This past spring I found something very unusual at our local
gem and mineral show. Among the shimmering collection of
crystals and elegant gemstone beads were strings of black
glossy nuggets that at first glance appeared to be obsidian
or volcanic glass. However the feel of these nuggets was
distinctly different than obsidian. It was intensely
powerful and very energetic. The nuggets were tektites, a
glass formed from the impact of comets or asteroids with the
The latest research shows that tektites are formed from
earthly material ejected into space when an impact occurs.
The molten material solidifies at least partially in space
and then falls earthward again, giving the glassy tektites
strange, often drop-like, shapes.
Tektites have a much finer texture that obsidian with almost
no air bubbles and no mineral inclusions and a much lower
water and gas content, because they are formed primarily in
a space environment, not the burning heart of a volcano.
Tektite glass melts at a much higher temperature than
volcanic glass and is much more viscous.
Tektites are actually quite rare and are not evenly
distributed across the earth, but are found only in
well-defined “strewfields.” Probably the most well-known
tektite is Moldavite. It comes from Eastern Europe’s
Moldavite Strewfield, which is divided into two separate
areas, each producing tektites of different colors and
textures. The clear, green, deeply grooved Moldavites have
been prized as gemstones for centuries. The green gem
Moldavites have sometimes been called “Sky Emeralds.”
tektites that I purchased are from the vast Australasian
Strewfield. It encompasses Southeast Asia, southern China,
and parts of western Australia. It stretches from the Indian
Ocean in the west to the Philippines in the east. Almost
one-tenth of the Earth’s surface is considered part of this
enormous field. These tektites tend to be dark and
obsidian-like in appearance.
There are two North American areas, one in the Southeast
called the Georgia Strewfield, producing beautiful tektites
that are a translucent green, and another in Texas,
producing a dark, deeply grooved tektite.
The last known strewfield is in Africa’s Ivory Coast, and it
extends out into the Atlantic Ocean. These rare tektites are
hard to find in the heavily forested terrain. They are dark
in color and tend to have an egg or spherical shape.
Tektites have been valued by humankind since ancient times.
Early man took advantage of the strong glass to make flaked
tools, and tektites have been found at numerous archeology
sites where they were used as protective talismans and in
I find these glossy little tektites very compelling, an
unusual blend of Earth and the vastness of space. Like
meteorites, they are a reminder that the Universe is very
active, that things change, that creation/destruction are
part of an ongoing cosmic dance. Each one has a strong
individual presence and a deep connection to space and time.
I intend to include tektites in necklaces, amulets, and
medicine pouches. I hope that you will enjoy these new and
very unusual creations.
You can reach Northwind Visions by e-mail,
phone, or snail-mail.
Telephone: (575) 546-2823
Postal address: PO Box 481, Deming, NM
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