How to recognize a chippped or damaged moldavite

The following 74 photographs of 37 moldavites will help you learn how to recognize a chipped or damaged moldavite. It is an important skill when buying a moldavite on the internet, where the quality of a stone can be evaluated only based on several photos. After reading this article you can be sure you will not be cheated easily.

This text follows up on an article called Unfair business practices of some moldavite sellers on the Internet.

To simplify the procedure let us suppose the moldavites in the photos are genuine. In reality things could be very different. You can read about How to verify authenticity of a moldavite in this guide.

Dishonest sellers

Partially damaged moldavite

The moldavite is damaged on his back side

Dishonest internet sellers try to mask damaged moldavites. The easiest way is to not take photo of the damaged part of the moldavite. If a picture of any side of the moldavite is missing, it could mean that the seller is trying to hide something or he/she did not want to waste time by taking more pictures.

The same partially damaed moldavite

The same partially damaged moldavite – the damage is on the left side

Distinctness of a damage is also possible to influence by the way the moldavite is illuminated. The damage looks different in landing and different in penetrating light. The way the moldavite is turned to the source of light also has a great effect.

Chipped parts can also be repaired.

Badly repaired damaged moldavite

Badly repaired damage by etching

Undamaged vs Damaged Moldavite

Glossy smooth surface of damaged moldavite

Glossy smooth surface of damaged moldavite

Natural surface of moldavites is not usually glassy shiny (see also the grades of gloss of a moldavite). On the other hand, the surface of a fracture of a moldavite is glassily shiny.

Partially damaged moldavite

Left part is damaged, right part is ok with matte surface

Another indication is will be jaggedness or flat surfaces. A natural surface (sculpture) is not smooth. Some moldavites have only fine sculpture while others have pronounced sculpture. Their surface is furrowed by various dimples, cuts end other irregularities.

All fractured surfaces are almost always smooth. Moldavites have seashell-like fracture which reminds us of a shell. Fractured surfaces are also sharply bordered.

Undamaged Moldavites with a natural surface

How to Recognize a Damage

Chippied moldavite

– glossy part
– flat surface
– sharply bordered
– seashell-like fraction

When looking at photographs, concentrate on shiny places on the surface of the moldavite. Most moldavites do not have a glossy surface and the shiny places are probably chipped-off parts. Such chipped-off parts are usually sharply bordered with a sharp corner and the surface is flat. In bigger damage the above-mentioned seashell-like fraction can be noticed.  A smaller chipped-off bit creates only minute reflection.

Moldavite with very glossy surface

In moldavites with a strong gloss it is sometimes difficult to rely on identifying reflections of chipped-off parts. The only thing to do is to look for unnaturally flat places and sharp, straight edges on the surface of the moldavite.

A smaller damage

Moldavite with small chipA moldavite is usually damaged on protruding parts of the stone (a chipped-off splinter). The more pronounced a sharp sculpture the higher probability the stone will be damaged during excavation. The most frequent is a chip-off of the tip of one or more spikes.

Moldavite form deposit Paryz

Moldavite form deposit Paryz with some chipped prickles

For instance in the case of Besednice hedgehogs or moldavites from the Paryz location it is a must to check out if a spike is not missing. The most frequent sites of damage are the sides, but it can affect the top or bottom part too.

In the case of moldavites with less pronounced sculpture it is important to look closely at the edges. In thin flat stones the edge tends to be damaged quite frequently.

A smaller damage might also be caused during manipulation, transport and storage of moldavites (see also how to store moldavites safely). Usually only minute chip-offs of sharp parts on the surface occurs.

A more serious damage

Damaged moldavite with abrasionSerious damageGravely damaged stones are easily recognizable. They have unnaturally flat, glossy surface. Stones that are damaged in more places very often have sharp, straight edges.

Storing such stones along with other moldavites could result in damage of surface of the fracture. The glossy and smooth surface of fracture is slightly abraded – there are tiny matte places (artificial abrasion).


Gallery of damaged moldavites

Damaged moldavites – black background with lateral light

Moldavite with several small chipping off.

Damaged moldavite (you can see small bubbles inside)

Moldavite with damaged part

Various damaged moldavites


Damaged moldavites  – white background with lateral light

Moldavite with one small and one more serious damage

Moldavite with small damage

Various chipped-off moldavites


Damaged and chipped-off moldavites – penetrating light


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