About green and naturally white Moldavite (also called Moldavite snowflakes)
A common misconception is that Moldavite only has a green appearance as many stones are held up against the light when taking pictures or are thin so allow the green colour to show naturally. This is no surprise as at least 99.99% of all Moldavite is green and is supplied to shops. Thicker Moldavite stones can look black in natural light through but as soon as you shine a light through a beautiful green colour will show.
Moldavite can have a naturally white appearance when they form in special conditions over millions of years. The surface is white but the Moldavite is still green underneath. You are unlikely to see these beautiful white Moldavite selling in most shops as they are rare and very few in number compared to green Moldavite.
Moldavite snowflakes are one of the most unique and famous appearances for Moldavite. They get their nickname from their white frosted appearance which can range from a very light white frosting to a very thick and deep white surface. Other names include Angel Feathers, white Moldavite, frosted Moldavite and Brusna snowflakes (only if it is from the locality of Brusná).
Snowflakes or angel feathers?
White Moldavite look like snowflakes that have fallen from the sky. Some of them have also been called angel feathers as their pure white appearance makes them look like they were feathers that had dropped from heaven by angels! The appearance is beautiful and magical especially close up. There popularity and price has been growing due to their beautiful appearance and rarity which makes them worth adding to any Moldavite collection.
What do snowflakes or angel feathers look like?
Snowflakes have a white frosted appearance which can range from a very light white frosting to a very thick and deep white surface. The white frosting can either be small patches on the green surface or cover the whole surface.
The colour of the frosting is usually white although it can be different shades of white all the way to a light grey colour too. The surface of snowflakes is usually matte and velvety due to the glass corrosion.
Due to the glass corrosion on the outer surface and depending on the thickness of the white surface, Moldavite snowflakes are often not very translucent so will not allow much light to pass through it like a normal Moldavite. Snowflakes are best enjoyed with natural light.
Where are snowflakes or angel feathers found?
There are only a very small number of localities where these special Moldavites are found. It includes Dříteň, Brusná, Bartochov, Olešník, Krasejovka and Jancov. Most of the white Moldavite found has been from Brusná. Unfortunately, the few locations they were found in were mined out long ago and you can only buy these special Moldvite from existing collections.
Current pictures of the famous but now mined out field of Brusná
How are snowflakes or angel feathers formed?
Snowflakes or angel feathers only form in a strong alkaline environment when the surrounding sediments corrodes the other layer of glass and leaves behind a white matte surface. Additionally, the area where they are formed cannot have ground water present as water would slowly erode away the outer white surface. Within a locality, only a small portion of Moldavite found would have a white surface so they are much harder to find.
In contrast, another famous locality Besednice had surrounding sediments that were acidic and with more underground water. Different sediment and water conditions formed very different appearances of Moldavite. Isn’t that interesting how changes in conditions form such different Moldavite??
How common are snowflakes or angel feathers?
Each locality where these special Moldavite were found only had a small portion of their Moldavite with the white surface. For example, it is estimated on the mined out Brusná field that only around 20-30% of Moldavites were white. This portion of white Moldavites is much smaller in other fields.
Sadly, white Moldavites were not valued when first discovered as they looked different compared to the typical green Moldavites. This led to many miners destroying many of the white Moldavite by melting away the surface with a strong acid in order to sell them as green Moldavites. However, Moldavite snowflakes are now appreciated for their beauty and rarity and it has become one of the most sought after types of Moldavite.
If you look at how rare snowflakes or angel feathers are compared to all Moldavite, since snowflakes or angel feathers are only found in a very small number of locations and with very strict conditions in how they form. It is estimated that they form less than 0.01% of all Moldavites so they are rare when you compare them to the total number of Moldavites.
Caution with snowflakes or angel feather Moldavite
Moldavite snowflakes or angel feathers can sometimes be mistaken as fakes by people unfamiliar with them because they do not have a typical green appearance. They are rare so they typically do not sell in any shops or are only sold in very limited quantities. However, it is important to know that Moldavite does not come in any other colours such as blue, yellow, pink or red (see www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/fake-moldavite-guide/)
Sometimes sellers may disguise their Moldavite as snowflakes or angel feathers by not cleaning off all the clay it was found in to give it the surface a white appearance. Clay can be washed off with hot water and soft tooth brush although the white surface etching of true snowflakes can only be removed with a strong acid, however acid would burn away the outer layer of any glass or Moldavite.
Moldavite snowflake from Bartochov
Moldavite snowflake from Jancov
Moldavite snowflake from Brusná
Moldavite snowflake from Dříteň
Moldavite snowflake from Brusná v pole and Bartochov
Moldavite snowflake from Olešník
Macro pictures of Moldavite snowflakes
See our range of Moldavite snowflakes
Look for the Moldavite snowflakes section in our store for a limited range of A and B grade snowflakes www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/shop/
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/
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