Of all Moldavites the Besednice (pronounced bes ed net sa) “Hedgehog” (also known as a “hog”) is the most sought after. No other locality comes close to the deep sculpturing of these beautiful, delicate girls. Some are wafer thin – so delicate you can not believe they have been dug from their soil and sand home and have survived 14.5 million years intact!
The deeply and intricately sculptured hogs come from one location and one location only, Besednice. Once you have seen a true hedgehog you will never be deceived by a fake. Other sources within sight of this tiny area lack this incredible detail. This pattern also holds vertically: even within this special locality, specimens from the top 3 meters or so are not this ornate. At about 4 meters, the water table is encountered, and large volumes of water flooding the pits makes further digging very challenging. It is at this level that the classic Besednice’s were found.
The clay pits at Besednice, Czech Republic, were closed for nine years until 2004/2005 when a mechanised operation started to clean out the remaining hedgehogs – many were broken during this heavy handed process as dirt was dumped on a belt that allowed the sand to fall through. The small stones and remaining sand was then washed off and the hedgehogs picked out by hand. The mining operation was closed as Moldavite hunters burrowing beneath the 10-foot banks were encroaching on protected forestland (and were getting themselves killed). Folks that were providing a supplemental income for their families by digging these fine gems are now selling their “keepers”. When they’re gone, they’re gone. Recent photos from Besednice show the old mined area behind broken fences and with brush and scrub starting to regenerate – a sad sight considering how much wealth has been taken from the land.
The opportunity to purchase a true Besednice hedgehog of high quality is rare – we have a very small number available from private collections and we don’t anticipate being able to get more. I understand that the owner of the now closed mine won’t even sell any of his private collection – he can see the value increasing and so can we. These are truly a freak of nature unlikely to be repeated in any other location in the Czech Republic. Each hedgehog that is purchased will take pride of place in anyone’s collection and may never be offered on the market again. I cannot emphasis strongly enough that these gems will disappear from the market forever, the only opportunity you will have to marvel at them is in museums and you’ll probably need to fly to the Czech Republic to see them there!