Colored by iron and high in silica, moldavite is prized for its odd-shaped, sculptured appearance. The resemblance to green growing things with sharp to rounded spines and tines is most appealing to jewelry artists, and has been called either "splash" or "splatter" moldavite, having been formed by the speed it flew through the air and the fact that some of the glass was still soft when it hit the earth. Attractive, but irregular shapes like teardrops, tubes, barbells, individual branches, and ornamental kale leaves are common. Unlike man-made glass, moldavite usually has elongated inclusions of gas and air bubbles, and it will never contain crystals like volcanic glass will. The best moldavite is said to be translucent; however, if a piece is thick, it will appear to be more opaque without a bright backlight, and transparent pieces are often faceted. With a Mohs hardness of 6.5 - 7, cabochons, New Age items, and small carvings are also made of moldavite. Click to check out this very lovely carving of a Moldavite Cameo I found on a website for a Prague radio station!
A freeform piece of moldavite that has a natural, rough back and a checkerboard cut top. Private collection, Dale Armstrong.