A matte finished, rectangle shaped cabochon made out of Chinese Writing Rock, also known as Calligraphy Stone. Sometimes the feldspar crystals in this black granite make actual symbols or simple words as in this case with the Greek letter Pi! I like to leave this material with a soft, satiny matte finish. It has a wonderful feel to it and the grain of the stone doesn't take a super high polish anyway. I think not trying to polish it enhances the pattern and the tactile nature of the stone.
Most of this material I cut is from an old source in Northern California that I heard was uncovered years ago when they were constructing I-80. Rockhounds swooped in and recovered what they could before it all got paved over. I don't know of any actual collecting sites in the US which are still producing any kind of quantity of rough. Some random specimens are found throughout the NorthWest, and I have a few chunks of Australian rough as well that I was just able to get in Tucson in February of 2011. Nice off-white to greenish, phenocrysts of orthoclase feldspar on a background of finer grained greenish-dark gray granite. The phenocysts are what make up the "Calligraphy" although they can form in all sorts of patterns. Technically this stone is called a "porphyritic granite" and variations of this granite are found all over the world. A really stunning and unusual stone much loved for the random beauty and stark contrast of the patterning
New Age Gemstone expert Melody says in her book "Love Is In the Earth" that Chinese Writing rock "is an excellent stone for dreaming, assiting one in dream states..." and "It is a stone for re-affirmation, re-alignment, and re-commitment."