Genuine vs Fake Moldavite
As Moldavite’s value grows, so has the market for fake counterfeits. In the above photo you can see just a few of the fake moldavite products available online. From left, a synthetic moldavite facet set and unset, a fake moldavite & herkimer diamond pendant, a large piece of bright green imitation moldavite and a set of glossy counterfeit moldavite wraps.
The first fakes that came on the market is sometimes called ‘African Moldavite’, a bright, bottle glass imitation that is easier to distinguish because of its eye-clean clarity and perfectly even bright green color. This type of rough is used by scammers to facet fake moldavites. Over the past several years, increasingly higher quality fakes have been coming out of China where they are exported the world over. Fortunately, they can still be easy to spot to the well-trained eye. But without years of experience identifying real moldavites, the best is to buy stones only from trusted sources.
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How to Identify Real Moldavite
All real Moldavite under a loop should show characteristic bubbles and wavy flow texture as well as distinct wisps of lechatelierite which is a high temperature form of Silicone Oxide which became part of the structure of virtually all Moldavites when it was formed.
In cut or polished Moldavite the internal fluvial structure is even more visible. When you study one of our genuine Moldavite gems under a microscope, even the cleanest stones will always show a variable of micro and submicroscopic bubbles, fluvial wave form and fibers of lechatelierite.
I have yet to see a fake Moldavite which looks similar under a microscope. Even under a loop, the textures of fake Moldavite will appear both too glossy, and overly matte compared to real Moldavite. The counterfeiters use a combination of acids to try and imitate the variation of real Moldavites. They employ molds, hand carving techniques and even use lacquers to brighten the surface.
Another sign of fake Moldavite is their high transparency. Without the bubbles, flow form and subtle variations of color, fake moldavite appears too glassy and transparent. The colors will also be uniform without variation.