Updated 10 January 2014
Tektites have the appearance of volcanic glass (obsidian) but differ in composition and structure. Most meteoriticists today agree that tektites result from meteorite impacts. Typically small, they vary in color from pale golden-yellow to black, the color dependent on the chemicals and minerals in the terrestrial material which was melted and ejected into the upper atmosphere. As the material cooled on the return to earth, strange and wonderful shapes formed and solidified. Hence, the name tektite which derives from the Greek work "tektos" meaning molten. These glassy droplets are essentially silica glass containing miniscule particles of meteoritic material.
Tektites are an enigma of the meteoritic world. Though it is generally agreed today that they result from meteorite impacts, the question remains why did some meteorite impacts create tektites while others did not. The singular positive correlation of a tektite with a specific meteorite impact is the Moldavite material from Czechoslovakia and the Reis crater in southern Germany. Currently, there is some evidence that the Georgaites and Bediasites may have originated from the Chesapeake Bay impact site.
LIBYAN DESERT GLASS
First found about 1933, this beautiful light green glass is composed of nearly pure silica. Even though the material was considered a probable tektite from the initial find, it was not until the late 1990s that the French Centre des Faibles Radioactivites Laboratoire resolved the question and confirmed that Libyan Desert Glass resulted from a meteoritic impact origin. The formation of this glass has been estimated at 25-30,000 years ago. The glass comes from one of the most inhospitable areas of the world - the vast Great Sand Sea of Libya and Egypt. However, it is in the western and southwestern portions of the Egyptian desert where the glass is mostly found. Some shards have been recovered with irrefutable evidence of being "worked" by man. There have been several pieces recovered shaped as scrapers and other tools.
Two kinds of material are available: clear (and semi-clear) and milky. Both kinds can contain small spheres of quartz (cristobalite). It is the clearer glass with and without cristobalite that is considered the premium material; therefore, very clear pieces with cristobalite are the most difficult (and expensive) to obtain. We offer a wide selection of different types and weights, both with and without cristobalite.