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Guide to Obsidian: Different Types of Obsidian and Their Properties (With Photos)

Different Types of Obsidian :

It is one of the most popular igneous rocks due to its attractiveness and beneficial properties. This rock is a volcanic glass occurring naturally when the lava cools faster, preventing it from crystallizing. The fast-acting nature of this stone makes it work appropriately without limitations and boundaries. 

 Furthermore, this rock’s reflective qualities help expose weaknesses, blockages, and flaws and enhance your mental health. You can use this protective rock to shield against psychic attacks, unwanted spiritual influences, and negativity and clear your mental stress. 

 Obsidians come in different varieties and types, which individuals use to attain various effects. It’ll be essential to understand the different types of obsidians and their properties to choose the appropriate one for your needs. This article explores the different types of obsidian and their properties. 

Types of obsidian 

 Obsidians come in different types with varying colors and shapes. Experts classify these rocks as common varieties and unique forms. Let’s look at the different types of obsidian and their properties:

 1. Rainbow obsidian 

rainbow obsidian

 It’s a unique and attractive obsidian variety exhibiting a rainbow pattern. When you hit this rock with light at its surface, this rainbow pattern appears in concentric rings. Before experts discovered the fire obsidian, the rainbow obsidian was the most expensive rock with a high intense effect.

 This prized rock or material comes in various colors to allow you to choose the appropriate one suiting your needs. Experts reveal that the most striking examples of rainbow rocks are common in the Warner Mount areas. You can get these rocks for the locations for your different needs.

 Rainbow obsidian ranges from incredible pastel colors, full-facing to the barely visible sheen. The nano-rods of hedenbergite are the leading cause of this discoloration. You’ll find this mineral in the rainbow obsidian, which causes lighting hitting the stone to reflect differently, resulting in a substantial oil slick effect.

 Studies show that this rock has been the second most expensive or valuable type of obsidian for a long time. You can find this valuable rock at different locations along the West coast in the United States or Mexico. Remember to choose a high-quality one to get the best and most stunning results from the cutting or end products.

 2. Black Obsidian

Black Obsidian

 Experts commonly refer to this type of obsidian as volcanic glass. This rock comes with a proper coloration from different nanoparticles from oxidized iron that the stone traps in its structure. Despite the name black obsidian, this stone has some degree of translucent.

 Silica takes most of the black obsidian’s weight, approximately 70%. However, this obsidian lacks the crystalline structure in most quartz or microcrystalline stones, such as chalcedony. The black obsidian is well-known for its conchoidal fracture.

 The black obsidian conchoidal fracture makes the rock exhibit wave-like effects separating the flake with round patterns from the impact point when you strike it at a right angle. This feature forms the basis of an obsidian use tool.

 Black obsidians are available readily, as surveys show numerous stone deposits across the United States, especially in the Western parts. Besides numerous benefits and sophisticated features, jewelry use of this rock is limited as it co-occurs with numerous other types. 

 However, the attractiveness and proper design make it an excellent material for decorative needs. The attractiveness combined with the proper design enhances its timeless quality, making it one of the most admired Obsidian rocks suiting your different needs.

 3. Fire obsidian

Fire obsidian gemstone

 Experts reveal that this rock or stone is the most expensive and rare type of obsidian. You require high accuracy and experience to cut this stone and enjoy the proper and effective view. Cutting the stone appropriately and accurately allows you to see a wide range of bright colors while viewing it at different angles.

 These effects or properties result from the thin-film interference, similar to the rainbow obsidian effects. Nevertheless, this material has various ultra-thin layers of different magnetite, unlike the rainbow’s hedenbergite which results in different colors.

 Compared to the other varieties of rocks, fire obsidian is extremely expensive. Vendors sell this valuable obsidian per carat, unlike the others, which vendors sell per piece or pound depending on the preparations and the work you intend to use it for.

 However, to enjoy this stone’s properties and attractiveness, you need proper knowledge and accuracy when cutting it. Ensure that you choose the correct cutting angle; the cutting will determine if you create an exquisite cutting or eradicate it.

 4. Sheen Obsidian

Sheen Obsidian Gemstone

 Sheen obsidian comes in both silver and gold varieties. When looking at different types of obsidian, Sheen obsidian has the most distinctive effects, which makes the rock’s surface look more lively. The distinctive and attractive effect is similar to the Tiger Eye effect in chatoyancy.

 Sheen has various optical effects resulting from including gas bubbles within the stone. The microbubbles in the stone or rock align uniquely, creating the illusion of silver or gold shine underneath the stone’s surface.

 Experts reveal that this obsidian rock is among the top rare varieties but is readily available at various locations. The pieces on these rocks appear in a metallic shade appearance, which allows you to view them from the front under particular angles.

 Nonetheless, this stone or rock is strange or unique as the effects result from small pockets lacking obsidian properties. Thus, it would help if you cut it correctly to get an attractive appearance when using it for your different needs.

 5. Mahogany obsidian 

Mahogany obsidian

 When looking at the different types of obsidian, mahogany obsidian is another standard option. This obsidian type comes with numerous streaks and deep red-brown patterns across the material’s back surface. Mahogany obsidian comes in various ranges, allowing you to choose the one suiting your needs.

 These alternatives range from large splashes or pieces to more intense or intricate banding, depending on the sample you need for your projects. Studies reveal that this obsidian’s coloration results from the glass’s hematite during the cooling process.

 The formation of the different colors as the obsidian cools leads to the rust-color spots and bands in this rock. Sometimes individuals refer to this stone as the red obsidian due to the resulting colors as it cools. The rock comes with different features that make it suit different needs.

 You can use this stone for your decorative and jewelry needs. Furthermore, manufacturers use different internal colorations and patterns to create beautiful arrowheads and knives. This rock’s cost-effective and attractive properties make it a typical rock that suits different projects.

 6. Snowflake obsidian

Snowflake obsidian

 The snowflake obsidian is a standard variety with numerous decorative and attractive features. The rock has numerous properties and defining features in its rich background, which breaks into delicate snowflakes and white stars appearing in distinct configurations suiting your different needs.

 The snowflakes and white star appearance in this obsidian results from spheroid crystals of cristobalite forming quartz. After accurately breaking and cutting these spheroids, you’ll have different patterns on the snowflake obsidian surface.

 This rock appears in different pieces or forms, making them suitable for a wide range of uses than the other stones. Most individuals and manufacturers use this stone for cutting jewelry and ornaments. Besides most individuals using it to cut for jewelry, you can use large snowflake obsidians to make statues, bowls, and other decorative objects.

 Furthermore, this rock has a solid pattern with the same view at all angles. The stark contrast and unique appearance make it popular among most collectors seeking high-quality and attractive volcanic glasses. You can use it to achieve the best and most durable decorative and jewelry products.

 7. Pele’s hair

 It’s one of the most incredible and unique types of obsidian. Pele hairs come with different features resulting from the unique volcanic glass forms. The volcanic glass form occurs after certain forms or types of volcanic eruptions occur.

 The Pele hairs come after the silica from the volcanic activity cools, making them light enough to get airborne properties. Experts named this rock from a fiery volcanic goddess of Hawaii, a location where you can find numerous types of obsidians.

 After the volcanic activity, most hairs would gather in different places, such as the electric poles. These materials are usually prone to breakages as the materials are fragile. Thus, please don’t reach out to them and grab a handful when handling them.

 Getting Pele hair samples is usually daunting as the materials are too fragile and painful to handle. Despite these issues, Pele hair is the unique volcanic glass with sophisticated features and properties to enhance your different needs.

 8. Apache tears

Apache tears

 Besides the main types of obsidians, we’ve got the other formulation of these rocks. Apache tears are one of the common obsidian types in arid and semi-arid areas. Individuals refer to these stones as Apache tears as they come in small rounded nodules.

 The stones are common in Nevada and most Western states in the US, where volcanic activities eroded them out of the ground. Experts associate these stones with perlite due to their resemblance and similar features that enhance their attractiveness.

 Perlite is a hydrated form of silica. However, when the silica doesn’t hydrate, you’ll get numerous roundish cores of obsidians. This roundish core comes in onion-like layer displays, making them the perfect rock for collectors. 

 Apache tears are precious, which increases the collectible nature for different activities. These stones are common in Arizona, California, and Utah regions. When collecting these rocks, it’s vital to understand that you can find them in rhyolite or canyons.

 9. Obsidian needles 

Obsidian needles

 This rock is a rare obsidian deposit or formulation having elongated glass pieces. Obsidian needles have various distinctive and unique shapes wrestling from the throwing of the initial volcano. The shapes are responsible for attractiveness.

 Experts reveal that these rocks are rare in most volcano areas, as their formations require specific conditions. Specifically, obsidian needles appear as a result of natural fractures that different conditions weather down to remove the edges.

 After the collection, most vendors sell these stones online, making it easy to find these stores online. Furthermore, mature hunters can find the needles or obsidians from the volcano sites. When purchasing these obsidians, inspect them appropriately to choose ones that suit your needs or preferences.

 Besides occurring in different types, the simple back obsidian type is the standard variety in most places. When choosing the right, consider the size, as experts recommend the feet alternative to suit your decorative and attractiveness needs.

 10. Pele’s Tear 

Pele's Tear

 Many individuals confuse this rock with the Apache Tears. Despite their numerous similarities, Pele’s Tears result from an aerodynamic process on the obsidian module. These rocks occur when manufacturers throw the material from the volcano as it cools down the way. 

 Pele’s tear occurs in Hawaii, and most individuals intermix them with Pele’s hair to achieve great results. The presence of Pele’s Tears in the Pele Hair’s cavities is evidence of severe intermixes during the nanometer-sized formations.

 Researchers indicate that these two obsidian variations have the same production. However, the end products or properties largely depend on the eruption velocity and the cooling process. The process causes the different properties to form the Pele’s hair and Tears.

 You can easily find these rocks in seriously frowned islands. Studies reveal that the uniqueness and attractiveness of this stone have made it more popular among most collectors. These properties make them suitable for decorative needs.

Bottom Line 

 Obsidian is one of the attractive and decorative stones resulting from volcanic eruption activities. These stones have different variations and features to enhance your health or beauty needs. You can use the different variations or types of obsidians to create various things like jewelry, attraction bowels, and enhance your mental wellness.

 However, with the numerous variations or types available, choosing the appropriate one that suits your needs is usually daunting. Above the common varieties and types of obsidians, you can consider your different needs. Choosing the right and high-quality types increases the chances of getting the best results from the project. 

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