Gemstones have been around for millennia to display one’s wealth and status.
Moldavite is a type of gemstone that’s extremely rare on the planet.
That’s because it came from a meteor impact.
Scientists believe that moldavite formed when a high-impact meteor struck Europe 15 million years ago.
The impact caused part of the earth to form into a unique type of glass.
It has a chemical structure unlike anything else on the planet.
Because it’s similar to glass, many people refine it and sell it as pieces of jewelry.
Like any piece of jewelry, moldavite can carry a high price.
There are a lot of factors that go into evaluating a piece of moldavite, but the average cost of the gemstone is $15 to $25 per gram.
Considering that moldavite is a type of glass, you may wonder why it’s priced so expensively.
Here are 10 reasons moldavite is so expensive.
Why Is Moldavite So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
One of the reasons moldavite is so expensive is how it was formed.
Moldavite is one of the few gems that came into being due to a meteor strike.
The particular meteor that formed moldavite hit the Earth 15 million years ago.
That makes it an incredibly old gemstone.
It’s also starkly different than other gemstones.
Most other gemstones occur naturally within the world.
Whether they’re exposed to heat or formed through some other exposure to the elements, there are ways for them to form naturally and synthetically.
That isn’t the case with moldavite.
It only formed once and is only found at the site of the original meteor impact.
It would take an impact from another meteor made of the same minerals as the old one for new moldavite to form.
Since that’s extremely unlikely, especially with meteor impact surveillance in today’s world, moldavite will always remain a unique type of gemstone.
Moldavite is expensive because its history is unlike any other gemstone on the market.
Its origin also makes it rare, which bumps up its price.
Unlike other gemstones that are continuously being discovered in the world, moldavite is extremely rare to find.
It’s also limited in scale.
Because it’s a result of a meteor impact, there’s no way for more moldavite to form in the world.
There will only ever be the pieces that exist today.
Because there’s a limited number of moldavite pieces in the world, that makes any piece that’s found very valuable.
It’s the ultimate limited edition gemstone.
If lots of people want a moldavite piece of jewelry, then they’re going to have to outbid one another to buy it.
It all comes down to supply and demand.
The supply of moldavite is incredibly low, yet the demand for it is incredibly high.
This allows the sellers to place a high price on their pieces with the expectation that those who have the money are going to purchase them.
High prices mitigate demand.
Moldavite is a lot rarer than other gemstones.
Because there’s a finite number of the existing pieces, it makes the gemstone extremely expensive.
3. Gemstone Hunting
Finding moldavite is difficult.
The gemstones occur a few meters below the Earth’s crust.
This means that interested mining parties can sometimes spend thousands of dollars digging into the crust only to come away empty-handed.
Part of the problem is that the meteor that formed moldavite scattered across the surface for quite a few miles.
It primarily crashed in Germany, but its pieces scattered as far as Austria and the Czech Republic.
While that might mean that miners have more places to look, it also makes it more difficult to know the exact locations to start mining.
Scientists and researchers can help.
They can estimate the path that the meteor took the likely places that received impacts from debris.
However, they’ll never be able to say with certainty that a certain spot is sure to have moldavite beneath the surface.
It’s always a gamble.
When a mining company does manage to find moldavite, then they have to leverage their costs with the discovery.
If they spend several thousand dollars looking in the wrong place, for example, then they’ll need to sell the moldavite they found at a higher price to ensure they cover their expenditures.
This also allows them to keep looking to the future to finance further mining expeditions.
Some mining companies never discover moldavite.
They run out of money before their search bears fruit.
Just like mining any type of gemstone, the process of discovering the gemstone is an expensive one and always a gamble.
To offset their costs, they charge a high amount for the gemstones that they do find.
Moldavite is expensive because it’s extremely difficult and expensive to find.
4. Extraction Process
Another reason that moldavite is expensive is the cost and time it takes to actually extract it from the ground.
Because moldavite is essentially glass, it’s extremely delicate.
Miners can’t simply dig into an area of interest with machinery.
They’re likely to crush and shatter the delicate gemstone.
That can completely crush a company’s ability to finance the expedition.
Instead, the company uses tools that allow them to have more of a handle on the digging.
It’s even sometimes done by hand once they’ve reached the appropriate depth.
The extraction process is expensive because it’s labor-intensive.
Workers have to carefully dig out an area and check through the dirt and stone to look for glass.
The problem is that a moldavite stone is usually only a few grams.
They’re more like fragments than actual gemstones.
To make the gemstone worth it, the miners need to find several fragments.
The job isn’t finished once someone finds a piece of moldavite.
They need as much as they can find.
This can extend the extraction process over the course of several days, if not weeks or months.
Meanwhile, all the miners need payment and fresh tools need to arrive as old ones break or become less sharp.
Mining companies also usually need permission from the county or state before starting their digging.
That might mean they need to pay for permits or other fees associated with their expedition.
All these costs make the actual process of digging very expensive.
The worst part is that they might come away with nothing.
The company still has to pay its miners for their time and effort.
The associated costs of the extraction process push the price of moldavite towards the expensive side.
5. Processing Expenses
Once the miners find the moldavite, the expenses that go into the gemstone don’t stop there.
They have to find a few fragments to make the gemstone worth it.
Since it’s worn as jewelry, there needs to be enough of the stone for the individual to actually wear it and show it off.
That means that the gemstone has to go through a processing step.
During this step, the company will fuse different fragments together.
This often means that the pieces are slowly chipped away to ensure they form together well.
That means that the piece, while becoming larger, also becomes smaller in the process.
There are small pieces left behind that are essentially worthless.
The process of forming moldavite into a wearable piece of jewelry is costly and difficult.
It takes a skilled individual to properly smith them together.
They also need a specific set of tools and working conditions to make the best possible gemstone.
The process can take time, too, since it isn’t an exact science.
It’s all done by hand as well, which means the company can’t cut costs.
Because of the expensive nature of its processing, the company then has to sell the finished gemstone at a high price.
The price covers the cost of the expedition and the processing while still generating enough of a profit to let the company finance another expedition in the future.
Moldavite is expensive because processing it is expensive.
In the world of gemstones, size matters.
Moldavite tends to come in very small sizes.
Since it’s glass, it’s common to find the stone fragmented into several pieces in the crushed earth.
After careful extraction, the mining company then has to process them together to create a larger gemstone.
However, the value of the moldavite largely comes from how large the fragment was before the fusing.
That’s because larger pieces require less processing than smaller ones.
It also means the gemstone is more unique than a Frankenstein of a bunch of different stones meshed together.
Larger pieces are also rarer.
All these instances mean that larger pieces of moldavite are more expensive than smaller ones.
In that way, moldavite is similar to many other gemstones.
Since larger pieces tend to be rarer, they have an even more limited supply of them than smaller pieces.
Most buyers want large pieces since it’s easier to see them and shape them.
That makes the demand for larger pieces extremely high.
With high demand and limited supply comes high prices.
Moldavite is expensive if the size of the fragment is large.
Another factor that plays into the value of moldavite is its color.
The very best moldavite gemstones are rich green.
Part of the reason so many people love moldavite jewelry is its color.
It offers an intense green shade that is rare in the gemstone world.
However, like many other gemstones, there are different shades around.
These shades aren’t valued as highly as the intense green that moldavite is best known for.
One of those shades is brown.
Green tends to blend into two different grades of color.
As it grows darker, there’s a chance that it can look more brown than green.
As it grows lighter, there’s a chance that it can look more yellow than green.
Neither brown nor yellow is as expensive as green fragments.
That’s because they’re considered to have less value.
Like any gemstone, moldavite has certain standards which determine its base value.
The very best of moldavite has a dark or bright green color to it.
If the color shifts toward brown or yellow, then it no longer holds the standard and loses its value.
If you see a green piece of moldavite jewelry, then you can expect it to be expensive.
Another factor that determines the value of moldavite is its translucency.
Because moldavite is a type of glass, it’s usually translucent.
You can see through it even with its green coloring.
However, not all pieces found share this property.
Some are more translucent than others.
However, unlike the color of the gemstone, its transparency is more subjective when it comes to its value.
For example, even if a particular fragment isn’t translucent, if it has unique swirls or shapes within it, then it may still fetch a high price.
That’s because it offers a unique gemstone formation.
The demand for it may be high because of its uniqueness.
In most cases, however, the gemstones that are most translucent tend to be the ones that are the most expensive.
That’s because these types of moldavite gemstones are purer.
There are fewer minerals mixed in with the glass that’s making it cloudy.
The more translucent a piece of moldavite is, the more expensive it’s going to be.
9. Spiritual Healing
Some people believe that moldavite also brings spiritual healing and focus.
There’s a sect of people who believe that moldavite was deliberately brought to the Earth as a way to help purify and cleanse it.
Those who believe that crystals hold energy within them or can help focus energies hold moldavite in high esteem.
They believe that moldavite is useful during meditation.
It acts as a focus that can help you connect with higher powers during your meditation.
Because of their use in healing earth chakras, in particular, many people want to get their hands on them.
That means it increases the demand for moldavite even more.
There’s the jewelry industry that wants to sell it as jewelry.
Then there’s the spiritual community that wants moldavite as untarnished as possible to use it during their meditations and prayers.
Since this brings a higher demand for the gemstone, which is already rare, it means supply is even more limited.
That makes the price of moldavite skyrocket.
Moldavite is expensive because it’s a desirable gemstone in the spiritual community.
Like many other gemstones, moldavite has a specific shape which is its primary form.
When companies try to shape their moldavite, they do so in a teardrop shape or a dumbbell shape.
These are the primary forms of moldavite.
A piece of moldavite in its primary form can run for $20 to $30 per gram if it’s a teardrop.
That brings the average cost of it to $300 to $450 if it’s a 15-gram piece.
The dumbbell primary form is an even rarer shape.
It can go for as much as $40 to $70 per gram.
The same 15-gram piece of moldavite runs for $600 to $1,050 instead.
It’s difficult to find these shapes naturally.
Those that are natural are likely even more expensive.
Manufacturers will try to create that shape themselves, but it usually means they have to chip away their moldavite to form the shape.
As a result, they lose some of the size, which can impact its value.
At that stage, manufacturers have to determine if it’s the shape or the size that will net them the most money.
However, a moldavite fragment that has a teardrop or dumbbell shape is extremely rare and thus highly coveted.
Moldavite is expensive depending on its shape.
How To Save Money On Moldavite
If you’re someone who loves gemstones, then you may consider it a dream to own a piece of moldavite.
However, because of its expensive nature, you may feel as though you’ll never be able to get your hands on the gemstone.
Here are a few ways you can make buying moldavite more affordable.
1. Buy Small
The price of moldavite all comes down to grams.
If you want to save money, then you need to buy a small piece of moldavite.
The smaller it is, the more money you save.
Granted, this likely means that the piece may be too small to act as jewelry.
Still, it can be useful if you use it in a spiritual setting or as a conversation starter in your home.
Collectors, for example, may appreciate having a small piece of moldavite since it’s a rare gemstone from a meteor.
You can save money on moldavite by buying a small piece over a larger one.
2. Look For Non-Translucent Stones
The clearer that a piece of moldavite is, the more expensive it’s going to be.
If you want to keep the price down, then you should look for pieces that are cloudier.
If you can find a stone that’s also less green and more brown or yellow, then you can negotiate the price down even further.
Not everyone knows that the gemstone receives its value based on its color and translucency.
If you do, then you can successfully negotiate the price down to something more reasonable.
A non-translucent piece of moldavite will cost less than a translucent piece of moldavite.
3. Formless Shape
You’re going to find yourself paying a lot of money if you try to buy a piece of moldavite that has a specific shape.
A way to save money when buying moldavite jewelry is to look for pieces that don’t have a shape.
The best shape for moldavite is either a teardrop shape or a dumbbell shape.
These shapes fetch the highest prices.
To save yourself some money, look for jewelry pieces that don’t have a particular shape.
Moldavite is a rare gemstone that came from a meteor that crashed on Earth 15 million years ago.
Like any gemstone, several factors determine its value.
If you want to save money on moldavite, then you’ll want to know these factors and look for pieces that don’t have them.