Hello up for auction is a high quality Tektite, Moldavite. It weighs 6.423 Grams and is translucent with Forest Green color to it. It comes from the Nordlinger Ries Crater located in Germany and is thought to be 15 million years old!! This lot comes with a high quality display case and COA card.
Moldavite is a member of the Tektite group of natural glasses formed from interplanetary collisions. From the Greek word tektos, meaning "molten," Tektites are glassy mixtures of silicon dioxide, aluminum oxide and other metal oxides with an amorphous crystal structure. Unlike other Tektites from around the world which are tar black or brownish-black, translucent Moldavite is a deep forest green and is the only variety suitable for cutting and faceting as a gem. [Simmons, 261][Simmons/Warner, 21]
This beautiful stone is rare, found only in Czechoslovakia, and is named for the area in which it is found, near the Moldau River (called the Vltava in Czech). While scientists differ in theories regarding Moldavite's origin, nearly all agree its formation coincides with the crash of a large meteorite approximately 14.8 million years ago in what is now the Bohemian plateau. The rock metamorphosed by the heat of impact created a strew field of Moldavite in the two, mostly rural, areas of Bohemia and Moravia. Farmers often turned up the stones when plowing their fields, while other specimens worked their way to the surface after spring thaw or heavy rains in the fall. More recently collectors have "mined" for gem grade and museum quality specimens by sifting and digging through loose sands and gravels. [Simmons, 261][Simmons/Warner, 21-23]
The shapes of Moldavite give witness to its molten origins, most commonly drop-like (round to very flattened), plate or disc shaped, oval, spheroid, dumbbell shaped, elliptical, rod-like or spiral, all common in splash patterns of liquids. Moldavites from Bohemian localities are more drop-like, elongated or rod-like, while Moravian stones are more spherical. Moldavite occurs most often in shades of deep forest green, though some are pale green or olive, and others, especially from Moravia, are greenish-brown. [Simmons, 261][Simmons/Warner, 25]
The most magnificent of Moldavite's features is the beautifully etched, carved, wrinkled or sculpted patterns inherent in raw and unpolished stones. Pieces found at or near the surface have been subjected to erosion in streams and rivers over the millennia and resemble the rough exterior common to river stones. More finely textured and sculpted specimens are found in sand or gravel pits, and ones found intact and unmarred are considered "museum grade" and are rare and valuable. The rarest of all (less than one percent) are the "sonorous" Moldavites, called Angel Chimes, which are tempered naturally and if dropped on a glass or metal surface "rings" like a coin. [Simmons/Warner, 38]
Moldavite has a rich history, prized since the Stone Age and used not only for arrowheads and cutting tools, but as a spiritual talisman and amulet of good fortune, fertility and protection. It was found in the archeological site of the Venus of Willendorf, the oldest known Goddess statue, and has been linked to legends of the Holy Grail, thought to be an emerald that fell from the sky out of Lucifer's crown before he was cast from Heaven. In Czech lore, it was given as a betrothal gift to bring harmony to marital relations, and for centuries has been used in jewelry, religious items and for spiritual transformation. (See the Powers, Lore and Legends section.) [Hall, 187][Simmons, 261-264]
Moldavite is relatively fragile and should never be cleansed with salt to avoid scratching its surface. [Hall, 189][Melody, 413]
Filed under: Meteorites & Tektites