Great patterns in this lovely variety of firecracker/snowflake obsidian! I hand cut this teardrop shaped focal bead which measures 36x21mm and is 11mm thick with a 2mm side drill hole. It has a satiny, matte finish. The rough material is from Mexico.
Chain not included. See the rest of my listings in my DVHdesigns Etsy shop for more focal beads, custom cut cabochons, cold worked glass, genuine jet mourning beads, sterling chains just for beads, and more! Also, feel free check out my DVHdesigns website where you can see what I'm up to in the studio, as well as learn more about me, my work, and my upcoming show-lecture schedule.
Here's some info I snagged off the internet on Obsidian in general and specifics about how the snowflakes and colored patters in obsidian form, along with the metaphysical info at the end.... "Obsidian is a naturally occurring glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools without crystal growth. Obsidian is commonly found within the margins of rhyolitic lava flows known as obsidian flows, where the chemical composition (high silica content) induces a high viscosity and polymerisation degree of the lava. The inhibition of atomic diffusion through this highly viscous and polymerized lava explains the lack of crystal growth. Because of the lack of crystal structure, obsidian blade edges can reach almost molecular thinness, leading to its ancient use as projectile points, and its modern use as surgical scalpel blades."
"Obsidian is mineral-like, but not a true mineral because as a glass it is not crystalline; in addition, its composition is too complex to comprise a single mineral. It is sometimes classified as a mineraloid. Though obsidian is dark in color similar to mafic rocks such as basalt, obsidian's composition is extremely felsic. Obsidian consists mainly of SiO2 (silicon dioxide), usually 70% or more.....Pure obsidian is usually dark in appearance, though the color varies depending on the presence of impurities. Iron and magnesium typically give the obsidian a dark green to brown to black color. A very few samples are nearly colorless. In some stones, the inclusion of small, white, radially clustered crystals of cristobalite in the black glass produce a blotchy or snowflake pattern (snowflake obsidian). It may contain patterns of gas bubbles remaining from the lava flow, aligned along layers created as the molten rock was flowing before being cooled. These bubbles can produce interesting effects such as a golden sheen (sheen obsidian) or a rainbow sheen (rainbow obsidian)."
"Obsidian was valued in Stone Age cultures because, like flint, it could be fractured to produce sharp blades or arrowheads. Like all glass and some other types of naturally occurring rocks, obsidian breaks with a characteristic conchoidal fracture. It was also polished to create early mirrors."
"Pre-Columbian Mesoamericans' use of obsidian was extensive and sophisticated, including carved and worked obsidian for tools and decorative objects. Mesoamericans also made a type of sword with obsidian blades mounted in a wooden body. Called a macuahuitl, the weapon was capable of inflicting terrible injuries, combining the sharp cutting edge of an obsidian blade with the ragged cut of a serrated weapon. Lithic analysis can be instrumental in understanding prehispanic groups in Mesoamerica. A careful analysis of obsidian in a culture or place can be of considerable use to reconstruct commerce, production, distribution and thereby understand economic, social and political aspects of a civilization. This is the case in Yaxchilán, a maya city where even warfare implications have been studied linked with obsidian use and its debris. Another example is the archeological recovery at coastal Chumash sites in California indicating considerable trade with the distant site of Casa Diablo in the Sierra Mountains."
"Native American people traded obsidian throughout North America. Each volcano and in some cases each volcanic eruption produces a distinguishable type of obsidian, making it possible for archaeologists to trace the origins of a particular artifact. Similar tracing techniques have allowed obsidian to be identified in Greece also as coming from either Melos, Nisyros or Yiali, islands in the Aegean Sea. Obsidian cores and blades were traded great distances inland from the coast."
...and this metaphysical information came from other web resources, "Obsidian is a very protective stone, and is excellent for removing negativity. It is also excellent protection against psychic attacks. In particular obsidian protects the gentle from abuse. It is a very grounding stone, and very healing. Physically it benefits the stomach, intestines, muscle tissue, and can rid one of bacterial or viral infections. It sharpens and focuses internal and external vision, and helps get in touch with buried issues before they explode. Obsidian is related to the root chakra."
"Snowflake obsidian has the property of bringing things to the surface. The things brought to the surface could be positive or negative, love, anger, secrets; but with snowflake obsidian, these things are brought to the surface more gently that they might be otherwise. Snowflake obsidian can provide balance during times of change. It aids in seeing patterns in life and recreating them in a more beneficial way. It is a stone of serenity and purity, and can shield against negativity. It is associated with the root chakra and is beneficial for the veins, skeleton, and smooth skin. Snowflake obsidian gives protection from physical and emotional harm."