Obsidian is often overlooked by jewelry shoppers, but this stone has the potential to feature in some of your most intriguing accessories. Although not as flashy as diamonds, emeralds or rubies, obsidian has an unparalleled lustrous glamour and comes in a surprising variety of colors and patterns.
Understanding obsidian, as well as how to buy and wear it, is the first step toward making this beautiful, natural stone the highlight of your wardrobe.
What Is Obsidian?
Obsidian is not a gem, though it shines like one. It is actually a glass that forms when certain types of lava cool quickly, usually after exposure to water.
The lava must be high in silica, a primary ingredient in manufactured glass, which halts crystallization and produces obsidian.
Like other glasses, this stone is brittle and breaks into sharp edges, making it valuable in prehistoric cultures as one of the first sources of spears and arrowheads.
Today, it is even used as a surgical scalpel because it is so much sharper than steel.
Obsidian is a combination of many different minerals, and what compounds are present within the lava will determine the obsidian’s eventual appearance and texture.
Snowflake obsidian occurs when crystallization is not entirely inhibited during the cooling process. The crystals form into delicate white splotches that resemble snowflakes.
Rainbow obsidian shows beautiful rings of colors, sometimes the full spectrum, which are the result of a natural chemical process as the silica interacts with certain minerals.
Sheen obsidian is created when lava is exposed to water and vaporizes it, creating minuscule pockets of air within the obsidian. These bubbles reflect gold and silver, making the stone look like an extraordinary sea of stars.
Common Obsidian Cuts and Jewelry
Because obsidian is so brittle, it must be treated with extra care while designing jewelry.
Any edges are prone to breaking and flaking, which means rounded and polished surfaces are most common in obsidian jewelry.
Pendants surrounded in gold and silver provide a stark contrast in complementary colors, and obsidian may also be set with other gems.
Blue turquoise, red rubies and white pearls are particularly effective companions to obsidian.
For a sharper look, small arrowheads can even be safely worn as a necklace.
Obsidian is a subtle stone, making it perfect as an accessory with flashy outfits or other more eye-catching jewelry.
Obsidian is associated with honesty and spirituality. Wear it on days when you need inner strength and peace, or if you simply want to make a quiet statement for more observant individuals.
Be careful with your obsidian jewelry, however, as it is prone to scratches and can shatter if dropped.
With the right precautions, you will be able to preserve your obsidian for decades. After all, archaeologists have uncovered ancient arrowheads that are over 60,000 years old.
Where to Buy Obsidian Jewelry?
If you are looking to buy obsidian jewelry, we recommend that you check out the vast selection of obsidian pieces available at Amazon.
Looking to Sell Your Jewelry?
To sell diamond jewelry or watches, go to WP Diamonds and fill out the valuation form to get an estimated price.
If you have gold, silver or platinum to sell, check out the Ross-Simons Gold Exchange.