Moldavites from certain locations have greyish surface and they look shabby. Also moldavites from very old collections, which were exposed to polluted air, look the same.
An acquaintance of mine came up with an easy way to improve their faded surface. It is a method which can be easily used at home.
So how to proceed?
Firstly, we wash the moldavites in a dishwasher. We do it the same way as we wash glasses. It is necessary to set up the dishwasher well, so that the moldavites do not look even worse than before. The best indicator of correct setting is the look of washed glassware. If you find on it any of the following the dishwasher has been badly set:
- White rims (too much salt softener)
- Grey spots (too much rinse aid)
- Dull matt film on the glass (probably dirty dishwasher)
- Chalky film (hard water, not enough salts)
- Marks of drops running down the glass (too much rinse aid)
- Dried drops (not enough rinse aid)
If you use combined detergent tablets, you will not influence the result much. It is much better to use separate detergent tablets, salt, and rinse aid, and to set correct dosage.
If your glassware looks after washing perfect, you can wash your moldavites in it. It is necessary to spread your moldavites horizontally either in the cutlery drawer or into a perforated bowl with a flat bottom. The stones, of course, must not fall through the holes. Do not wash the stones along with dirty dishes. Another important thing is not to wash moldavites with larger residue of clay and sand, as you might damage your dishwasher (wash and clean the moldavites in the usual way first). Use a longer programme. The higher the temperature the bigger effect of the detergents will be.
Finally, I would like to point out that this method is a little controversial. Detergents used in dishwashers are very alkaline and it affects the surface of moldavites. I would not recommend this to a “hardcore collector”. The original natural look of moldavites could be affected (a moldavite washed in this way might look like a moldavite from a completely different locality).
Another thing which influences the quality of moldavites is the air, which might be, especially in big cities and industrial agglomerations very polluted. Chemicals in the air disrupt the surface of moldavites (it corrodes them).
In my opinion this method is not to be dismissed completely. It is quite suitable for regular moldavite washing.