Refractive Index: 1.48-1.51
Specific Gravity: 2.35
Origination: South America, Japan, Mexico, Afghanistan and the United States.
Care & Cleaning: Since obsidian is technically a natural form of glass, it can be easily scratched and chipped. This makes obsidian more suitable for pendants and earrings than for bracelets and rings. To clean, rub lightly with a soft polishing cloth or use a plain water rinse.
Fiction, Facts & Folklore:
Obsidian is formed as lava from volcanic eruptions cool in the earth.
Its common color is black, but it can be seen in a number of shades of gray, brown and deep blue are also seen. This is why nearly all obsidian seen at retail is heat treated to display its’ colors.
A most recent find that shows various colors of teal, mint and sky blue has surfaced in the mountainous region of Afghanistan.
Multi-colored “rainbow obsidian” was first found in Mexico in 1992.
An unusual banded variety of obsidian can be found on the San Carlos Indian Reservation in Arizona. This gem is known as “the tears of the great Apache”.
Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Washington State and even Hawaii are all domestic sources for obsidian.
The Mount Saint Helens stone is sometimes classified as an obsidian, but this product is actually man made. By-products from the Mount Saint Helens eruption are reportedly used in the creation of this simulated stone.
The composition of obsidian is quite similar to that of moldavite.
In early times, men used obsidian as the sharp tip of an arrow or spear in creating objects of hunting or war.