(also spelled moldivite) belongs to the tektite gem group. Moldavite--the original name--comes from the Moldau River, where they were first discovered in 1787. The glassy stone's hues range from green to brown and is often cut and polished for jewelry. As well, like all gemstones, moldavite has physical properties (or traits) and is associated with metaphysical properties.
In Myth and Metaphysical
In Czech tradition, moldavite was given as a betrothal gift. It was believed to bring harmony to marital relationships. In Thailand, people carved tektites into decorative objects that were worn to ward off evil.
Metaphysically, moldavite is a storm element. Storm elements represent transformation on a massive scale, change and cleansing. This change could come from rapid spiritual evolution. In cleansing, it might activate your body's chakras, most especially the foutth (or heart chakra) and the sixth (or third eye chakra). When held, these metaphysical forces are easily felt as moldavite has an intense frequency. With its forceful stimulation (often described as a hurricane), it dislodges psychic debris from your life, kick-starts spiritual development and expands your consciousness. It accelerates your inner growth and evolution.
Locations Found While tektites/moldavite have been found in other countries--Thailand, for example--the only known locality for green, transparent tektite is the Moldau River in the Czech Republic. While most moldavites are forest green, those found in Moravia tend toward greenish-brown. Most specimens are found on the Bohemian plateau. They are easily mined by sifting through loose dirt. Quite often, farmers turn up the gems when plowing their fields. The towns of Chlum and Slavce have proven to have rich yields, while a lacy form of moldavite has been discovered near Besednice.
Formation of Moldavite
Tektites are often found in hues from brown to green and are usually translucent. Their surfaces are typically rough and uneven and possess a lumpy, jagged or scarred texture. Unlike obsidian, a natural glass gemstone with similar physical properties, tektites do not contain crystallites. However, tektites may contain round or torpedo-shaped bubble or honey-like swirled inclusions.
Some theorize that tektites (like moldavite) came from outer space. Then by passing through the Earth's atmosphere, the stones melted, thus forming their characteristic shapes and textures.
Another theory supposes the impact of a large meteorite around 14.8 million years ago caused surrounding rocks to melt and scatter. Then, as they cooled, the recognizable cracks and scars appeared.
Physical Properties of Moldavite
Moldavite possesses an amorphous crystal structure, meaning the gemstone forms with an irregular shape. Often it means the glass cooled too fast for crystals to form in one of the seven crystal systems.
Chemicaly, moldavite is composed mainly of silicon dioxide, but it also contains aluminum oxide and other metal oxides. On the Mohs hardness scale, it registers between 5.6 and 6--where talc is a 1 and diamond is a 10.
Moldavite has a SG (specific gravity) of 2.40. The specific gravity indicates the gem's density. The number comes from comparing the gem's weight with a volume of water of equal weight. Moldavite has the same SG as that of sodalite and vesuvianite. It is slightly lighter than an emerald, which has a SG of 2.71
While some light striking the surface of a polished gemstone is reflected, most passes in. Because a gem's optical density is different from that of air, the light slows and is bent (or refracted). The amount of refraction occurring within a gemstone is called a refracted index, or RI. Moldavite has an RI between 1.48 and 1.51. Knowing the RI can help identify a gemstone.
Luster, the overall appearance of a gemstone, is determined from the light reflecting from its surface. The degree of surface polish is a factor that increases with the stone's hardness. A variety of terms are used to describe luster. Moldavite's luster is described as vitreous.