Obsidian is natural glass. It has been used for jewelry, mirrors, tools and more for centuries.
All Gemstone Information Birthstones
|Obsidian Jewelry courtesy of The Crystal Ball Inc|
Obsidian Care & Where
Obsidian is natural glass formed by volcanic lava that cooled too quickly.
It is usually black. Other colors include: brown, gray, red, blue and green.
When there are bubbles or crystal inclusions, it is often called snowflake obsidian. Some obsidian has iridescence: flashes of color.
Obsidian has a hardness rating of 5.
Obsidian jewelry is fairly fragile. Avoid sharp blows as it will crack.
Obsidian is most often found in Hawaii, Japan and Java. However, it can be found in all areas with volcanic activity. Dark pieces found in Arizona and New Mexico are called Apache Tears.
Actual Gem-related books:
- Gem Identification Made Easy: A Hands-On Guide to More Confident Buying & Selling New 2nd Edition - by Antoinette L. Matlins & Antonio C. Bonanno
This book is really great for knowing he latest gems, synthetics, treatments, and instruments. Easy to use.
- Gemstone Buying Guide: A Guide to Buying - by Renee Newman
Very nice gemstone identification book.
- Gemstones of the World - by Walter Schumann
A very well written source on gemstones with great descriptions and photographs
Books with Obsidian in their Title:
- The Obsidian Oracle - by Troy Denning
A fantasy book.
- The Curious Lore of Precious Stones - by George Frederick Kunz
The definitive book on fascinating, traditional gem lore. Very practical.
- Gemstones (Smithsonian Handbooks) - by Cally Hall, Harry Taylor (Photographer)
A field guide to gemstones. Nice pictures and good, brief, well-written descriptions of over 130 varieties of gemstones.
- Gemisphere Luminary - by Michael Katz
This is my favorite gemstone properties reference. Very newage-ish.
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Mystical Properties and Lore
Obsidian is often used for gaining clear insight into problems.
Sharp shards of obsidian were formed into arrowheads.
In ancient times, obsidian was made into mirrors.
What is the most stubborn stone?