A comprehensive guide to identifying real and fake Moldavite
For more information on spotting fake Moldavite. See our companion guide ‘The Best Guide on Spotting and Avoiding Fake Moldavite’ – www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/the-best-guide-on-spotting-and-avoiding-fake-moldavite/
What does real Moldavite look like?
It is important to know the characteristics of real Moldavite to help you buy genuine Moldavite.
- Weight and price per gram – In online and retail shops, Moldavite will cost between $15 to 30 AUD (roughly $10 to 20 USD) per gram for a normal A-grade quality piece weighing between 1 to 19 grams.The average weight of moldavite found is between 3-4 grams. Moldavite with noticeable nicks/chips (often called regular or B-grade) will usually sell at a small discount can you can buy it from between $10 to 20 AUD ($7 to 15 USD) per gram.
- Factors which increase the price weights over 20 grams, rare localities which have become mined out (e.g. Besednice), primary shapes (e.g. drops, disks, rods, dumbbells), premium textures (e.g. Hedgehogs or snow flakes) and rare features (e.g. Angel chime, nice inclusions such as natural holes). Some sellers advertise their Moldavite as museum grade or A-grade, this is Moldavite which is in excellent to perfect condition (e.g. no noticeable nicks/chips) and can sell for a higher price.
- Locality – This is the location or area the Moldavite was found. Well known and common mining locations include Besednice, Chlum and Zatačka. All of these locations are in Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic, which is the area where 99% of Moldavite is found. For more information on locality see www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/where-is-moldavite-found
- Shape – All Moldavite stones are uniquely shaped, just like a snow flake or finger print! No two pieces of Moldavite will ever look the same. Each stone has been shaped by the initial meteor impact and through millions of years of natural erosion in the ground. It is best to browse sites which guarantee to have real Moldavite to know what it looks like. See my gallery below for sample pictures. For more information on how it was formed see
www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/what-is-moldavite-how-it-was-formed-and-the-rarest-shapes and the types of shapes see www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/guide-to-the-shapes-of-moldavite
- Colour – The colour ranges from light green to brown. The most common colour is a bottle green. Moldavite from some localities such as Zatáčka will look very dark green to black (depending on its thickness) in natural light. The colour of Moldavite can be best enjoyed by shining a light through it to bring out a brighter green. For more information on colour see www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/colour-of-moldavite
- Sculpting– The surface of a Moldavite will vary from a deep sculpting to a smooth surface. Some Moldavite will have a mixture of a sculpted and smooth surface if part of the stone has been resting next to another rock. The surface texture of Moldavite is influence by type of sediments (e.g. clay, sand, gravel) it is in and the depth it is found. Moldavite found at deeper levels may have more surface sculpting as there is more ground water to shape it over the millions of years it has been under the surface.
- Shine/gloss – The surface shine of Moldavite can vary from shiny or glossy to completely matte.
- Opaque – Moldavite should never be transparent like green glass. Even thin pieces of Moldavite will still be opaque.
- Other features – Moldavite will often have channels, valleys, holes and Lechatelierite (long pieces of quartz glass). Lechatelierite looks like thin wavy lines and will only be visible in genuine polished or faceted Moldavite. Lechatelierite is impossible to fake. You cannot see Lechatelierite in natural/raw Moldavite due to the sculpted rougher surface. I don’t recommend only using bubbles as an indication of genuine faceted/polished Moldavite as the number of bubbles can vary depending on the locality of the Moldavite.
Lechatelierite close up-only visible in genuine polished and faceted Moldavite
Gallery of Genuine Moldavite
- Buy from a trusted and knowledgeable seller – Buy from a shop which knows about Moldavite and has a history of selling them. Fakes can make their way into retail shops so it is best to deal with a specialist crystal shop or Moldavite specialist who has knowledge of Moldavite.
- Be educated on what a real Moldavite looks like. Browse online sellers that specialise in selling Moldavite and see my gallery below on are some example of real and fake Moldavite. I will update my gallery with new pieces that want an appraisal on in order to help others.
- Look for a seller which includes these four key details on your Moldavite: at least several pictures (front and back), the weight to 1 or 2 decimal places (e.g. 10.1 grams), dimensions of the stone (e.g. width, length, thickness) and shows you pictures of the specific stone that you will be buying (i.e. not a generic stock picture or of multiple pieces). These are the minimum details recommended.
- Buying Jewellery – When a Moldavite is already part of a jewellery piece, it may not have the weight of the Moldavite or multiple pictures. It it easier to identify what natural/raw moldavite looks like and harder with facated/polished Moldavite.
- Avoid buying any Moldavite on eBay from ANY seller located in China, Hong Kong, India and Thailand. If you avoid buying Moldavite sent from these countries online, you will avoid 95% of the fakes.
- Be careful when buying on eBay and Etsy – I have seen fake Moldavite being sold from eBay and Etsy even from trustworthy locations such as United States and United Kingdom. Sometimes the sellers don’t even know they are selling fake Moldavite as they are unable to determine the difference. When in doubt, feel free to reach out to an expert to get advice on if the piece is genuine and view my gallery below. I’m happy to assist without any charge as I care about people getting genuine Moldavite no matter who they are buying from.
- If you have any questions if your Moldavite is genuine or fake, feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/StonesofTransformationMoldaviteStore and we’ll do a quick and free check of any Moldavite to confirm if it is genuine or fake. You will need to include several clear pictures, ideally pictures from multiple angles and one in natural light and one with a back light.
What does fake Moldavite look like? What are the signs to look for?
It is important to know the characteristics of fake Moldavite
- Weight and price per gram – Fake Moldavite will sell from anywhere from $5 AUD ($3 USD) per gram to the prices of genuine moldavite of up to $30 AUD ($20 USD) per gram.
- Colour – The colour of fake Moldavite can vary from a wet glassy bottle green to other colours (e.g. Yellow, blue, red). See the colour guide for information on what shades of green Moldavite comes in www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/colour-of-moldavite
- Transparency – Some fake Moldavite looks like wet glass or green glass which appears transparent and glassy.
- Shape – The shape of fake low quality Moldavite can be from round balls to perfect shaped drops or typical Moldavite shapes (this can happen when they have used a mould made from a genuine Moldavite). The shape of higher quality fake Moldavite can be jagged like genuine Moldavite however you might find several sellers with the same item, or the shop selling more than one quantity of the same item. This tells you it has been created from a mould and is fake.
- Surface texture – The surface and edges of fake Moldavite often look smooth due to the moulds that have been used to create them. Even if the Moldavite has jagged edges, the edges can be rounded and it has a smooth look to it. Factories may use acid to shape the glass to look unique or use moulds, however they can’t replicate the exact surface texture or edges of real Moldavite.
- eBay auto bidders – You may see Moldavite on auction on eBay starting at 99 cents. I have sometimes seen an auto bidder setup which is a fake account from the seller which competes with your bid to push up the price to the amount the seller wants. Be wary on any purchases on eBay, especially if you are continuously outbid within a few seconds from 99 cents. Some sellers will not use an auto bidder but use a different account to make a bid later that day to push up the price.
- Raw/natural versus faceted/cut Moldavite – It is easier to identify if raw or natural Moldavite is genuine as it is harder to fake the unique surface sculpting, texture and transparency. Faceted or cut Moldavite is easier to fake as sellers will use green coloured glass and you need to look much closer for bubbles and lechatelierite. I would recommend that you do not buy faceted or cut Moldavite unless you are very certain it is real.
Common misconceptions when avoiding fake Moldavite
- Buying from a physical shop does not mean it is real Moldavite. Some shops unknowingly buy fake Moldavite which they sell to their customers. Fake Moldavite has also shown up at gem shows and spiritual festivals.
- Certificates of authenticity are often not worth their weight of paper they are printed on. Anyone can create a certificate of authenticity on a piece of paper and fake Moldavite often comes with a certificate of authenticity. There are many fake certificates around so don’t buy Moldavite just because it has a certificate of authenticity with it.
For more information on spotting fake Moldavite see our companion guide ‘The Best Guide on Spotting and Avoiding Fake Moldavite’ – www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/the-best-guide-on-spotting-and-avoiding-fake-moldavite/
Gallery of Fake Moldavite
Real Moldavite is a blessing to have!
Once you learn what real and fake Moldaite look like as well as their characteristics, you will have a much higher chance of buying real Moldavite. It is truly a blessing to own a piece of Moldavite.
Want more useful information?
See the guides:
Guide to Genuine and Fake Moldavite: www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/fake-moldavite-guide/
The Best Guide on Spotting and Avoiding Fake Moldavite: www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/the-best-guide-on-spotting-and-avoiding-fake-moldavite/
Shapes of Moldavite: www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/guide-to-the-shapes-of-moldavite/
Busting myths of Moldavite: www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/busting-some-myths-of-moldavite/
Other useful guides and blog posts: www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/list-of-useful-posts/
Follow our Facebook page for updates on great information: www.facebook.com/StonesofTransformationMoldaviteStore
Customer reviews: www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/reviews/
Shop and sale page: www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/shop/