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African Moldavite??

Posted by Mike the Nobody  
Re: African Moldavite??
January 11, 2010 01:31PM
Jamey, I'd advise being very skeptical about "natural green glass/obsidian", especially if someone tries to sell you some for facetting. How do you "know" that it is "NOT manmade"? Because your miner friends told you they found it underground in the Tanzania/Merelani/Kenya/Mali/Umba/Tuduru region? I won't say anything is impossible, but bright green chrome-colored obsidian is highly unlikely. Far more likely that someone melted a chromium-bearing mineral artificially.
avatar Re: African Moldavite??
January 13, 2010 01:18AM
It is NOT bright green at all. Actually kind of darker. I have no idea if it is chromium colored or not, that was just an assumption/guess as to the coloring due to the large amounts of it in that area, especially when it comes to being present in material from those areas.

Honestly I have no reason to doubt my miner friends. We have known them and dealt with them for years. We have purchased everything from rough tanzanite to faceted untreated Pad Sapphires and they have never misrepresented anything in all the years dealing with them.

That said, I never bothered to purchase any of the green obsidian/glass. If I want to facet that stuff I will just buy some Helenite, it sells far quicker, lol. After all, glass is glass whether it is man-made or nature made, IMHO, still only glass when it comes right down to it.

Registered Gemologist
Research Gemologist
Club President/Owner
avatar Re: African Moldavite??
January 14, 2010 12:39AM
thanks for the info.
I did not know they contained zircons.
Now I NEED to look at it under a microscope.

Part of the reason I bought the piece,
is because this type of inclusion is interesting from a scientific standpoint.
I have seen wisps of similar inclusions, but mine is chock-full of it.
Making it priceless for study, I'l accept a personal check for one million. LOL
I know that they have not found an impact crater, which doesn't suprise me.
It's a big area with a lot of shifting sands, and the impact happened a long time ago.
So to awnser you question, no I don't know what they are...yet.

You should get one of these, get it tested, and shut me and Alfredo up about "green obsidian" once and for all.
avatar Re: African Moldavite??
January 16, 2010 07:27AM
Next time we order, I will inquire about if they have any of it on hand. :). It is dirt cheap anyways. Just never liked cutting glass, as it doesn't sell, except for Helenite and some of that new high RI glass out there now and the laser glasses. But couldn't hurt to get some of it and test. I have an Ocean Optics S2000 USB 200-850nm Spectrometer as well, so if chromium is present I can find it. :).

Registered Gemologist
Research Gemologist
Club President/Owner
Re: African Moldavite??
March 08, 2010 10:59PM
I bought a handful of this "African Moldavite" for fun about 8 years ago. It was as apple green as you could imagine. I was very skeptical of it from the beginning. I ran into another dealer a few years later who was a faceter and had a bunch of it cut. It was beautiful material, and not too expensive. He claimed it was naturally occurring, but he did not call it Moldavite. I just started calling it Spriteite. :) It was TOO green to be true. It looked more like Cryptonite or something...
Re: African Moldavite??
April 19, 2010 04:48PM
I had to do some research myself about African Moldavite. There is no such thing as moldavite being outside of the Czechlovakian area. Moldavite is tektite in a green color. However, the nickname "African Moldavite" was given to a kelly green stone found in a very remote jungle location in Africa and is mined from a river. It is not related to the real moldavite.

I has a large amount of chrome in it and that's what gives it its nice color. It is also from the Tanzania region. My educated guess is that it is volcanic glass. The other possibility is that it could be very ancient glass.

If the ebay person claimed that it was real moldavite then you where duped. So, it's a very misleading name, and may be deliberately misleading to supply the metaphysical sector with a stone they desire in ever greater quantities.
avatar Re: African Moldavite??
April 21, 2010 10:29AM
Exactly what we have found out so far SunCrow. Our miner friends are well versed in gemology, not sure if they are educated gemologists or not, but they are definitely taught by years, possibly generations from what I gather, of hands on experience. I did inquire about it, but they have not seen any in quite some time, regrettably. :(. I was gonna have them throw some in with our Winza ruby/sapphire, Lalemeta/Merelani yellow grossular garnet, and Umba sapphires/rubies order but no luck. :(. He did, again, confirm the material is naturally found and that the origins are unsure but thought to be volcanic. He did not know whether chromium was the chromophore or not though, but it doesn't surprise me that your research, SunCrow, showed that it is, or at least contains chromium. Either it or Vanadium. I mean just about everything from those locales in Africa contains chromium or vanadium, lol, never seen such a thing, numerous garnet species, zoisite, prehnite, chrysoberyl, alexandrite, corundum, etc. all containing one or the other.

Registered Gemologist
Research Gemologist
Club President/Owner
Re: African Moldavite??
September 16, 2011 05:48AM
Hi I noticed your posting and am very interested that the specific gravity is higher than glass. I purchased some moldavite from Africa and the stone is expertly cut and displays characters, to my eye, that are better than quartz and certainly better than glass. Is is a bright green and not muddy like the tektite moldavite. Are you able to tell me more about the piece you tested. Did you do a hardness test. Were you able to identify the mineral?

thanking you
avatar Re: African Moldavite??
September 16, 2011 07:04AM
Moldavite (specific name for the variant tektites) comes from only one place on earth - the Czech Republic.
The name is derived from the name of the river in Czech rep. - Vltava (in German language Moldau)
So your stone from Africa(it's whatever) can not be moldavite!

Some Moldavite see here


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2011 07:11AM by Vítězslav Snášel.
Re: African Moldavite??
September 16, 2011 04:12PM
Vítězslav Snášel Wrote:
> Moldavite (specific name for the variant tektites)
> comes from only one place on earth - the Czech
> Republic.

Well, sorry, but that's not 100% correct. Although the Czech Republic is definitely the major source of moldavites, they are also found in northern Lower Austria (in a gravel pit near Altenburg, if my memory does not cheat me). They are of the same origin but much rarer and smaller than the Czech ones.


Re: African Moldavite??
September 17, 2011 04:12AM
...and a few on the German side of the border too!
avatar Re: African Moldavite??
September 17, 2011 08:12AM
Oh - ofcourse - execuse me friends - correcting - Czech, Austria, German ! :)
But never from AFRICA !!!!!

avatar Re: African Moldavite??
October 04, 2011 06:51AM
First off, "African Moldavite" is NOT moldavite, it is merely a marketing name, like Tanzanite is for blue zoisite, or any other marketing gimmick. I don't think it being actual moldavite was ever a serious thought by many of us, lol. I still have not gotten my hands on any to test though to see if it is bottle glass, material from the eruption, or some more things read it could be glass melted from the eruption that was left over from ancient Egyptians, not sure anyone really knows for sure at this time, rofl.

Registered Gemologist
Research Gemologist
Club President/Owner
adriaan de jager37865/6/:6/6,;_
Re: African Moldavite??
January 29, 2012 10:51AM
I think I found true african moldavite and what is it worth I got one kg
open | download - african moldavite.jpg (14.6 KB)
Re: African Moldavite??
January 29, 2012 11:13AM
Yeah Mike you were had, that stuff is exactly what you thought it was.
Mandala Rain
Re: African Moldavite??
January 29, 2012 06:02PM
It is only Moldavite if it is from that region in Czechoslovakia because it gets its name from the Moldau river.

They are not Herkimer Diamonds unless they are from Herkimer NY

It is not Champagne unless it is from that region in France,

and so on.

Anything else, even if it is a Tektite formed through a similar process, is NOT a moldavite.
Re: African Moldavite??
January 29, 2012 06:55PM
On the other hand, I've always been a bit amused when the Herkimer folks complain that diggers in other parts of the world are "unethical" when they call their quartz crystals "Herkimer diamonds". They call their quartz "diamonds" and then complain about misuse of the name "Herkimer"? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
avatar Re: African Moldavite??
January 29, 2012 08:29PM
Unless it looks like this

or this

and isn't from the Czech republic, Austria or Germany it is not Moldavite!
And just for interest here is some Libyan desert glass

Here is a link to a fascinating documentary about LDG, maybe the one Rob was referring to?

Its split into 5 parts, the other parts are also on that site, it's well worth watching it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2012 08:33PM by Jason Evans.
Re: African Moldavite??
January 29, 2012 08:46PM
"I think I found true african moldavite and what is it worth I got one kg "

Adriaan: what you have is simply green glass.
Eliot Masters
Re: African Moldavite??
November 03, 2012 07:03AM
there is a lot of bias in this string that quite frankly stinks of knee-jerk 'Africa = fraud' attitude to me.

I have personally collected sizeable chunks of the green crystalline stone from a river-bed - nowhere near a 'jungle' and not that extremely remote, either.

though having no axe to grind myself (other than a gripe with the anti-African stereotypes which pervade Euro-American cultures), it would clearly behoove those of you who claim the stuff is 'glass' from the 'Ancient Egyptians' or like ballyhoo to test the stuff properly yourselves before spouting and crowing that others have 'been had'.

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