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Moldavite Gemstone

NameOriginHistoryMines | ColorSuperstitions

Moldavite is a gemstone of bottle-green color, first discovered in the Czech Republic, more accurately in the region called “Moldau” in ancient Bohemia, whence its name. However, formerly, it was called “Moravian bottle glass.” Chemically, Moldavite is a variety of Obsidian, included in the group of Tektites.

Name

Cut Moldavite

Moldavite — a term, that is applied to Tektite, a variety of Obsidian, which derived from the German name of the Vltava River “Moldau.” The name “Moldavite” first appeared thanks to Zippe — a professor of Bohemian Scientific Society. Nonetheless, despite of widespread name of this mineral, it is called “vltavín” in Czech Republic, where it first has been discovered.

The term “Tektite,” in turn, is derived from Greek “τεκτοσ,” that means “melted.”

Origin

There is no proved information concerning the origin of Moldavite. This gemstone probably fell on the earth along with numerous of meteorites. Right after a fall on the Earth, Moldavites were spread by the river streams far away from the spot, where they fell.

The first assumptions concerning the origin of Moldavites were claimed in 1933. The theory of origin of Moldavites in the result of terrestrial impact, was partly confirmed, when the Moldavits along with Tektites and Olivines were discovered in the several craters in Germany and North America. Moreover, the scientists of XX century concluded, that the Moldavites could occur only on the Earth.

This theory was confirmed, due to the fact that the Moldavites were found only from one side of the craters, thanks to oblique impact of the cosmic body, whereas the second condition, necessary for their origin, is the effect of strongly compressed air, thus the Modavites, as well as the Tektites and Olivines (Chrysolites) couldn’t be originated in another atmosphere, neither on the Moon nor on other planets (of course, if these planets don’t possess atmosphere).

History

Moldavite, as a mineral attracted an attention of the Bohemian Scientific Society yet in XIX century. Thus, professor of Prague University Josef Mayer first called it “chrysolite.” However, the term “Moldavite” was introduced subsequently in 1836.

Oldest deposits of Moldavite dates back to Paleolithic Era. Prehistoric man undoubtedly was acquainted with this gemstone, as evidenced the articles made of Moldavite, that found in the Waldviertel in Austria in 1988. The prehistoric men, lived in the Neolithic period, used the Moldavite, to produce household items, weapons, and even statues.

Principal studies of Moldavites were established only in Czech Republic, therefore, few of the books and researches have been published in English. The studies began in 1960, when was discovered the celestial origin of Moldavite. Yet in XX century, several mines of Moldavite have been discovered in the Czech Republic along with the numerous of locations in the world, such as Australian and German mines.

Mines

The principal mines of Moldavite are located in Southern Bohemia, where the deposits cover a total area of more than 2000 km2. There are also deposits of Moldavite in Cheb Basin (western Bohemia) and Třeboň Basin, situated in the southwestern part of the Czech Republic. There are also the Moldavite mines in Western Moravia, however, they contain just about 20,000 pieces of this gemstone. Mines of Germany (Lusatia) and Austria (Horn area) contain a few amount of Moldavites, in comparison with its chief mine in Southern Bohemia. A total amount of Moldavites has been estimated at 20 million pieces or about 100 metric tons.

Color

Color of Moldavites ranges from pale green to brown. The principal coloring substances are Ferum (Iron) and Manganese. Most common specimens of Moldavite are of pale green color. Moravian specimens possess the olive-green color. Rare specimens of Moldavite are double colored, where 2 different colors are separated by a sharp boundary. These rare specimens occur during the collision of the first Moldavites with the Earth’s surface.

Superstitions

Because of its celestial origin, the Moldavites attracted an attention of modern spiritualists and lithotherapists. In spite of their opinion, there couldn’t be any magical properties, attributed to Moldavite, due to the fact, that this term has been introduced just in 1836. Thus, the legends, referred to the King Arthur and other lore, probably was written in regards to Chrysolite, which was discovered earlier than the Moldavite.

Furthermore, the first assumptions concerning the extraterrestrial origin of Moldavite occurred just at the end of ’90 of XX century. Thus, this gemstone can’t provide us any folklore, unfortunately.

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