The Expert Guide on How to Buy Authentic Moldavite and Identify Fakes

Moldavite is a rare and unique gemstone that is prized for its beauty and spiritual properties. However, because of its high value, it is often imitated and counterfeited by unscrupulous sellers. In this article, we give you the practical tools to confidently differentiate authentic Moldavite from the many imposters. Follow these guidelines so you can be sure you are buying the genuine article. You might even be able to save a friend from a disasterous purchase

    Understand Moldavite’s origins

    Genuine Moldavite is only found in the Czech Republic and is formed from a meteorite impact. Fake Moldavite, on the other hand, may be made from glass, other green stones or even synthetic materials. Be sure to ask the seller about the origin of the Moldavite and do your own research to verify their claims. Some people are now selling “African or Columbian Moldavite”  which are not Moldavite but may be tektites or crystals of other origins.  Avoid all items of “lab grown” or “man-made Moldavite” that are simply colored glass.

    1. Price. One of the most obvious signs of a fake Moldavite is its price. Genuine Moldavite is quite expensive, with prices ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars per carat, depending on the quality and size of the stone. If you see Moldavite being sold at a significantly lower price, it is likely to be a fake.
    2. Size: True Moldavite was birthed from a violent, meteorite explosion that shattered its elements into millions of small pieces. Most genuine Moldavite is in the range of ⅛” - 2” weighing only grams, not ounces or pounds The largest piece ever found was 8 ounces about 230 gm. The largest authentic collector grade pieces tend to be flatter and spread out in their dimensions and are valued by weight, condition and rarity of shape. The museum size pieces are still quite small compared to other crystals like Quartz, Calcites and Agates. If you see a large piece of Moldavite (finger or hand size) further investigation into its authenticity is warranted, no matter what the price.  
    3. Texture. Real Moldavite exhibits  unique “flowing lines” and bubbles that are almost impossible to duplicate. Often you will see small lines or tiny rods of black Lechatelierite wiithin the stone. The surface may have a somewhat dull or even slightly frosted appearance, rather than being shiny like glass. However, polished or faceted Moldavite for jewelry will have a smooth and glossy appearance.  Recently, some mold makers in Asia have been perfecting texture replication by casting molds of real Moldavite to make glass look more like the genuine article. They also use tools to rough up the surface or acid etching to make their fakes harder to detect. This is why knowing your dealer is so important.
    4. Color. Real Moldavite is a unique, olive green or forest green color that is unlike any other gemstone. It is often described as having a "glowing" appearance. Fake Moldavite, on the other hand, may have a duller, less vibrant color or an unreal, bright neon appearance and may be uniform in color, without natural variations.  Recently some people have been selling “new colors” of purple, white, pink or black Moldavite claiming they are just discovered and rare. This is definitely a fraudulent claim. Moldavite is only its natural green color.  
    5. Look for inclusions. Real Moldavite most often has small inclusions, or imperfections, visible under magnification. These may be tiny air bubbles or other foreign materials that were trapped in the stone as it formed. Fake Moldavite, on the other hand, may be completely clear or may have inclusions that are too perfect or uniform to be genuine.
    6. Consider the price. Moldavite is a rare gemstone, and as such, it can be quite expensive. If you come across a seller offering Moldavite at a significantly lower price than you would expect, it is likely that the stone is fake.
    7. Scientific ways to test. There is a variety of equipment used to verify genuine Moldavite but these are not readily available to the public. However, a gem tester  is a device that uses heat to determine the type of gemstone you are dealing with. Genuine Moldavite has a very high melting point and will not be affected  by the heat of a gem tester. Fake Moldavite, on the other hand, will melt or change color when subjected to heat. UV light can easily be used to test because Moldavite is inert in UV light but some of the Asian fakes will appear chalky. 
    8. Certificate of authenticity. Many reputable sellers of Moldavite will provide a certificate of authenticity with the stone. This certificate can help to verify that the Moldavite is genuine. However, some dishonest dealers are now providing fake COA’s which are hard to distinguish. Therefore, knowing your dealer is crucial. 
    9. Buy from a reputable dealer. To ensure that you are getting genuine Moldavite, it is advised to purchase the stone from a reputable dealer. Look for sellers who have been selling Moldavite for many years and have a verifiable good reputation. You can look for customer reviews, their online blogs and knowledge base and if they carry books on Moldavite that detail authenticity. The best sellers are more than willing to answer any questions you may have about the authenticity of the Moldavite and even show you examples of fakes to compare with the real thing.
    10. Moldavite Jewelry. One of the most common type of fake Moldavite is beads. You can buy green beaded bracelets online that mimic Moldavite’s unique rough texture for about $50. 100% guaranteed fake. It would be physically impossible to create a 3 dimensional rounded bead while preserving the Moldavite’s unique texture. Even polished beads would be extremely expensive. Authentic Moldavite beads are very rare, but they are made occasionally by skilled artisans in the Czech Republic. Again, only buy a Moldavite bead from a well known dealer. For rings or pendants, polished Moldavite may look quite different than the raw pieces because polishing or faceting will cause light to reflect differently and may change the color appearance. It is best to examine any type of Moldavite jewelry with a magnifying loupe that will disclose natural inclusions.  You will find genuine polished Moldavite chips in jewelry, but again all of the conditions described above would be used to determine their authenticity. 

    In conclusion, there are several ways to tell real Moldavite from fake Moldavite. By considering the price, appearance, origin, and the reputation of the seller, you can be sure you are getting the genuine article.

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