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Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass, produced when felsic lava from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth. Obsidian is commonly found within the margins of rhyolitic lava flows known as ‘obsidian flows’. Because of the lack of crystal structure it is possible to cut or chip Obsidian into very thin, sharp layers. This is why it was a favoured medium used by ancient civilizations for the production of arrowheads. Obsidian is comprised of more then 70% Silicon Dioxide, but due to its lack of crystalline structure, it cannot be classified as a true mineral, but is often referred to as a ‘mineraloid’ (a mineral-like substance which doesn’t exhibit any crystallinity. Jet, Opal and Pearl are also examples of mineraloids)

It usually occurs in dark colours; brown, green and more commonly black, and these colours occur depending on the impurities they contain like iron or magnesium.  Rainbow and Sheen Obsidian are particularly beautiful varieties. The colour in these two comes from tiny gas bubbles which were trapped inside the moving lava flow along layers before it cooled. Another lovely variety is Snowflake Obsidian, which is essentially black Obsidian but with small inclusions of the mineral cristobalite, which radiate out forming the appearance of tiny white snowflakes in the stone. Apache Tears are roundish nuggets of black Obsidian on a white or grey Perlite matrix. All of the Obsidians (with the exception of man-made Blue Obsidian) make excellent Root or Base Chakra stones.

Black Obsidian is especially dynamic, and due to its shiny surface is said to enable self development and growth through self insight and reflection; to be able to look inward to see where changes are needed within ourselves and also to discover hidden abilities, talents and energy reserves we have not yet tapped into. It has a very ‘no-nonsense’ feel to it, whilst Snowflake Obsidian has a slightly gentler energy. 

Snowflake Obsidian is sometimes referred to as the Stone of Heaven and Earth; bringing both energies into harmony and balance. It can be used to help gently resolve issues by providing clarity; helping us to see a complex and trying situation from a different, more beneficial perspective.  It can provide support and balance through these sometimes difficult times of change.      

Rainbow and Sheen Obsidian is most noted for its ability to bring a little levity to a situation; it brings love and light where there is darkness, uplifting our spirits and therefore our energy; promoting joy and happiness. Just looking at a piece of Rainbow Obsidian with its beautiful iridescent rainbows floating in a deep dark sea is enough to start this process. Using or wearing a piece can encourage us to have a little more fun; to lighten up, and it has been referred to as the Stone of Pleasure. The Silver or Golden Sheen types especially can be used as scrying stones (particularly for romantic relationship matters) and are also said to promote clairvoyance. As with the other Obsidians these are super grounding, protective Root or Base Chakra stones

Mahogany Obsidian, with its beautiful mixture of rich earthy browns in a deep black base is a gorgeous, sensual stone. Again, it has the trademark protective and grounding properties of all Obsidians. It balances the physical energy body.

Apache Tears, legend has it, were formed in the earth from the tears cried by the women of the Apache tribe after their men had fallen in battle. These little stones therefore are especially good in times of grief or sorrow and can provide support and comfort as well as protection when we are at our most vulnerable emotionally and physically.

Blue Obsidian available in the shops today is merely blue dyed glass. Nonetheless it has a vibration of its own because of its colour (not for any mineral or crystal properties) and they are very attractive, translucent aqua-blue stones.

Ocean Jasper (also known as Orbicular Jasper) is very soothing and helps to love one's self as well as others. It is an emotional healer and helps brings peace of mind. It also assists with acceptance of responsibility and increases patience. The circulars patterns on Ocean Jasper symbolize and help us realize that we are all interconnected, as nature itself has a cyclical pattern. Being a type of jasper, it is a very protective stone, and any orbs or eyes, enhance this in regard to protection from dark, negative energies or the ‘evil eye’. It relates to the Heart Chakra. See also Jasper.

Onyx is part of the Agate family, and although most commonly found in black or white colours, it can also be grey, blue, brown, yellow and red.  Onyx is known as the Stone of Strength - mentally and emotionally; giving support to the wearer during difficult or trying times.  It is said to have the ability to hold on to the energies and memories of the wearer, making it excellent for psychometry work, but it can also be used to access past life memories; enabling us to recognize hurts from a previous incarnation, therefore allowing us to see the negative patterns which we may have brought through into this life which need to be released and so healed. It also balances the masculine and feminine parts of our nature, and can bring strength where fear is present.

Opal is Hydrated Silicon Dioxide.  It is a member of the Mineraloid class because it does not have a true ‘crystalline’ structure.  The are usually found on the sites of old geothermal springs, and were formed gradually, over hundreds and thousands of years from minerals deposits left in cracks and cavities, which had previously seeped up from the earth into these springs. 

There are two main types of Opal; Precious and Common, and Precious Opal is further divided into three groups: Black White and Fire, and they can contain a kaleidoscope of colour. Each has slightly differing metaphysical properties, but generally speaking Opals are known as the Stone of Emotional Harmony. It is in essence, a very feminine stone, aligning with the Moon’s gentle vibrations, but an Opal possessing a deep flash of colour is said to also carry the masculine energy of the Sun – Yin and Yang in perfect harmony.  Its main alliance is, however, with the Moon.  Its gentle energy can bring deep, long buried emotions up to the surface to be recognised, accepted and released.  This process can often begin through our dreams, so if you find yourself being attracted to this most beautiful of stones, pay particular attention to your dreams. Wearing it can also help us understand the higher purpose of change and to attract positive energies to further this process.  

Opals have been prized in jewellery for thousands of years, and today the best examples are to be found in Australia, with large deposits also found in Mexico and the USA.  Good quality Opals have ‘opalescence’ and lustre and some seem to have an incredible fire burning within them, and they can be found with almost any colour contained within them.  They have a high water content so should not be worn in direct contact with the skin, however, most jewellery settings do not allow for this.   See also Boulder Opal and Fire Opal.

Opal Aura (also known as Angel Aura) This is one of the most delightful of the Aura crystals. It is Clear Quartz coated with either Platinum or Platinum and Silver.  It has a soft white colour with subtle metallic rainbow hues and it resonates with the Violet, Silver and Blue Rays. Exceptionally protective crystal, yet with a delightful, serene vibration. It is excellent for sensitive types and also where chronic conditions are indicated. Wonderful for angelic communication; is purifying, calming and can restore inner peace. Other members of the coated Quartz family are: Aqua Aura, Titanium Aura, Tanzine Aura and Ruby Aura (See also Quartz properties and Coated Quartz)

Opalite (also known as Sea Opal).  Although man-made (from glass), due to its lovely colour, changing from blue through white to pale orange depending which way it is viewed, Opalite is becoming increasingly popular. It is a high quality glass with an infusion of milky opalescent lemon/blue colouration and has a quite magical appearance, reminiscent of genuine Opal.

Orbicular Jasper – see Ocean Jasper

Ouro Verde Quartz is green/gold Quartz and is said to contain the golden energy of the star Arcturus. This is Citrine in its natural, unheated form. It is exposure to heat artificially which gives the vast majority of commercially available Citrine the golden orange colour we are familiar with.