The Science of Moldavite

According to modern scientific concensus on the origin of Moldavite, ~ 15 million years ago a huge astroid at least one kilometer in diameter, struck what is now southern Germany from a westerly 56 degree angle at a hypervelocity, creating the Ries crater, 15 miles in diameter. The impact melted the stratus of sediments and rock at a depth of 2,000 feet and ejected the material into the upper atmosphere.

The crater ejection material had a high content of silicon dioxide and underwent intense heat of approximately 30,000 C before it was ejected in its molten state into the upper atmosphere. At this point, the Moldavites underwent plastic deformation as they interacted with the aerodynamic forces under intense surface tension. They underwent ablation and more shape deformation on their return to earth. Many Moldavites were shattered do to their internal pressure or fractured upon impact.

Most bubbles in Moldavite are thought to have formed from gases released from the host rock during impact. Elongated bubbles are said to have formed during the cooling down stage as the stones returned to earth. Lechatelierite, a pure form of SiO2, is formed when quartz undergoes an intense transformative heating process. The beautiful flow forms and fluvial structure of Lechatelierite is found in virtually all Moldavites. It gives Moldavite its unique internal structure and is one of the main ways we can identify genuine Moldavite from fakes.

The texture of Moldavite varies drastically, but it is caused from a combination of the ablation phase during the stones descent and natural corrosion process over millions of years in various conditions. Stones from more sandy acidic soils often have a more lacquered appearance with a bright, glassy appearance. Stones found in more clay alkaline soils have a detailed pyramidal micro-sculptation which creates a velvety luster. Other field stones that are collected which have been found close to the surface, sometimes have their texture worn away completely like a river rock.



Chemical composition 

SiO2, Al, Ca, Fe, K, Na

Hardness (Mohs)

5.5 - 6

Specific Weight

2.35 (2.27-2.46)





Refractive Index

1.48- 1.54


bottle green to brownish green


transparent, translucent 


vitreous to matte

Fluorescence (X-Ray)

faintly yellowish-green

Crystal structure



frequent bubbles, fluvial structure, lechatelierite 

UV absorption spectrum 

minimum 550 nm

Raman spectrum

maximum 460 cm

Above are the two main areas where Moldavite can be found today

A variety of Museum Grade Moldavites from Arkadia's reserves