Moldavite Mining

Moldavite has been thought desirable for centuries, there is talk about a grail connection and moldavite being used in the crowns of kings and queens. Many years ago the local people of what is now the Czech Republic had a tradition that when a man proposed marriage he presented to his bride to be the moldavite. In certain areas moldavite was just lying about on the ground or a common practice even to this day was to follow along behind when a farmer was ploughing and see if you could pick up any moldavite. The risk was that it would be broken by the blades (metal or wooden ) of the plough.

When do people think of mining they usually think of large opencast mines with enormous trucks hauling dirt and stone or of underground mining and dark hot tunnels. That is not so much the case for moldavite mines.  Yes there are large scale operations but moldavite does not go very deep so there is no necessity to dig holes hundreds of feet into the earth.

Once the true value of moldavite was recognised and people realise that moldavite was a freak result of a meteorite and that moldavite was in very short supply indeed, the local miners, shall we call them freelancers (?) used to dig in the forests to find moldavite which they then sold to supplement their income. In the early days of this practice, say 40 or 50 years ago, it was quite a friendly and jolly environment. A mine might dig a hole and not be finished so he would tie a scarf to a tree next to the hole so that others would know he hadn’t finished and this practice was respected. Then as with most things that involve money it stopped being quite so friendly and fights would break out over the claims.

The government of the Czech Republic has since clamped down very hard on the practice of digging enormous,ugly and dangerous holes in the forest. Some years ago there were stories going around about peoples homes being raided in the middle of the night by police searching for moldavite. At that point mining went underground (excuse the pun) and everything was done in the middle of the night under lights.

Quite apart from the fact that much of the land has been dug over several times and therefore moldavite is much harder to find, the available moldavite comes from government sanctioned mines or from collectors.