, blue or a “new” color.

7. Price

Moldavite is sold by the gram so if you see a piece at “auction” for a very low price, chances are it is suspect. A very low price, not sustainable by the market is usually fake too, as there are no “bargains” on the real thing. An extremely high price that is not competitive could be a warning sign as well.

8. “Beads”

There are quite a few people selling bracelets and necklaces made of round beads claiming to be Moldavite. Again, mostly on eBay and Etsy. Moldavite on occasion can be faceted into a gemstone like bead as a single item, but beads or strings of beads are impossible or too expensive to make. It takes too much material to be polished and formed into beads and Moldavite is far too expensive and precious to be made into beads. No matter how attractive, pay no attention to these fakes. There are glass beads that are advertised as Moldavite and they have an attractive, translucent green color, However they are not Moldavite, just a pretty imposter.

moldavite_img3

The picture below shows a fake string of beads with the expected Moldavite texture etched into the outer surface. This is so obvious a fake as it is physically impossible to make a rounded bead and retain the natural texture in a sphere form and this item of multiple beads has a sales price of $50 on a major online site with a good reputation. However, these online stores cannot monitor or authenticate the millions of products moving through. It is Buyer Beware.



8 Ways to identify the authentic Moldavite stone.

Moldavite is such a beautiful and special stone, a tektite really… with a fascinating origin. It is found only in the Moldau River valley in the Czech Republic where it formed from a meteorite hitting the earth about 15 million years ago.

Moldavite is in very limited supply and thus fairly expensive. Consequently, it is a ripe market for counterfeiters … so how does one tell the difference between an imposter and the real thing?

Its not always easy, but experience helps. In person I can immediately tell the difference with the naked eye, the feel and a quick look with a magnifying glass. However, photos can be quite misleading. It can help to get the opinion of someone with Moldavite experience to look at a prospective purchase. And don’t be fooled by so called “Certificates of Authenticity.” Those are easy to make up on a computer and most of them are completely meaningless. However there are tell-tale signs that can point out the real thing from the imitations. Here’s what to look for

1. Recognize real Moldavite

The real thing is truly beautiful. It has a unique pattern with irregular pittings and wrinkles on the surface that are characteristic of tektites. The stone has a translucent, dark to light olive green color and a very high spiritual vibration. The surface is not particularly shiny unless it has been polished or faceted. The natural finish is more of a matte, not shiny finish. Authentic Moldavite is found in smaller pieces. Anything “giant” over 50 gm is probably fake, as well as anything in a large wand or cigar shape.

2. Know the Seller

Virtually all fake Moldavite is manufactured and sold from China, Thailand, Hong Kong or India. Manufacturers there have perfected somewhat the process of making molds from real Moldavite and then using tool marks to make them look unique. You may see individual stones for sale or even large lots with incredibly low or astoundingly high prices.

These fakes are sold in the USA primarly online (eBay, Etsy, Amazon) or through the Alibaba and AliExpress networks. It is even possible to see fakes at some of the gem shows with “off name” wholesalers or fakes that have worked their way into the collections of unsuspecting retailers. So it is critical that the retailer have enough experience and the professional contacts to buy from a proven and 100% reputable wholesaler. Over the past 20 years I have bought Moldavite from only one well known, reputable Czech Republic gemstone dealer that is licensed by the government of Czech Republic to mine and ethically source Moldavite. He taught me how to distinguish fake from real so I can be 100% certain of its authenticity.

moldavite_img1

3. Understand how its done

Fake Moldavite is cast in molds from green glass, resins or other materials. The surface may appear wet and shiny with a bright green, homogeneous color. The texture will probably be similar from piece to piece and may not be finely grained. Or the texture can be more on the smooth side and the nuances of the real stone are missing. So its good to compare multiple pieces from the same lot and see if there are consistencies. The difficulty now is that the counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated and adding fake textures so it is harder to distinguish. However, there are more telltale signs to look for.

4. Compare and Contrast

The picture below is a good example of fake Moldavite – the texture is smooth like glass and very shiny. It is also being sold directly from China. The probability of this piece being fake is very high.

The picture below is an authentic piece of Moldavite and a gemstone ring sold in the Bliss Crystals shop. You can immediately see on the rough piece that the texture is finely grained with a more natural matte finish. The edge are naturally irregular and the color is more subtle. Looking at the ring you can see that when authentic Moldavite is polished and cut as a gemstone, you will probably see tiny air bubbles and/or very small inclusions of lechatelierite inside the stone by using a magnifying glass. It is almost impossible to duplicate this natural phenomenon with glass.

moldavite_img2

5. Origin

Authentic Moldavite is always from the Czech Republic. If the Seller claims it is from another area or is lab created then it is not authentic. Period.

6. Color

The real color is a softer, moss green, not a shiny bright green. It is never brown, red, blue or a “new” color.

7. Price

Moldavite is sold by the gram so if you see a piece at “auction” for a very low price, chances are it is suspect. A very low price, not sustainable by the market is usually fake too, as there are no “bargains” on the real thing. An extremely high price that is not competitive could be a warning sign as well.

8. “Beads”

There are quite a few people selling bracelets and necklaces made of round beads claiming to be Moldavite. Again, mostly on eBay and Etsy. Moldavite on occasion can be faceted into a gemstone like bead as a single item, but beads or strings of beads are impossible or too expensive to make. It takes too much material to be polished and formed into beads and Moldavite is far too expensive and precious to be made into beads. No matter how attractive, pay no attention to these fakes. There are glass beads that are advertised as Moldavite and they have an attractive, translucent green color, However they are not Moldavite, just a pretty imposter.

moldavite_img3

The picture below shows a fake string of beads with the expected Moldavite texture etched into the outer surface. This is so obvious a fake as it is physically impossible to make a rounded bead and retain the natural texture in a sphere form and this item of multiple beads has a sales price of $50 on a major online site with a good reputation. However, these online stores cannot monitor or authenticate the millions of products moving through. It is Buyer Beware.



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