There are a number of macro, shop and individual factors which increase the price of Moldavite. We will go through:
Three macro factors
1. Macro factor one – Supply and demand
2. Macro factor two – Regulations in Czech Republic
3. Macro factor three – Global currencies
Two shop factors
1. Shop factor one – Where you buy it from
2. Shop factor two – How much and where your local shop buys from
Five individual Moldavite factors
1. Individual factor one – Weight
2. Individual factor two – Shape
3. Individual factor three – Locality
4. Individual factor four – Quality and damage
5. Individual factor five – Unique features (sculpting, colour, chime)
Macro factor one – Supply and demand
Supply and demand is a basic principle of economics. If the supply of a commodity is constant and the demand is growing, there will be a likely increase in price. Many of the major fields where Moldavite has been found have long been mined out (see www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/south-bohemia-the-home-to-99-of-moldavite/ for more information on these fields). Supply of Moldavite has been decreasing while demand is increasing globally due to its growing fame as the most powerful crystal/stone/tektite in the world.
The price of Moldavite typically stays stable for a few years and then jumps up once the pressure on supply becomes too large. However, these small price jumps are occurring more frequently due to increased demand and reduced supply. For example there was a price jump of approximately 15% at the source between 2019 to 2020.
Graph: As demand increases and supply decreases, the equilibrium moves to the left and price rises.
Macro factor two – Regulations in Czech Republic
Regulations have increased on the mining of Moldavite in Czech Republic. Individual digging has been made illegal due to the destruction on the environment and the dangers to the miners and others who might fall in the deep holes. Field picking is allowed although this is time consuming and hours of searching may not get you a single piece of Moldavite or only small fragments.
Sadly many of the large scale mines have closed as they have extracted all the Moldavite in that area. Opening up new fields is a very time consuming process to find an area that has enough Moldavite to commercially mine and receiving Government approvals is very difficult and takes a long time.
Pictures: fields, holes and mines in the Czech Republic
Macro factor three – Global currencies
The price of Moldavite is impacted by global currencies. If a country is going through a recession or economic problems like during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, buying new stock of Moldavite can get more expensive within a short period of time if the country’s currency has fallen. The change in price may take some time to flow through as a shop usually has some stock which they will continue to sell at the existing price.
Picture: Impact of COVID-19 on some currencies around the world during 2020
Shop factor one – Where you buy it from
Where you purchase your Moldavite from can have an impact on the price you pay. Physical crystal shops have large overhead costs with rent, utilities, wages, storage, equipment and maintenance to pay. The benefit of physical crystal shops is being able to physically touch what you are going to buy.
Online shops have much lower overhead costs and can sell Moldavite for a much more competitive price. Usually at a similar price to what crystal wholesaler shops sell for.
Picture: A local crystal shop in Australia selling an A grade quality 3 gram Moldavite for $150 AUD ($50 AUD per gram). This piece might be $60 AUD ($40 USD) in an online shop (around $20 AUD per gram or $14 USD per gram)
Shop factor two – The quantity and where your local shop buys from
Economics of scale means the more your crystal shop buys the cheaper it is. If your favourite crystal shops buys 200 grams (0.2 kilos) of Moldavite it would be more expensive per gram than a crystal shop that buys 2,000 grams (two kilos) at a lower price per gram. Additionally, if your crystal shop buys direct from the Czech Republic this would be cheaper than buying from a wholesaler which is reselling products.
A Moldavite specialist store is usually able to provide better prices as they order large amounts of Moldavite and have connections in the Czech Republic. For example, crystal wholesalers in Australia are selling Moldavite for $20 AUD per gram to local crystal shops and $40 AUD per gram to individuals. While an online specialist store could sell Moldavite at $20 AUD per gram to individuals.
Picture: Economics of scale for purchasing Moldavite
Individual factor one – Weight
The price of Moldavite typically jumps every 10 gram increment once the weight reaches 20 grams (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). The jumps in price usually start from 20 grams and grows exponentially due to the rarity of sizes. For reference, the average size of Moldavite is only around 4 grams which is the weight of a small coin (e.g. a 10 cent coin in Australia weights 5.65 grams and heavier than the average Moldavite). The heavier a Moldavite is the rarer it becomes.
The below list is an approximate retail price for an average piece at four different weights.
– 10.00 grams: approx $150-$250 AUD ($100-200 USD)
– 20.00 grams: approx $400-500 AUD ($300-400 USD)
– 30.00 grams: approx $800-1100 AUD ($600-900 USD)
– 40.00 grams: approx $1500-3000 AUD ($1000-2000 USD)
Picture: range of sizes of Moldavite
Individual factor two – Shape
The formation of shapes in Moldavite plays a role in price. 99% of Moldavite on the market are considered fragments from a larger piece that shattered on impact. Primary shapes are much rarer as almost all Moldavite shattered on impact when it fell from the sky at very high speeds after the impact of the meteor 15 million years ago.
The primary shapes are tear drops, disks, ellipsoids, spheres and dumbbells. To understand more about the primary shapes see www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/guide-to-the-shapes-of-moldavite/
Picture: Tear drop shape Moldavite
Individual factor three – Locality
The locality of Moldavite is the area or town the Moldavite was found in can impact the price. Some localities such as Besednice and Nesmen produced a very small quantity of beautiful hedgehog Moldavites which had long spikes. Specific conditions in the surrounding sediments (e.g. clay, soil, gravel) also influenced the appearance of Moldavite. The sediments in Besednice were particular acidic compared to other areas.
However, you can also find non-hedgehog Moldavite in the same localities (e.g. Besednice) which are more typical in appearance. The depth of which the Moldavite was found at influences the amount of ground water and sculpting that occurred over millions of years. A 10 gram Besednice piece could cost $1000-2000 USD depending on the quality (shape, spikes, sculpting)
Some localities such as Chlum and Zatáčka have had large reserves of Moldavite in the past so these localities are more common on the market.
Picture: Moldavite from the famous Besednice locality
Individual factor four – Quality and damage
Moldavite can be naturally (impact, abrasion and water damage) or artificially damaged (abrasion, machinery and mining). Removing Moldavite using machinery from clay and gravel often results in micro nicks, chips or broken pieces. Moldavite found near the surface can be damaged by farming machinery and have the surface naturally tumbled down by decades of rain.
Transporting Moldavite carelessly can also result in abrasion damage as a result of Moldavite rubbing continuously against each other. Small chips, nicks or damage do not decrease the beauty or energy of Moldavite. However, Moldavite is a natural glass and should be treated with care and respect.
Individual factor five – Unique features (sculpting, colour, chime)
There are a number of unique and rare features that may influence the price of Moldavite
- Features: Angel chime (a ringing sound it produces), hedgehog (spiky sculpting), large closed bubbles
- Colour: Unusual (e.g white surface formed in a strong alkaline environment), bi-colour (two distinct colours in one Moldavite)
Picture: naturally white Moldavite snowflake/angel feather (the inside is still green)
Moldavite will continue to be available for many years to come. However, growing demand and reduced supplies are slowly making prices more expensive. The exhausted Moldavite mines are not being replaced as finding new locations to mine is difficult. We hope that they find new locations in the Czech Republic to mine for Moldavite so everyone can keep enjoying the beautiful gift of Moldavite at an affordable price. However, Moldavite does not decrease in price so even if new sources of Moldavite are found it will be sold at the existing market price.
Want more useful information?
See the guides:
Guide to Genuine and Fake Moldavite: www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/fake-moldavite-guide/
Shapes of Moldavite: www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/guide-to-the-shapes-of-moldavite/
Terminology of Moldavite: https://www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/guide-to-the-terminology-of-moldavite/
Moldavite Snowflakes: https://www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/moldavite-snowflakes/
Busting myths of Moldavite: www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/busting-some-myths-of-moldavite/
Other useful posts: www.stonesoftransformation.com.au/blog/list-of-useful-posts/
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