Obsidian is an igneous rock that forms above the Earth's surface when molten rock cools very quickly. The result is a volcanic glass with a smooth, uniform texture. Obsidian can be found where lava comes into contact with water and around the edges of a volcanic dome or lava flow. Obsidian is a birthstone for Sagittarians.
Obsidian is usually black but can also be green, brown, or beige. When obsidian contains inclusions or other elements, it can be orange, yellow, blue and red. Sometimes two colors are swirled together- the most common color combination is black and brown, which is known as "mahogany obsidian."" Black obsidian mixed with white obsidian is known as ""snowflake obsidian."""
Obsidian can also have an iridescent or metallic sheen, caused by light reflecting from minute inclusions of mineral crystals, rock debris, or gas within the stones. These rare colored specimens are known as "rainbow obsidian,"" ""golden obsidian,"" or ""silver obsidian,"" depending upon the color of the iridescence. These beautiful stones are highly desirable for use in jewelry."
Obsidian is found in many locations worldwide where there has been recent volcanic activity. It is rare to find obsidian that is extremely old, as it is destroyed quickly by the weather. Obsidian deposits are found in New Zealand, the US, Peru, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Guatemala, Iceland, Russia, and Italy. Most obsidian used in the jewelry trade is produced in the United States.
Obsidian is quite a fragile stone, rating a 5.5 on Moh's hardness scale. It can be easily chipped or broken on impact. For this reason, it is mostly used in pieces that do not run the risk of coming into contact with anything, for example brooches, earrings and pendants. Because of its lack of hardness, artists have been carving obsidian for thousands of years, making sculptures and masks, among other things.
Obsidian is known to have excellent healing properties. It is known as a stone of protection, and shields the wearer from negativity. Obsidian rids the wearer of resentments they have been holding onto, along with anger and fear, allowing one to feel free, present and calm.