Guide to the Terminology of Moldavite

General terminology

Moldavite-a tektite which formed 14.8 million years ago and is named after the Moldau river (also called the Vltava river) in the Czech Republic. It is comprised of approximately 78-82% silica along with aluminium oxide, iron oxide, calcium oxide, magnesium oxide and calcite (calcium carbonate)

Vltavín-the Czech name for Moldavite in the Czech Republic

Tektite-natural glass formed from terrestrial debris ejected during meteorite impacts

Impact glass-natural glass formed from terrestrial debris ejected during meteorite impacts

Splash form tektites that are formed when molten material is thrown into the air and is usually teardrop shaped

Ries impact crater-an impact crater 120km east of Stuttgart in Germany. It has an outer diameter of 25km and is identical to the age of Moldavite. The formation of the Ries impact crater was from a meteorite which led to the creation of Moldavite.

Forms of Moldavite

Raw or Natural Moldavite-Moldavite in its raw or natural form with no external processing

Faceted Moldavite-Moldavite that has been cut to have small and flat cut surfaces

Polished Moldavite-Moldavite which has had one or more surfaces made smooth and shiny

Carved Moldavite-Moldavite which has been carved to be a certain design (e.g. human portrait, animal, etc)


Locality-the location or field where a Moldavite was found such as Chlum or Besednice

South Bohemia-a large area in the Czech Republic which is 10,056 km² in size and has a high concentration of Moldavite. 99% of Moldavite is found in this region.

Besednice – a famous field mined out over a decade ago which is famous for its hedgehog Moldavite with long spikes. Besednice Moldavite is named after a small village in South Behemia called Besednice


A grade-Moldavite in perfect condition without any damage or very minimal nicks

Museum grade-Usually the same as A grade. Moldavite in perfect condition without any damage or very minimum nicks

Collection quality-Moldavite that is A grade quality along with a better shape and surface sculpting

Regular or B grade-Moldavite with more noticeable nicks, chips or abrasion

Cutting grade-Moldavite which is chunkier, smoother and a light green colour. Usually from locations like Radomilice which are picked off the field

Certificate of authenticity-a document made by a store to give confidence to their buyers that their Moldavite is genuine. It may include the company’s name, measurements and weight of the Moldavite and a picture. However, a certificate of authenticity does not prove the Moldavite is genuine as it is not a laboratory report


Bottle green-a shade of green which is the most common colour for Moldavite

Poison green-a rare lighter green colour of Moldavite

Snowflake or angel feathers-a white frosted surface or patches of white caused by corrosion from surrounding alkaline sediments. Usually from locality of Brusná

Bi-colour-a Moldavite with two distinctive colours. These were formed when two molten Moldavite collided and fused together

For more information on colour, see


Chips or nicks –small areas of the Moldavite which have been damaged. These look like small shiny glassy spots of the Moldavite

Broken-serious damage where one Moldavite has broken into two or more separate pieces. These look like large shiny areas of the Moldavite

Abrasion-erosion or scraping damage to the surface of the Moldavite

Sculpting and surface

Sculpting-how the surface has been eroded over millions of years. Sculpting varies from very light to very deep

Hedgehog-a famous type of deep surface sculpting which has formed short to long spikes on the Moldavite

Shine or gloss-the gloss or shine from the surface of the Moldavite. This can vary from velvety, matte, low gloss, medium gloss to high gloss. The gloss is influenced by the surrounding sediment. Sandy and gravel sediment produce Moldavite with low to high gloss. Clay sediments produce Moldavite which is velvety to matte.


Angel Chime-a Moldavite with a high internal tension caused by a quick solidification from its molten form to a hard glass. An angel chime Moldavite produces a chiming or ringing sound when rubbed with another Moldavite.

Bubbles-small air bubbles in the Moldavite which can be spherical or elongated. Bubbles have a high gas pressure from being formed between 20km to 40km above the Earth’s surface.

Open bubble-a bubble which is no longer trapping air. It may look like a shallow to deep smooth hole in the Moldavite

Closed bubbles-a bubble which is still trapping the original air from when the Moldavite was formed 14.8 million years ago

Lechatelierite-pure melted quartz glass (silica) visible in genuine polished or faceted Moldavite which looks like wavy lines

Natural holes-holes in the Moldavite which have formed from bubbles or erosion

Inclusions-material inside the Moldavite such as parental rock or material melted into the Moldavite


Primary shapes-the most intact shapes of Moldavite which are formed from the original drop shape. Primary form Moldavite is less than 1% of Moldavite as most shattered into small fragments. It is usually more coveted with its symmetrical shape and fuller looking appearance. The types of primary shapes are drops, disks, ellipsoid, spheres and dumbbells

Partial primary shapes-broken primary shapes which are still recognizable. A disk or ellipsoid may break in half which forms a half disk or half moon shape. A drop may have a long tail which forms a long stick shape

Fragments or non-primary shapes -more than 99% of Moldavite shattered into many small pieces on impact onto the ground forming fragments. This left many small indistinguishable fragments which are usually difficult or impossible to tell which part of the Moldavite it originally came from

Drop or Tear Drop-the original splash form tektite shape which most other Moldavite shapes are created from. The characteristics of a drop are a thicker rounder body and a longer thinner tail

Disk-usually formed from drops with a rounder and wider body. The characteristics of a disk is a flat and round body

Ellipsoid-usually formed from drops with a longer oval body. The characteristics of a ellipsoid is a flat and oval shape body

Sphere-usually formed from drops with rounder smaller bodies. The characteristics of a sphere is a round ball shape body

Dumbbell-an exception to the other primary form shapes. They form as they are rapidly spinning in circles when still molten which stretches out the centre. The characteristics of a dumbbell is a skinnier middle/waist and two thicker ends. Dumbbells are by far the rarest of all primary form Moldavite.

Muong Nong-layered tektites without internal stress usually characterised with a higher content of internal bubbles and foamy lechatelierite. This type of Moldavite does not have any distinctive shape


Price per gram-cost of Moldavite per gram. Used by professional sellers to price their Moldavite consistently by weight


Natural light-pictures of Moldavite taken in natural sun or room lighting

Back light-pictures of Moldavite taken with a light shining through the back of them

Want more useful information?

See the guides:
Guide to Genuine and Fake Moldavite
The Best Guide on Spotting and Avoiding Fake Moldavite:
Shapes of Moldavite:
Busting myths of Moldavite:
Other useful guides and blog posts:

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