Obsidian, an extrusive igneous rock with high silica content, is a naturally occurring volcanic glass which is formed due to rapid cooling of viscous lava. It has a chemical composition similar to Rhyolite, another volcanic rock, but is relatively low in water. It is named after Obsius, a Roman explorer who supposedly first discovered the stone or a resembling stone in Ethiopia. It can be found in the locations which have experienced volcanic activities of rhyolitic eruptions, including Armenia, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Chile, Canada, Greece, Georgia, Guatemala, Italy, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, Kenya, Turkey, New Zealand, Peru, Scotland, and the United States.
Pure Obsidian is typically black in color, although it may occur in varying colors, depending upon the trace elements or inclusions present in the rock. It may occur in colors like red and brown, with lesser known varieties like gray, green, or yellow and a few samples could be nearly colorless. Since Obsidian is a volcanic glass, it has a vitreous luster but can range from being translucent to opaque in diaphaneity. It can also be found in four other variations, known as ‘Mahogany’, ‘Snowflake’, ‘Sheen,’ and ‘Rainbow’ Obsidian.
Obsidian has been used since antiquity for both metaphysical and practical purposes. Metaphysically, it is believed to be a powerful stone, capable of counteracting all sorts of negative energies. Additionally, it is also reckoned to have balancing and grounding qualities. Its first practical implementation dates back to the Stone Age, when our ancestors noticed that Obsidian has a smooth, uniform structure which tends to fracture with very sharp edges. This is one of the characteristics which made it popular for use in primitive weapons and tools. Later, it was used for mirrors and ornamental purposes in various civilizations.
Obsidian is a beautiful gemstone with natural dark color and glossy effect, fit for both men and women of any age. These, when cut and polished into cabochons, beads, other fancier shapes, or tumbled stones can help create some high-fashion dramatic pieces of vintage, gothic, eclectic, modern, and edgy designs. Browse through our collection to find various shapes and sizes of Obsidian beads and complement its dark color with silver findings to achieve a bold contrast.