A comprehensive guide to identifying and avoiding fake Moldavite
There are many guides and videos on fake Moldavite with varying amounts of information and degrees of accuracy. We have for you everything you need to know about identifying fake Moldavite in simple words with sample pictures to make it easy for you. Fake Moldavite has become increasingly spread in the market due to Moldavite’s popularity and high price.
In this guide we will go through:
– Six characteristics of fake Moldavite with examples
– Six signs to be aware of with fake Moldavite
– Two signs for fake faceted or polished Moldavite
– Two signs for fake Moldavite jewellery
– Incorrect signs that people fall for
– A gallery of over 150 fake Moldavites to help you learn what fake Moldavite looks like
The six characteristics you need to look out for
Characteristic One – Colour
The colour of fake Moldavite can vary from a glassy bottle green to other colours (e.g. Yellow, blue, red).
Molavite comes in different shades of green Moldavite (www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/colour-of-moldavite). In natural light, thick Moldavite can appear black in colour. See the gallery of natural Molavite here to learn what real Moldavite looks like (www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/fake-moldavite-guide/)
Examples of fake Moldavite from eBay
Shades of Moldavite Green
Characteristic Two – Sculpting
Fake Moldavite sculpting
Fake moldavite usually has a more uniform and consistent surface sculpting. It can appear too glassy, smooth and uniform.
Real Moldavite sculpting
With real Moldavite, it is not possible to copy the very intricate, detailed and abstract sculpting that you see in natural moldavite. Look below and compare the surface sculpting to the fake Moldavite above.
Real Moldavite in natural and in back light
Characteristic Three – Transparency
Fake Moldavite sometimes looks more transparent like coloured glass. While Moldavite is a natural glass, it has many minerals and metals such as iron which means it not as transparent as coloured glass.
Characteristic Four – Surface gloss/matte
Fake Moldavite surface gloss
Fake Moldavite can have a high gloss or matte surface. Usually fake Moldavite has a high surface gloss which gives it a wet, shiny and glassy appearance. Although fake Moldavite can have a matte surface in an attempt to imitate real Moldavite.
Real Moldavite surface gloss
Natural Moldavite can have a high surface gloss too but this is less common and seeing this Moldavite with a back light will help to verify if it is real or fake.
Genuine high gloss surface Moldavite
Characteristic Five – Uniqueness of every piece
Every Moldavite in the world is unique like a finger print or snowflake. If you see the same picture of Moldavite used for more than one item/listing then it is definitely a fake.
When you are purchasing Moldavite, you need to see pictures of the exact piece you are going to buy from several angles, at minimum front and back. Some sellers include a back light picture too which is very helpful when selecting a Moldavite and identifying if it is genuine. A back light picture is when there is a light or torch shining from behind the Moldavite.
It helps to understand how the shapes of Moldavite form. You can learn more here www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/guide-to-the-shapes-of-moldavite/
Characteristic Six – Weight in grams
The average weight of Moldavite found is only around 4 grams. In most cases this is around the same weight as a small coin. Moldavite over 20 grams starts to become rarer costing several hundred dollars and over 40 grams costing thousands of dollars.
For comparison to the average weight of 4 grams for Moldavite:
– An Australian 10 cent coin weighs 5.65 grams
– An American nickel weighs 5.00 grams
– A Canadian 25 cent coin weighs 4.40 grams
– A United Kingdom twenty pence coin weights 5.0 grams
Be wary of Moldavite for sale which is too large for the price you are paying. You will rarely find Moldavite over 30 grams selling on the internet so be cautious if you see them online and check with an expert if you need help.
In addition, some sellers display their weight in carats rather than grams. Grams should always be used for raw/natural Moldavite and carats only used for faceted Moldavites. Using carats for raw/natural Moldavite makes it seem larger than what it is (e.g. 4 carats is 0.8 grams!). $25 for 0.8 grams is expensive (as shown on the picture below).
eBay listing showing weight in carats instead of grams
The six signs you need to be aware of for fake Moldavite
Sign One – Country of seller
There are some countries which are not safe to buy Moldavite from as over 95% of fake exports come from these countries. This includes:
– China – blacklisted
– India – blacklisted
– Thailand – blacklisted
– Vietnam – blacklisted
– Hong Kong – blacklisted
These countries import real Moldavite for their local customers and export manufactured fake Moldavite to the rest of the world.
If you are buying from an online or physical shop, ask the owners where their wholesaler for Moldavite is located. If it is from one of the blacklisted countries, it is best to be cautious and avoid.
Pictures showing the location of fake Moldavite from some of the blacklisted countries
Sign Two – Price
If it is too good of a deal then it probably is. The price of Moldavite typically jumps every 10 gram increment (i.e. just like how a price of a diamond changes from 0.99 carats to 1 carat, or 1.99 carats to 2 carats). There are a number of other factors that impact price such as locality, shape, quality and weight.
The below list is an approximate price for an average piece at four different weights.
– Cost of a 10 gram Moldavite is approx $150-$250 AUD ($100-200 USD) – $15 to 25 AUD per gram
– Cost of a 20 gram Moldavite is approx $400-600 AUD ($300-500 USD) – $20 to 30 AUD per gram
– Cost of a 30 gram Moldavite is approx $800-1100 AUD ($600-900 USD) – $26 to 36 AUD per gram
– Cost of a 40 gram Moldavite is approx $1500-2000 AUD ($1000 to 1500 USD) – $40 to 50 AUD per gram
A 20 gram fake Moldavite pendant from China is selling for only $66 AUD. This would sell for hundreds of dollars.
Sign Three – Location of source
Moldavite has been found in four countries. The main deposits of Moldavite exist in the Czech Republic where more than 99% of the Moldavite is found. The other countries include Germany, northern Austria and southwestern Poland. However, these Moldavites are rare collector items and you won’t find them in any shops.
Typically speaking, all of your Moldavite should come from one country only which is the Czech Republic. The below map shows the Ries impact crater and the areas Moldavite landed in.
If you the description says the Moldavite is mined from any other location than the Czech Republic or is described as manufactured then it is fake.
The areas where Moldavite is found
Sign Four – Non-specific pictures
The seller may use real Moldavite in their photos to convince buyers they are genuine but substitute in a fake Moldavite when sending it (examples below). This is becoming very common as a bait and switch tactic.
As a general rule, ONLY BUY MOLDAVITE WHEN YOU KNOW THE EXACT PIECE YOU WILL RECEIVE. Never purchase Moldavite from a listing where there are multiple Moldavite stones available and you will receive a random stone.
Alternatively, you may be tempted by a good profile picture of their best looking Moldavite and get sent one that does not meet your expectations such as one which is smaller or damaged.
As a general rule, you should always know the exact Moldavite you will be receiving before you buy it. Avoid random picks.
Random picks mean smaller Moldavites
Another risk here is that you may receive a much smaller Moldavite than what you pay for. This is a quote from a seller on eBay “You are buying 1 x Randomly selected Rare Natural Moldavite piece that will range from 4 – 8 Carats.“. The size can range from a 4 carat Moldavite to one double the size at 8 carats (0.8 grams to 1.6 grams)!
Non-unique pictures mean fake Moldavite
An example of a a different seller below who has used the same pictures for dozens of their Moldavites selling. This is a key sign that you will not receive what is promised as every genuine Molavite is unique as a finger print.
Real Moldavite picture used as bait for fake Moldavite
An example of a seller using a picture of a real Moldavite as bait and then switching to fake Moldavites in their later pictures.
The same seller as above but a picture with their fake stock in their following pictures
An Etsy store where you can select a size of a Moldavite and you will be sent a fake. A ‘extra large’ Moldavite natural would well over one hundred dollars direct from the mine and you will be getting expensive glass for $68 AUD.
Sign Five – Bidding
You might be attracted to bid for Moldavite on eBay or other websites to get a bargain. Unfortunately, most of the sellers who offer bidding are selling fakes and use fake accounts to bid against you to increase the price. You are unlikely to find a bargain price with real Moldavite.
Sign Six – High-risk websites
There are a number of websites that that pose a higher risk of fake Moldavites. These websites include:
- eBay – be very cautious
- Etsy – be very cautious (we are seeing many more Etsy stores from India and Thailand selling fakes)
- Aliexpress – avoid completely – blacklisted
- Alibaba – avoid completely – blacklisted
As a general rule, avoid any Chinese ecommerce website. These websites often only sell fakes or use real pictures of Moldavite and send fakes.
Etsy would have the least amount of fakes but it is an open market place where anyone can sell Moldavite. We have seen many fake Moldavite natural and jewellery being sold on Etsy too. Be cautious when shopping on eBay and Etsy.
What does a trusted online shop look like?
To find a safe place to buy real Moldavite. We recommend to search for a trusted Moldavite shop/seller that has these 5 things:
- Multiple positive customer reviews on their Moldavite products
- A decent range of Moldavite pieces to chose from (i.e. there should ideally at least 10 different Moldavites to chose from so you have choice)
- Multiple clear and close up pictures for each Moldavite (i.e. at least a picture of the front and back of the Moldavite, in natural light and with a back light). It is easier to identify real of fake Molavite with both natural and back light pictures
- Detailed descriptions (i.e. measurements of height/width/depth, weight, locality and the quality with any damage it might have)
- The seller responds to questions you have about the Moldavite (e.g. where it was sourced from, the locality of the Moldavite, other questions you have)
- No suspicious Moldavite that looks like any of the fake in the below gallery or has any of the warning signs above.
- Secure business payment methods (e.g. PayPal, Cards, AfterPay)
The two signs in faceted and polished Moldavite
Sign One – Lechatelierite
You can see thin wavy lines of Lechatelierite in faceted and polished Moldavite. Lechatelierite is melted pure quartz which has been elongated and twisted during the formation of Moldavite. Moldavite will never be clear like glass.
Macro picture of Lechatelierite in faceted and polished real Moldavite
Fake faceted and polished Moldavite which looks like clear glass
Pictures of genuine Moldavite jewellery and facets with evidence of Lechatelierite
Sign Two – Bubbles
Moldavite is filled with tiny bubbles under 1mm in size and may be difficult to see with the naked eye. This makes Lechatelierite often a better indicator of genuine Moldavite. You often need a macro lens or a magnifying glass with good lighting to see the bubbles more clearly although in very rare cases the bubbles can be up to 1 cm in length. You can see the bubbles circled in the picture below.
The two signs in Moldavite jewellery
Extra care is need when buying Moldavite in jewellery. Fake Moldavite can hidden in a nice design.
Sign One – Missing a characteristic or sign
See all the above characteristics and signs of fake Moldavite above. Moldavite jewellery is expensive as it takes time to polish or facet. Faceting or polishing Moldavite takes skill and produces large amounts of wasted Moldavite which has been cut off which pushes up the price. If it is hard to see if the Moldavite is real or fake, ask for close up pictures and more information. You should find multiple positive reviews from their other customers stating that their Moldavite is genuine.
Fake Moldavite jewellery
Sign Two – Price!
A single 10mm Moldavite bead would cost you around $60-80USD. A Moldavite bead bracelet would cost around $1200-1400USD. Don’t be pulled in by cheap green glass imitations. If it is too cheap then it is probably fake!
Incorrect signs when buying real Moldavite
False Sign One – Certificate of authenticity
A certificate of authenticity is created by the shop and only worth the weight of the paper it is printed on. They are often mass produced in the printer of the shop and handed out to every customer. There have been many occasions where we have verified if Moldavite is genuine or fake and sometimes a certificate of authenticity or a lab report is included. Unfortunately there have been times when both the Moldavite and certificate of authenticity has been fake.
False Sign Two – A physical crystal shop does not mean it’s real
Buyers have purchased fake Moldavite from a local crystal shop they trust. These shops may have unknowingly purchased Moldavite from an unreliable wholesaler and been sent fakes. Sometimes, the crystal shop staff do not have the knowledge to identify whether Moldavite is real or fake.
An example is a crystal shop which posted a video on Instragram showcasing their new stock of Moldavite they had just received. A staff member was holding a piece saying that the energy was powerful when they held it. They were in fact holding a typical glassy fake Moldavite you see on eBay and had been sent thousands of dollars worth of fakes.
Need more help?
If you need help to verify if your Moldavite if real or fake. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on www.facebook.com/StonesofTransformationMoldaviteStore and we’ll do a quick and free check of any Moldavite. You will need to include several pictures with at least one in natural light and one with a back light.
Gallery of fakes
Below is a sample over over 150 fake Moldavite found selling online. Look closely as some fakes are better than others.
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/