How to store moldavites

Moldavites, due to their fragility and complexity of their surface, could be damaged in several possible ways. Not considering the case when a moldavite is dropped and gets chipped off (if you are lucky) or shattered in several pieces (if you are slightly less lucky), moldavites get damaged, most of all, due to bad storage methods.

Moldavite with abrasionMoldavites get most often damaged when in direct contact with other moldavites or stones. If the stones touch, their surface gets abraded (artificial abrasion). It is most obvious on the edges of the sculpting and on the surface of glossy stones. That goes both for moldavites with original rough surface and for cut and polished ones. The worst damage is caused by storing a large number of moldavites in a plastic bag or a box. Transport by car or mailing by post in such kind of storage form increases the risk of damage. Another factor is the size of the stones – the bigger a stone the more marked the damage. Bigger stones get not only abraded but the tips of sculpture get broken off and thinner pieces could even break.

These facts lead to the essential rule that we should respect when storing moldavites. The stones should not be in contact with any other moldavites or hard objects. If you cannot abide by the above-mentioned rule, you should at least minimize the time you handle the storage place.

How to store them?

The ideal storage method depends most of all on the size of your collection and on the quality and size of the moldavites. There are several possibilities.

To display them

If you have several moldavites that you would like to display, just put them on a shelf, display case or a display table. Just make sure they do not get knocked off the surface as a fall might damage the stone. To rid the stones of dust, simply rinse them under tap water from time to time.

Storing in a case

Case for moldavitesThe ideal way to store moldavites is placing them in a softly lined case. They are usually wooden cases whose bottom and lid is the same depth. It is usually lined with polyurethane foam (PU foam) which usually completely fills the inside of the case. The foam ensures stability so moldavites do not move even if we handle the box.

We need to choose the depth of the case according to the size of the moldavites. As for small moldavites with the size within millimetres, suitable lid and bottom depth is 10mm (thus altogether 20mm of lining foam). Into such case we can put moldavites as big as 10mm provided they have no sharp thin protrusions in their sculpture. If you have moldavites with sharp sculpture, you will need a somewhat deeper case so that the protrusions do not get broken off when we close the box. When it comes to big and thick stones, the foam does not need to fill in the whole bottom and lid depth. For example for moldavites 20 mm thick you will need a case of the depth 15+15 mm and line the bottom with 15-mm-thick foam and the lid with 10-mm-thick one. This is entirely unsuitable for smaller stones, though, as they would be loose and upon handling they would roll to one another. The closing of the box must be firm since the pressure of the foam is considerably strong and the closing must be able to withstand it.

You should distribute the moldavites in the case evenly so that there is space between them and they do not touch. It is a good idea not to put a big stone next to a small on. The big one pushes the foam around him and the small one will not be properly stabilized and thus it will move around. Do not use cases for stones which have not been cleaned as the residue of sand, clay would make the foam dirty.

If you have several cases, it is a good idea to mark them on the top and the side. It will help you when looking for a particular stone. If you have a great collection in a large number of cases, mark every case with a code and take a photograph of the moldavites inside. It is easier to go through ten pictures on your computer than opening ten boxes.

You can buy special collection cases for stones already fitted with lining or you can buy simple wooden boxes and make the lining yourself. PU foam can be bought in hobby markets. Another possibility is to have the cases made or you can even have a go at making them yourself. The usual size is 15+15mm (the bottom and the lid). Except very big and thick ones, it is suitable for a large range of moldavites.

Individually in ZIP bags or individually wrapped

Moldavites in zip bagsYou can place the moldavites into little ZIP bags and place those into a box. Do not try to stuff too many of the bags into the box otherwise they will press on each other. It is one of the cheapest solutions suitable for smaller stones without pronounced sculpture. It is less suitable for bigger stones or for stones with distinct sculpture as the protrusions might, due to handling, cut through the bag and the edges will abrade one another.

Similar way to store moldavites is to wrap them into a piece of tissue, kitchen towel, bubble wrap or polyethylene foam. If you use thick enough layer, it will be a suitable storage method even for bigger or well-sculptured stones. The disadvantage is that if you need one particular stone, you need to unwrap all of them.

In a box in layers

Place a piece of PU foam on the bottom of the case (10mm will do, for smaller stones it can be even thinner) and put one layer of moldavites onto it. Put another piece of the foam on top of them and place another layer of moldavites upon it. Continue until you fill in the entire box. You can use any box of reasonable proportions, e.g. a shoebox.

It is more fit for temporary storage of moldavites of a standard quality. The disadvantage is that the stones are not sufficiently immobilized. I would not recommend this form of storage for Besednice hedgehogs or other investment moldavites.

In a plastic bag

Take a larger ZIP bag  (or any plastic bag) and fill it with moldavites. STOP! Do not! It is the worst way to store moldavites, the more you move the bag the greater abrasion and the greater damage. The sharp protrusions get broken off and the rest of the surface gets scratched. You can use this way of storing only in the case of serious need and only for small moldavites without marked sculpture or for moldavites intended for cutting and polishing.

How to store jewellery made with moldavites

Fabric bag(pouch) for moldaviteThere are the same rules for storing jewellery with raw or cut moldavites. It is somewhat easier to store jewellery, as we do not tend to have that many pieces. If we have a jewellery box with compartments lined with velvet, keep one compartment for the moldavite jewel. Otherwise place the jewel into a fabric bag, which will protect it from damage. You can store this bag with other jewellery. Individual pendants or rings can be placed into a little jewel box. For big necklaces a case should be used.

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