Czech it out...Mercurious Designs mission for Moldavite April 09 2014
Czech it out
A few years ago I found myself meandering thru Europe in the summertime. Although it was the season to be sunny, somehow the weather had neglected to follow the suggestion, and it rained pretty much continuously. Not the best news as I was at the time meaningfully engaged as ‘The Merchant Adventurer’ bringing the stunning hand crafted silver creations of Mercurious Designs to the poor neglected peoples of the Old World.
After successfully exhibiting at a trade show in Alsace, surrounded by vineyards and castles, I found myself heading beyond the back of beyond into Bohemia to hunt the mysterious and metaphysically enigmatic mineral, Moldavite. Even for someone as insensitive as myself, I found this jolly green gem to be literally something of a buzz. Holding it always felt to me like a mild electric current raising the hairs, or a fuzzy magnetic force field purring away.
Moldavite was formed by the collision of a massive meteorite with the Earth some 15 million years ago. The impact fused the terrestrial materials with the celestial, sending them back up into the higher reaches of the atmosphere before returning to land near the Moldau River basin, giving birth to its name. It was also called ‘bottle stone’ (Bouteillen-stein) at one time, but that seemed to lack somewhat in metaphysical punch.
“Moldavite has a rich history, prized since the Stone Age and used not only for arrowheads and cutting tools, but as a spiritual talisman and amulet of good fortune, fertility and protection. It was found in the archeological site of the Venus of Willendorf, the oldest known Goddess statue, and has been linked to legends of ..an emerald that fell from the sky out of Lucifer's crown before he was cast from Heaven”.
Crystal Vaults www.crystalvaults.com/crystal-encyclopedia/moldavite
The city of Český Krumlov is in the heart of the impact zone. There, a giant medieval castle straddles the river dominating what was once a major trade route. Home to the famous Krumlov bears, and more interestingly to me, the castle contains its own 'lapidary' area with a small swinging sign pointing down to the cellars, and the dimly lit crypt of what was once the castles dungeons. I was excited to maybe view some huge Moldavite specimen pieces or other mineralogical mysteries, but was disappointed only to find a collection of fine sculptures, mostly of Roman deities, and absolutely no gemstones!
Then, adrenalin mounting, I learn of a local mine tour..could this at last be the real deal? Before I set off on the trip, I was given a special miner uniform, including helmet and miner torch. They took us deep underground on a narrow gauge miner train, the air becoming chillier and damper as we went deeper until we could go no further and continued on foot. But, instead of the elusive emerald green, it was dull grey graphite, and while there was interesting information about how this stone is worked and used, this was hardly the discovery I had been hoping for and so my search for the mystical moldavite continued.
The Holy Grail
Finally, I reach the village of Besednice, where the finest museum grade Moldavite is said to come from. The place is a legend in esoteric mineral circles. I feel like I have finally reached the Holy Grail, which incidentally, some people believe was made from this cosmic gem.
Eager with anticipation I walk around the small town square. There is a distinct lack of shops of any kind to examine, so I turn my attention to the pub. It must be understood at this stage that the Czech tongue is quite unlike any other language I can call upon to patch a message through. None of the major European tongues are of any help, (neither is Arabic or Urdu for that matter) but, with a combination of sign language and broken German, I manage to communicate with a truck driver about the stone everyone must surely know, and probably have a few pieces tucked away at home, or at least know the local freak farmer with a private collection.
There is a kind of eerie silence when he puts the word out to the assembled patrons. A bit ‘Dusk to Dawn’…I almost expect them to lock the doors and transform into flesh hungry monsters. Luckily, there’s still some daylight left. Even the sun has put in a cameo appearance. It seems that it is a criminal offense to have any Moldavite, it is a national treasure, digging it up can land you in prison, and the price if you could get hold of any, which of course you can’t, would be about five times higher than what my suppliers overseas sell to me. The locals do however have the kindness to point me to ‘the field’ where the cream of the celestial crop hit the dirt should I wish to take my chances. Somehow not long after, I find myself trudging through knee-high verdant grass. I poke around for a while, turning up nothing but generous quantities of mud, before the absolute ridiculousness of the situation strikes my slightly beer-brained mind..I am in the middle of a green field looking through lashings of green grass for a green stone..and should I happen upon a piece, I could get locked up for my luck.
On rare occasion, it seems that a process somewhat akin to the “Crop Circle’ phenomenon occurs. In the middle of the night, when all eyes are elsewhere and the local constabulary are otherwise meaningfully engaged, a few metres of topsoil mysteriously and suddenly disappear from a field. Shortly thereafter a few chips off Lucifer’s crown somehow materialize on the market, but sadly not on my watch.
MercuriousDesigns.com Dragon ring in sterling silver with moldavite
Well, my adventurous quest for this mystery mineral led to a damp dead-end. Fortunately I have some well connected suppliers who manage to lay hands on this magnificent star-born mineral. It does emanate an incredibly strong vibration even to a hard-nosed pagan skeptic such as myself. Mercurious Designs continues to feature it as a guest gemstone in some of its more precious designer sterling silver collections, a visitor from afar!
For more metaphysical info on moldavite, please check out http://www.crystalvaults.com/crystal-encyclopedia/moldavite