Monday, June 17, 2013

Tektites.....from Outer Spaaaaaaace!

Chrysalis Jewelry Intern 
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Grab your phasers, put on your space helmets, and crank up your creepy theremin music, today's blog is on Tektites.
No, not the spider things from the Legend of Zelda games, although it would make a pretty cool alien, and it would go with creepy theremin music pretty well.

No creepy theremin music here, but it's just as good if you ask me.

But in a nutshell, Tektites are rocks (not all gem quality, of course) formed when space rocks hit the Earth.  These impacts tend to be fairly energetic events (just ask the Dinosaurs), so even though Tektites are formed from ordinary Earth rocks and such, the materials in those rocks are transformed, both from the impact itself, and they are often shaped as they zip though the air and cool down.

For example, here's an Australite, which acquired its aerodynamic shape after it was ejected from a newly formed impact crater, and sailed through the air as a blob of molten glass.  It may not be particularly shiny, but you might be interested to know that Australites helped to inspire the shape of the Apollo Space Capsules.  In other words....
Note the similarity to the middle rock....
Also note the similarity to this fine example of Alien Technology.
There is only one explanation!

Most gem grade Tektites, however, are the illustrious green Moldavites.  Not only are they beautiful, but there are only four Moldavite mines currently operating in the world, and they're all in the Czech Republic.  Once they're gone, they're gone.
These spiky "flower burst" Moldavites are highly sought after by collectors.
While the smaller loose pieces are cut into gems

So remember, the next time you're looking for a different sort of gemstone for a unique gift, you may just want to look to the stars....
Until Tommorow
Chris the Intern

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