Snowflake Obsidian
SpiritRock Shop
Museum Specimens

Obsidian
Obsidian is a rock which is a type of naturally occurring glass, produced by volcanoes (igneous origin) when a
felsic lava cools rapidly and freezes without sufficient time for crystal growth. It is commonly found within the
margins of felsic lava flows, where cooling is more rapid. Because of the lack of crystal structure, obsidian blade
edges can reach almost molecular thinness, leading to its ancient use as arrowheads and its modern use as
surgical scalpel blades.
While a rock like basalt is dark because of ferromagnesian enrichment, obsidian consists mainly of silicon dioxide,
usually 70% or more. Obsidian is mineral-like, but not a true mineral because it is not crystalline. Its composition is
very similar to that of granite and rhyolite. It is sometimes classified as a
Mineraloid because obsidian is
metastable at the earth's surface (over time the glass becomes fine-grained mineral crystals). The breakdown of
obsidian is accelerated by the presence of water. Tektites were once thought by many to be obsidian produced by
lunar volcanic eruptions, though few scientists now agree with this theory.

While pure obsidian is always dark in appearance, the color varies depending on the presence of impurities. Iron
and magnesium typically give the obsidian a dark green to brown to black color. In some stones, the inclusion of
small, white, radially clustered crystals of
Cristobalite in the black glass develop a blotchy or snowflake pattern
producing what is known as


Snowflake Obsidian













Obsidian is relatively soft with a typical hardness rating of 5 to 5.5.  Obsidian, unlike crystals, has no regular
structure and therefore fractures in smooth conchoidal (curved) shapes. The intersections of these fractures can
form edges sharper than the finest steel blades. For this reason, obsidian was used by many native cultures to
make arrowheads and blades.
The Nevada, Utah and California area, referred to as the Great Basin, is an ideal location to find
Obsidian. There are a myriad of colors, patterns and mixes of Obsidians, making them a very
desirable collector item.
Item # OBS12141131
1 Face Cut and Polished Snowflake
Obsidian

$35.00
Snowflake Obsidian 1 Face Polished from
Utah
(photographed dry in its natural state)
weighs 10.9 oz or 0.68 pounds (311g )
measures 3.1 x 2.4 x 1.6" (79 x 62 x 42 mm)
Click on any photo to see a larger version
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Snowflake Obsidian is a black obsidian with white spots (spherulites) of radiating needle-shaped
cristobalite (high-temperature quartz) crystals.

Below are some pieces from some of our trips to Utah.

Nice Snowflake Obsidian is getting hard to find.....
It is from the Black Rock Desert in western Utah where it was geologically deposited
approximately 2.5 million years ago (the late Tertiary Period), during volcanic eruptions in the
Black Spring area of the Black Rock Desert area in western Utah.
Item # SO06104381
1 Face Cut and Polished Snowflake Obsidian

$35.00
Item # SO06105381
1 Face Cut and Polished Snowflake Obsidian

$35.00
Item # 7OBS0913U002
4.26 lb Rough Snowflake Obsidian

$34.00
Utah specimen weighs 68.2 oz or 4.26 lb (1933g)
and measures 5.8 x 4.2 x 3.8 inches (14.9 x 10.8 x 9.8cm)

Photographed dry in outdoor sunlight/shade with a Nikon CoolPix L1
Item # SO0610300B6
582g Rough Snowflake Obsidian

$11.95
Utah specimen weighs 1 lb 4.5oz (582g)
and measures 3.9 x 2.8 x 2.4 inches (101 x 72 x 61mm)
Item # SO0610300B2
844g Rough Snowflake Obsidian

$16.95
Utah specimen weighs 1 lb 13.8oz (844g)
and measures 3.6 x 2.9 x 3.3 inches (92 x 73 x 83mm)
Item # SO0610300B4
242g Rough Snowflake Obsidian

$7.95
Utah specimen weighs 8.5oz (242g)
and measures 3.3 x 2.6 x 1.7 inches (83 x 66 x 42mm)
Item # SO0610300B3
116g Rough Snowflake Obsidian

$5.95
Utah specimen weighs 4.1oz (116g)
and measures 2.5 x 1.9 x 1.2 inches (62 x 50 x 31mm)
Utah Cut and Polished
specimen weighs
0.73 lb (332g)
and measures
3.1 x 2.3 x 2 inches
(79 x 57 x 51mm)
Utah Cut and Polished specimen weighs
0.76 lb (346g)

and measures 4.3 x 2 x 1.9 inches
(109 x 50 x 48mm)
Cut and
Polished
Face!
Cut and
Polished
Face!
Item # 8OBS0913U003
3.51 lb Rough Snowflake Obsidian

$28.00
Utah specimen weighs 56.2 oz or 3.51 lb (1594g)
and measures 5.9 x 4.4 x 2.7 inches (15.1 x 11.1 x 7cm)

Photographed dry in outdoor sunlight/shade with a Nikon CoolPix L1
Item # 9OBS0913U004
2.01 lb Rough Snowflake Obsidian

$19.00
Utah specimen weighs 32.3 oz or 2.01 lb (916g)
and measures 4.5 x 3.2 x 2.9 inches (11.5 x 8.2 x 7.3cm)

Photographed dry in outdoor sunlight/shade with a Nikon CoolPix L1
It has a good polish and cuts easily. As with all rocks from nature, there
are fracture lines either visible or invisible. Grey/white are the colors of
these distinct Cristobalite snowflakes on display against the backdrop of
midnight black obsidian

weighs 10.9 oz or 0.68 lb (310g)
and measures 3.2 x 2.6 x 1.7 inches (8.1 x 6.7 x 4.4 cm)

Photographed dry in outdoor sunlight/shade with a Nikon CoolPix L1
Item # 34SOBPN08151002
Polished Free Form
Snowflake "Firecracker"
Obsidian Nodule

$39.00
Very beautiful polished nodule specimen of Firecracker/Fireworks
Obsidian
Photographed dry in outdoor sunlight/shade with a Nikon CoolPix L1.
Fireworks Obsidian is from Mexico. It has a good polish and cuts easily
but is not suitable for knapping. As with all rocks from nature, there are
fracture lines either visible or invisible. Light pink and grey are the colors
of these distinct exploding bursts on display against the backdrop of
midnight black obsidian. Some portions of Fireworks Obsidian may be
porous. It is not as smooth a surface as normal snowflake obsidian

weighs 10.5 oz or 0.65 lb (297g) and measures 3.2 x 2.6 x 1.7
inches (8.1 x 6.6 x 4.4 cm)
Item # 33SOBPN08152002
Polished Free Form Snowflake
Obsidian Nodule

$34.00
It has a good polish and cuts easily. As with all rocks from nature, there
are fracture lines either visible or invisible. Grey/white are the colors of
these distinct Cristobalite snowflakes on display against the backdrop of
midnight black obsidian

weighs 9.7 oz or 0.6 lb (276g)
and measures 3.3 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches (8.4 x 6.5 x 3.8 cm)

Photographed dry in outdoor sunlight/shade with a Nikon CoolPix L1
Item # 32SOBPN08153002
Polished Free Form Snowflake
Obsidian Nodule

$34.00
It has a good polish and cuts easily. As with all rocks from nature, there
are fracture lines either visible or invisible. Grey/white are the colors of
these distinct Cristobalite snowflakes on display against the backdrop of
midnight black obsidian

weighs 9.9 oz or 0.62 lb (282g)
and measures 3.1 x 2.5 x 1.7 inches (7.9 x 6.4 x 4.4 cm)

Photographed dry in outdoor sunlight/shade with a Nikon CoolPix L1
Item # 31SOBPN08154002
Polished Free Form Snowflake
Obsidian Nodule

$34.00