You’re at the right place if you’re looking to know the difference between malachite and moldavite stones. Keep scrolling!
In this article, we’ll be answering some of the most frequently asked questions about these two popular green gemstones including:
- Is authentic moldavite more expensive?
- Why are malachite stones blue and green?
- Why are moldavite stones popular?
Malachite Vs Moldavite
Key Differences Between Malachite and Moldavite Stones
- Moldavite is glass while malachite is a rock
- Moldavite is translucent to transparent while malachite is opaque
- Natural moldavite is quite rare while natural malachite is easily available
- Moldavite is a hard mineral while malachite stones are soft
Origin – Malachite Vs Moldavite
Malachite stones are green copper minerals usually found in larger copper deposits. Initially, it was used to produce copper but not anymore. You can find it in limestone and grows in different forms.
Malachite can also be found growing alongside cuprite and azurite minerals. The latter is a blue mineral found in malachite stones. Most gem collectors usually expect to find genuine malachite azurite species. This famous green stone is associated with wealth and money.
In addition, malachite was known to be the merchant gemstone that offers protection to those in trade business. Malachite stones were also used to help ward off any evil and promote good health in the middle ages. Young children could wear pendants as it was believed to help them sleep better and protect them from evil.
Ancient Egyptians also mined malachite stones. They were not only used as jewelry but also cosmetic pigments. The Egyptians would grind up these stones for cosmetic use. What’s more, it was used and carved in building construction.
However, grinding up malachite stones is toxic as it contains a significant amount of copper. It’s used as a healing crystal as well as in carvings because it’s not a faceted gemstone. Different cultures have been making use of these green stones since time immemorial. There evidence of mining activities dating back to over 3000 years ago.
Large deposits of malachite stones were found in Ural Mountains, Russia but depleted in the 1800s. You can also find malachite in Zambia, Namibia, Australia and Mexico. However, most of it is usually found in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Check the specimen below from Congo:
Technically, moldavite isn’t a stone. Moldavite is a tektite variety which is natural glass. Moldavite is a product of a single meteorite collision. Tektites are the small debris that tend to form when meteor impacts hit the earth.
You can find faceted moldavite glass as a center gemstone but most collectors use it as specimen. For the most part, moldavite stones are associated with crystal healing. However, getting hold of natural moldavite is no easy feat but the fakes ones are all over the place including different social media marketplace platforms like Facebook, eBay and Etsy.
Natural moldavites are rare since they’re as a result of a single meteorite collision on earth across Europe. The meteor also created Stenheim and Ries crater in Germany since it broke in half. When the two halves split, the impact was extremely hot as it smacked to earth’s rock.
The rock did splatter from the excessive force to create moldavite since the impact was very hot. You can find genuine moldavite stones in Czech Republic, Germany and Austria.
RECOMMENDED: Best Online Diamond Retailers
Appearance – Malachite Vs Moldavite
Malachite has a dark green hue. It’s not solid green like other green stones. Instead, malachite is typically a banded gemstone of sea green, dark green and black colors. The bands feature a solid green color that makes the stones more desirable especially when polished or carved.
Moldavite stone is usually worn as beads or center stone and is u ten cabochon. They are quite popular when it comes to crystal healing which is why you might find them as palm stones and large cabochons. Malachite stones come in a range of rich and vivid colors leaving no room for the need of color enhancements and treatments.
Malachite stones are equally sensitive to heat, so you wouldn’t want to wear it under heat or light for an extended period.
Imitations and Synthetics
Generally, malachite stones are easily available and relatively cheap minerals. That’s why they need no synthetization. However, they can be synthesized for research purposes. In this case, it would be best to assume that all the malachite gemstones available on the market are natural.
Malachite stones feature rich and vivid green bands that makes it harder to imitate. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that fake malachite gemstones don’t exist. They do! One of the most significant differences between fake and real malachite stones is usually the contrast on the bands.
The green and black bands have definitive and equally dark alterations when it comes to the pattern. This means that the patterns might have strange shaping and shapes. Most fake malachite stone pieces are usually produced in China. On the flip side, not every dealer shipping from China sells fake malachite crystals.
Malachite and moldavite stones are both green gemstones but have distinctive differences in appearance. Moldavite can be faceted or look like glass sprays while malachite is a rock that comes in stone form.
In addition, moldavite doesn’t have a rich and vivid color. It’s a dark green to olive green color. Moldavite stones can also be light green albeit not as desirable. In its rough form, it usually has a bumpy and etched texture.
Imitations and Synthetics
Moldavite is such as easy stone to imitate. Glass doesn’t have a lab created version but there are many fake moldavite stones available on the market. There’s a surge in the availability of fake moldavites owing to the sudden increase in interest.
Moldavite is one of the most sought-after crystals because most TikTok videos claim that it has healing properties. The trend led to an increase in fake moldavite stones on the market which made the price of natural moldavite to go up.
It’s quite hard to tell the difference between real moldavite and fake moldavite. Other different green glass is usually rough or faceted to imitate. Both imitation and genuine moldavite stones can have bubbles on the surface.
Price – Malachite Vs Moldavite
Generally, both malachite and moldavite stones are relatively cheap. Malachite has been carved since time immemorial up to now. The complexity and size of the craving helps determine the price of the piece in question.
Malachite stones uniquely cut to highlight some patterns are usually more expensive. Polished cabochons, on the other hand, cost $5 per carat.
You can find glass material all over the world that’s why it’s not as valuable. Most of times, it’s always faceted which makes it a perfect candidate for imitation of colored stones. The cost of faceted natural moldavite is $60 per carat. Big specimens are more expensive.
For the most part, sellers associate the high price of natural moldavite stones to its rarity. However, its because moldavite stones are quite popular for healing.
Value – Malachite Vs Moldavite
Save for upfront monetary cost, most people would want to know the value of the gemstone before adding them to their collection. In this case, unique colored stones as the center piece for engagement rings fall high on the preference gradient.
One of the easiest ways of establishing whether or not the stone is best suited for everyday wear is by analyzing it using Mohs scale of hardness. Most of us would want to wear our wedding rings daily while going about our business. However, there are those that wear different jewelry pieces for the same amount of frequency and time.
Mohs scale of hardness will let you know the resistance level of the mineral in question to scratch from dust and dirt in the air. All minerals are rated from 0 to 10 on the scale and diamonds are the hardest stones on earth at 10.
Malachite stones have a 3.5 to 4.5 hardness rating on Mohs scale which makes it a relatively soft stone. Some of these green gemstones usually have a wax or resin coating on the surface for protection. A malachite piece can scratch when dropped.
Moldavite has a 5 to 7 hardness rating which is the standard for most glass materials. This is because glass is more susceptible to scratch and can also get damaged easily. The faceted pieces that are usually worn in rings and pendants every day tend to get damaged the most.
When you drop a glass piece, it shatters but that depends on its level of thickness. Moldavite stones have very poor wearability as compared to regular jewelry. However, you can keep it for healing purposes and wear it occasionally.
Malachite has great wearability with good cleavage in a similar direction. However, they’re mostly used for decorative, architectural and ornamental purposes.
RECOMMENDED: Tektite vs. Moldavite
Moldavite and malachite are excellent green materials. Moldavite usually draws people’s attention by its many extraterrestrial association to meteors and TikTok trends. However, getting hold of natural moldavite is quite difficult since the market is flooded with fake ones.
Malachite stones, on the other hand, are great collector’s pieces with the exquisite green bands. These stones are most sought-after when it comes to polished and smooth forms as palm and animal stones.