Wow! The last year and a half has been crazy for all of us in the Moldavite world. The price increase and scarcity of the stone has probably taken you by surprise. Let me explain why this increase has been a long time coming and the COVID pandemic was the perfect storm.
- As you’ve been reading for years now, Moldavite really is rare! Certainly, it is one of the most rare gems on earth. There have only been a handful of rich localities that have supplied the market since the 90’s, all of which are located in the southern Bohemian state known in Czech as Jižní Čechy. Nearly all of these localities are completely exhausted and are no longer active. Below is an areal photograph of the Slavce locality. If you didn’t know the history of this legendary deposit, it would be hard to even identify its location on the map.
- The largest legal mine, located in Chlum, is no longer wholesaling to western customers. Rumors have it that they are exclusively supplying a few large suppliers in China who are stockpiling the stones to maintain the high prices and reinforce the scarcity on the market. Most of these stones never make it back to western markets. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that China exports vastly larger quantities of fake Moldavites than real ones!
Below: Chlum Moldavite mine with illegal pits towards the Northeast
- When millions of us were confined to our homes during the past year and a half, the app Tiktok was reaching a large global audience of people new to Moldavite. The simultaneous explosion in popularity, combined with the aforementioned increasing scarcity on the ground led to a massive increase in prices. In Czechia, the lockdown was quite stringent, confining both illegal and legal digging to a minimum. Stockpiles of stones from dealers were quickly exhausted, leading many former Moldavite dealers to find a new trade.
- Stores around the world who have been selling Moldavite for years suddenly found their suppliers were dry or if they had something to sell, the prices were at least 300% higher, the quantities were small and the quality was poor.
So what does this all mean? In my opinion, after working with Moldavite for the last 22 years, the price is going to increase further. The knock on effect of supply and demand takes time to take full effect. Stores throughout western markets cannot secure sufficient supply and what they can buy will be expensive. Knowing they are unlikely to be able to secure more stones at their convenience, these stores price the stones accordingly. At the most recent Tuscon gem show, the largest gem and mineral show in the world, supplies were scarce and wholesale prices for decent quality Moldavite reached $50 per gram.
This is not a case of Moldavite dealers taking advantage of rising popularity of Moldavite. In fact, all of the dealers who still remain are likely making smaller profit margins than ever before. When I first began to travel to Czechia to purchase Moldavite in 1999, I paid $0.50 per gram. Yes, 50 cents. Now even illegal diggers are charging at least $15 per gram to suppliers. This was an inevitable result of decreasing supply and increasing demand. The market dictates, and as a result, prices will continue to rise in the coming years. Moldavite truly is a spectacular stone with a unique story, and powerful reputation within the metaphysical community that has driven its notoriety, from a small cult following back in the day, into a captive worldwide audience.
Here at Arkadia, after over twenty years of providing quality genuine stones and our handcrafted Moldavite jewelry to stores throughout the western world, we have also had to stop wholesaling to our loyal customers. In order to continue providing the highest quality stones online, we are now exclusively an online retailer.
With our exclusive partners in Czechia, we are sourcing our Moldavites straight from the ground! Below have a look at a video from my last trip.
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AA Premium Grade Moldavites: Under 3 grams, undamaged and of exceptional quality.
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