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A moment of impact captured 14,400,000 years ago...
Available as a pendant necklace, earrings, or even the full set! Each jewelry piece comes in a decorative box and includes a small information card about the specimen.
- The Moldavite pendant necklace features a single fragment of Moldavite, approximately 1/2 to 3/4-inch (~1.2 to 1.5cm) in size. The Moldavite is displayed in a custom-made, sterling silver bezel which is strung on a box-style chain. The chain measures 18-inches (~45cm) and is also made of sterling silver. The complete necklace comes in a decorative box and includes a small information card about the specimen.
- The Moldavite earrings features two (2) fragments of Moldavite, approximately 1/2-inch (~1.2cm) in size. As with the pendant necklace, each Moldavite fragment is held in sterling silver.
- The Full Set includes both Moldavite items listed above!
Please Note: Asteroid collisions with planetary bodies rarely produce uniform results at this scale. Therefore, size, shape, and color will vary.
For many years, a pastoral region of southern Germany was thought to be the remains of an ancient volcanic crater. Imagine the surprise when it was discovered that the Nördlingen Ries Basin was in fact an asteroid impact site some 14,400,000 years earlier.
Above: Relief map showing the impact crater of the Nördlingen Ries Basin
In an instant, a 1.5km wide asteroid released 2.4×10^21 joules - enough energy to power the entire modern human world for more than six years. This tremendous blast gouged out hundreds of cubic kilometers of material and created a complex array of materials, from new metamorphic rocks studded with impact diamonds to stunning, green gems called Moldavite.
Above: Moldavite fragments
Current research suggests Moldavite was created at the very instant of impact when layers of surface rock vaporized and mingled with the remains of the impact body. Essentially molten glass, this vitreous substance cooled in flight and rained in an east-northeast arc 450km from the impact site.
Nearer to the crater, a dense ejecta blanket formed from a melange or breccia of sedimentary rock. Pockets of Suevite formed as well. Suevite is a metamorphic rock composed of ancient "basement layer" rocks, granite and gneiss, shocked by the intense release of energy and recombined. The power released was enough to instantly form millions of micro-diamonds.
Above: Diagram of the impact crater.
After the impact, a deep, alkaline lake formed in the crater, following a path from supersaline to freshwater over many millennia. The change to freshwater was due to erosion of the crater rim and the eventual formation of an outlet lake. Today, the lake is gone, but even millions of years later the remains of the crater (24km wide and 100-150m deep) speak to the power of the impact.
The medieval town of Nördlingen sits near the center of the Nördlingen Ries crater. Most of the town is built of Suevite and the "Bunte Breccia" formed during the impact, including the 15th century Georgskirche pictured here. If the town looks familiar it may be due to the fact that it served as the backdrop for the final flyover scene at the end of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971).
Above: The town of Nördlingen