Rainbow Obsidian from Jalisco, Mexico
Rainbow Obsidian from Jalisco
Some of the pretiest Rainbow Obsidian cames from the state of Jalisco in Mexico hosts the fourth-largest obsidian deposits in the world. In pre-Hispanic times, obsidian was perhaps as valuable as oil is today because from it could be made into knives, scrapers and arrowheads, as well as jewelry and mirrors. Because obsidian was so abundant in western Mexico, a typical mine was nothing more than a hole or trench no deeper than a meter or two open to the sky.
One of the most famous currently working mines in Jalisco is the La Revoltosa Mine, San Andreas, Municipio de Magdalena, Jalisco, Mexico. It is an obsidian claim (mine) producing different kinds of obsidian. The mine is located about 15 km east of the village of San Andreas on Mount San Andreas which is the tallest mountain in the area. It is about 2 kilometers from the border of Nayarit province. It is located at an elevation of about 2000 Meters in a pine forest. The mine produces pure black obsidian and a variety of rainbow colored obsidians. The workings are open cast and blocks of many hundreds of kilograms are found. Some of the very best rainbow colored obsidian is found here as well as gold sheen obsidian.
This mine has produced much of the fine Mexican rainbow obsidian that has come to the market place during the last five to ten years. Dr. George Rossman of Caltech has determined that the coloring in the rainbow obsidian is a result of tiny oriented crystals of hedenbergite. Information is from Alfredo Banos, claim holder of the La Revoltosa mine and Rock Currier (2012)
We are pleased to offer a selection of different types of Obsidian, many of which are beautifully carved by talented lapidary stone carvers in Mexico. Please remember that these will appear to be black under low light or at certain angles. Their colors and sheen will become visible under strong light when viewed from the correct angle.
The various colors of rainbow 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.
Item # 1ROBSBF12215482
Polished Rainbow Obsidian Butterfly Display Specimen
Polished Rainbow Obsidian Butterfly Display (photographed dry in its natural state)
This specimen weighs 6 oz or 0.37 pounds (171g) and measures 3 x 2.3 x 1 inches (7.8 x 5.9 x 2.6 cm)
This piece has outstanding sheen and impressive natural sunlight viewing! (sheen seen at correct viewing angle determines cutting or polishing angles) This Rainbow Obsidian Butterfly from Mexico was hand selected. Photos were taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Item # R-OBSJ061910101
Polished Rainbow Obsidian Freeform Display Specimen
Polished Rainbow Obsidian Freeform Display (photographed dry in its natural state)
This specimen weighs 27.9 oz or 1.75 pounds (793g) and measures 5.2 x 3.3 x 2.3 inches (13.2 x 8.4 x 6 cm)
This piece has outstanding sheen and impressive natural sunlight viewing! (sheen seen at correct viewing angle determines cutting or polishing angles) This Rainbow Obsidian Freeform from Mexico was hand selected and procured from a Jalisco Obsidian Dealer at the May 2019 Franklin, NC Show. Photos were taken outdoors in natural sunlight.