“Apache tears”, the other name given to obsidian is a natural volcanic glass which is formed by swift cooling of the glutinous lava inside the earth. This is made of rich silica without a trace of water. The making process of obsidian is the same as that of granite. However, it cools down so quickly that there is exactly no time to crystallize. Their luster looks amazingly glassy. They are jet-black in color, yet as hematite is present, the color varies from red to brown, green, gray, sometimes with snowflakes and at times very clear. It is said to be most challenging crystal and is very hard to identify the properties. At times the presence of the gas bubbles brings a golden or rainbow sheen to the stone which makes it really attractive.
Obsidian, the volcanic glass was discovered in Ethiopia by Obsius and so the name “obsidian” after him. This is a very old stone and was used to make knives and was used as a barter material and later was adopted to make jewelry. It has been found out that Obsidian has been used for tools making since thousands of years. In 1967, obsidian shards were found by archeologists, which had a carbon dating of 21,000 B.C. They were also believed to be used as sacrificial knives. People still believe that wearing obsidian gives a clear insight into problems and a way to solve them. These stones are pretty fragile and are susceptible to break easily, so one must be careful in using one. Obsidians are used in jewels like large pendants, beaded necklaces and bracelets. They however don’t look good as earrings or chocker sets.
This stone resembles smoky quartz and is often mistaken to be one. It is found in places like Mount Hekla in Iceland, Yellowstone National park in Wyoming- US, and the Eolie Islands off Coast in Italy. It is also found from lava deposits in Hawaii, Java, Japan, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Idaho and Utah.