Rainbow Obsidian
SpiritRock Shop
Museum Specimens
Rainbow Obsidian
“The various colors of obsidian are a result of several factors. Clear varieties of obsidian contain very few opaque
impurities or microscopic mineral crystals. Red or brown obsidian generally results from tiny crystals or inclusions
of hematite or limonite (iron oxide). Abundant, microscopic crystals of minerals like magnetite, hornblende,
pyroxene, plagioclase and biotite, combined with tiny fragments of rock, likely produce the jet-black varieties of
obsidian. Microscopic crystals of various types of feldspars may yield the unique blue, green, purple or bronze
colors associated with rainbow obsidian. The reflectance of rainbow obsidian is likely attributed to a preferred
orientation of microscopic crystals of feldspar or mica oriented along flow layers.
A certain amount of water always is present in obsidian. Very small inclusions of water vapor in the form of
bubbles often are trapped in the glass. Tiny gas bubbles that have been stretched nearly flat along the flow layers
in obsidian generally cause the reflectance of gold sheen and silver sheen obsidian. Some of these bubbles are
visible to the naked eye. The bubbles can be seen readily with a strong magnifying glass or a microscope.
Obsidian is relatively unstable from a geologic perspective. It is rare to find obsidian older than about 20 million
years, which is very youthful in comparison to most continental rocks that form the Earth's crust. Over a long
period of time, obsidian gradually changes from glass to rock in a process known as "devitrification." In this
process, the silica molecules within the glass slowly rearrange into organized crystal patterns. The "snowflakes" in
snowflake obsidian are quartz crystals that have formed through devitrification of the original obsidian. The
crystals that develop through devitrification cause obsidian to lose its conchoidal fracture and glassy texture.”

information source courtesy of...http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/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. Quality Rainbow Obsidian is in high
demand for making jewelery and artistic carvings and displays.

Obsidian can be found in locations which have experienced rhyolitic eruptions. It can be found in Argentina,
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Australia, Canada, Chile, Georgia, Greece, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iceland, Italy, Japan,
Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Scotland, Turkey and the United States. Obsidian flows
which may be hiked on are found within the calderas of Newberry Volcano and Medicine Lake Volcano in the
Cascade Range of western North America, and at Inyo Craters east of the Sierra Nevada in California.
Yellowstone National Park has a mountainside containing obsidian located between Mammoth Hot Springs and the
Norris Geyser Basin, and deposits can be found in many other western U.S. states including Arizona, Colorado,
New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Obsidian can also be found in the eastern U.S. states
of Virginia, as well as Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
Click on any photo to see a larger version
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Item # OBSR12180697
XXL Grade AA Polished
Rainbow Obsidian Heart
Display Specimen

$165.00
XXL Grade AA Polished Rainbow Obsidian Heart Display
(photographed dry in its natural state)
This specimen weighs 33.4 oz or 2.09 pounds (949g)
and measures 6.2 x 4.7 x 1.6 inches (15.8 x 12 x 4.2cm)

This piece has outstanding sheen and impressive natural sunlight viewing! (sheen seen at correct viewing
angle determines cutting or polishing angles) This is one of the largest Rainbow Obsidian hearts we have
run across. This piece has brilliant color displays of purple, blue, bronze and light green. We procured it in
Fallon Nevada in 1998. It was hand carved and polished by Wally Marks at the Highway 50 & 95 Rock
Shop . Photos were taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Be very Careful handling rough Obsidian. It is one of the sharpest known glass
like substances in the world!
Item # OBSR12180157
Rare Grade AA Polished
Rainbow Obsidian Flower
Display Specimen

$150.00
Rare Grade AA Polished Rainbow Obsidian Flower Display
(photographed dry in its natural state)
This specimen weighs 5.26 oz or 0.33 pounds (149g)
and measures 3.8 x 2.3 x 0.84 inches (9.7 x 6 x 2.1cm)

This rare piece has an impressive natural sunlight appearance! (sheen seen at correct viewing angle
determines cutting or polishing angles) This is one of the prettiest obsidian carvings we have found.
This piece has brilliant color displays of purple, blue, bronze and shades of  green. We procured it in
Fallon Nevada in 1998 from Wally Marks at the Highway 50 & 95 Rock Shop. It is from Jalisco, Mexico.
Photos were taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Item # OBSR12180113
Polished Rainbow Obsidian
Heart Display Specimen

$59.00
Polished Rainbow Obsidian Heart Display
(photographed dry in its natural state)
This specimen weighs 5.5 oz or 0.34 pounds (157g)
and measures 3.2 x 2.9 x 0.93 inches (8.3 x 7.3 x 2.3cm)

This rare piece has an impressive natural sunlight appearance! (sheen seen at correct viewing angle
determines cutting or polishing angles) This is a beautiful obsidian carving. This piece has brilliant
color displays of blue, bronze, gold and shades of  green. We procured it in Fallon Nevada in 1998
from Wally Marks at the Highway 50 & 95 Rock Shop. It iwas cut and polished in his workshop. Photos
were taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Item # OBSV12182542
Very Rare Polished Velvet
Obsidian Display Specimen

$49.00
Very Rare Polished Velvet Obsidian Display Specimen
(photographed dry in its natural state)
This specimen weighs 2.28 oz or 0.14 pounds (65g)
and measures 1.8 x 1 x 2 inches (4.6 x 2.6 x 5.2cm)

This very rare piece has a stunning natural sunlight appearance! (sheen seen at correct viewing angle
determines cutting or polishing angles) This is a beautiful obsidian polished dome. This piece has
unique color pattern of blue, bronze, gold and shades of  green. This variety is one of the most sought
after by jewelry makers. This piece will make a stunning jewelry stone. Photos were taken outdoors in
natural sunlight.
Item # OBSR12180121
Natural Rainbow Obsidian
Rough End Cut Slab

$29.00
Natural Rainbow Obsidian Rough End Cut Slab
(photographed dry in its natural state)
This specimen weighs 11.7 oz or 0.73 pounds (332g)
and measures 4.7 x 2.8 x 0.9 inches (12.1 x 7.2 x 2.29cm)

This piece has an impressive natural sunlight appearance! (sheen seen at correct viewing angle
determines cutting or polishing angles) This is a beautiful obsidian carving. This piece has brilliant
color displays of blue, bronze, purple and shades of  green. Photos were taken outdoors in natural
sunlight.
Item # OBSSW12180131
Natural Spiderweb Obsidian
Rough End Cut Slab

$29.00
Natural Spiderweb Obsidian Rough End Cut Slab
(photographed dry in its natural state)
This specimen weighs 10.5 oz or 0.66 pounds (299g)
and measures 3.8 x 2.5 x 1.2 inches (9.8 x 6.5 x 3cm)

This rare piece has an interesting spiderweb appearance! This is black obsidian with inclusion lines
giving the "spiderweb" look. This is very popular as a lapidary stock for making jewelry cabochons.
Photos were taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Item # OBSRF12181034
7.99 lb Natural Rainbow
Obsidian Rough Nodule from
the Warner Mountains

$91.88
Natural Rainbow Obsidian rough nodule
(photographed dry in its natural state)
This specimen weighs 127 oz or 7.99 pounds (3.62kg)
and measures 8 x 6 x 4.4 inches (20.3 x 15.3 x 11.3cm)

This a rainbow obsidian rough nodule  It is from the Warner Mountains located within a few miles of US
Hwy 395 in northeast California. It has an impressive natural sunlight appearance! (sheen seen at
correct viewing angle determines cutting or polishing angles) This is one of the prettiest obsidian
varieties. This piece has brilliant color displays of purple, blue, bronze and shades of  green. Photos
were taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Item # OBSRF12182744
8.31 lb Natural Rainbow
Obsidian Rough Nodule from
the Warner Mountains

$95.56
Natural Rainbow Obsidian rough nodule
(photographed dry in its natural state)
This specimen weighs 133 oz or 8.31 pounds (3.77kg)
and measures 9.3 x 5 x 4.1 inches (23.6 x 12.7 x 10.5cm)

This a rainbow obsidian rough nodule  It is from the Warner Mountains located within a few miles of US
Hwy 395 in northeast California. It has an impressive natural sunlight appearance! (sheen seen at
correct viewing angle determines cutting or polishing angles) This is one of the prettiest obsidian
varieties. This piece has brilliant color displays of purple, blue, bronze and shades of  green. Photos
were taken outdoors in natural sunlight.