View Full Version : How can I tell if a tektite is "real"

2004-Dec-30, 05:16 PM
Recently I bought a tektite at a local shop that deals more in occult stuff than in rocks and minerals...they sell things like crystals/semi precious stones, etc... It measures about an inch 1/2 long...has bubbly features on it's surface...and what looks like embedded glass...also smells sort of like gunpowder? I guess. Only paid $5.00 for it. Showed it to a geologist at work and he said it looks manufactured. Any way to tell for sure?

2004-Dec-30, 05:53 PM
What is a tektite? (http://www-phys.llnl.gov/tektite/tektite_definition.html)
Tektite glass looks similar to obsidian glass but can be differentiated by colo and chemical composition.Except for obsidian, I've not seen too many things that look like tektites. Most tektites are black and have a shape consistent with having fallen through the atmosphere. Most obsidian is in the shape of broken or chipped rocks since it emerged as a lava flow originally. The geology of an obsidian magma flow does not include a lot of gas therefore there are not likely to be many teardrop nor 'lava bomb' shaped specimens.

Tektite home page (http://www-phys.llnl.gov/tektite/), same source.

There are also some green glass tektites from a single source. Here is a link on the green ones called moldavites. (http://www.cst.cmich.edu/users/dietr1rv/tektite.htm)The site is in the Czech Republic.

Since tektites are common, and not expensive except the green ones, there should be few fakes on the market but it would be possible.

As to the geologist's opinion, I don't know. Tektites can look manufactured. They are not very heavy so can feel plastic. A red hot pin or paper clip can test for that. Plastic will get a burn hole, tektites will not as they are essentially glass. Another test would be a simple hardness test and a density test. Both can be done with readily available materials.