Precious jewels specific to the Czech Republic put up for auction

Photo: Moldavite Group

The beautiful greenish-brown gemstone, called Vltavín in Czech, is believed to have formed from condensed rock vapors after a meteorite impact over 15 million years ago. Rich deposits of moldavites today are scattered throughout South Bohemia, where you can find tektite in its raw form.

One of the rarest moldavite deposits in the world is located in the village of Besednice near the town of Český Krumlov. The local gemstones are not among the largest found in the Czech Republic, but they come in a wide variety of shapes and have a deeply carved surface, explains geologist Jan Loun:

Photo: Albert Russ

“Moldavites are only found in the Czech Republic. There are tektites that are black, which can be found in Asia and also light yellow tektite deposits in Egypt, but green ones are only found in this country.

“There are many places in southern Bohemia, but the Besednice deposit is believed to be the only original fall area. What makes the local stones so unique is their surface morphology. Only moldavites from Besednice have such unique “hedgehog” shapes.”

Photo: Barbora Mrázková, Moldavite Group

The Besednice deposit is relatively small and has already been completely depleted, with a total of 210 kg of moldavites mined at the site. Most of these gems, which weigh just over 140 kilograms, are now offered for auction.

The collection belongs to the company Moldavite Group, co-founded by Mr Loun:

“These 140 kilograms are divided into ten kilogram packs, and each batch is going to be sold for 15 million crowns. This is around US$60 per gram, as moldavites are usually sold by the gram.

“All Besednice pieces will be sold in natural form. The most common pieces from other places are often used to make jewelry. But Besednice gems are too beautiful and valuable, so they are not used for faceting.

“We have about two kilograms of rough stones that can be used for jewelry making, which we consider a kind of bonus.”

Photo: Moldavite Group

The rare collection of Besednice moldavite is to go on sale this Wednesday at the Weinberg auction house in Prague. Its expertise was carried out by Jaroslav Hyršl, who examined, for example, the gemstones of the Czech Crown Jewels.

The beautiful greenish-brown gemstones are still found in southern Bohemia today and several moldavite mines are operated there.

The rich deposits also attract illegal hunters, who can earn considerable sums by selling the stones on the black market.

Berta D. Wells