What are the Varieties of Obsidian?

What are the Varieties of Obsidian?

Did you know that obsidian is not always black? In fact, it can be a number of colors such as red, green, and golden. This video will discuss 8 different varieties of obsidian, and how they formed. This includes snowflake obsidian, rainbow obsidian, peanut obsidian, sheen obsidian, and more!
This video was made by a geologist who is based in Arizona.

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  1. GeologyHub on September 11, 2021 at 2:42 am

    Of these varieties of obsidian, which was your favorite? For me it is a tie between starburst obsidian and snowflake obsidian.

  2. Grace & Elm on September 11, 2021 at 2:43 am

    They are all so beautiful but my favorite is Sheen Obsidian

  3. howie516 howie516 on September 11, 2021 at 2:44 am

    I purchased large cabinet transparent pieces, blue and green from Heritage and Etsy saying they are true obsidian, are they?

  4. travelinalaskan on September 11, 2021 at 2:44 am

    A few that were missed are dacite, black butter, lizard skin, and midnight lace.

  5. Texas Knight on September 11, 2021 at 2:48 am

    Do you think you could drop a helicopter load of a certain element into a Volcano to create a new crystal? Like uranium, aluminum oxide, chromium. Etc

  6. Peyton Smith on September 11, 2021 at 2:51 am

    Is there any chance you could do a video on different types of canyon formation/general forms of erosion? I think it would be super neat topic!

  7. The Feathered frontiersman on September 11, 2021 at 2:55 am

    I always wondered about some of those impurities.
    So when you say 60 percentage+ what is it about black obcidian that goes significantly sharper when fractured? Impurities play a huge difference in how sharp the final edge will go. Why is that? Note how most of the artifacts are black, clear or smoke but rarely mahogany.

  8. Della Severtson on September 11, 2021 at 2:56 am

    While in Peru I picked up a stone they call, Angelite. It is sky blue in color and milky. Educate me on this mineral! Please and thank you.

  9. theuglybiker on September 11, 2021 at 2:56 am

    3:24 A rare example of pepperoni obsidian.

  10. the merrigans on September 11, 2021 at 2:57 am

    That certainly was education. Thanks.

  11. Von duMozze on September 11, 2021 at 2:59 am

    Over 71 years old and still learning. TY

  12. Vince Talkz on September 11, 2021 at 2:59 am

    Thanks for the eye candy show! Those are very nice specimens that you have shown us. Two summers ago I went on two separate overnight camping trips to Glass Butte, Oregon to do obsidian collecting and mining. I was able to locate the "lace" pit on the East side of the property, this based upon the crude maps people have posted on the internet. I did surface collecting over a couple acres around the pit and mined for many hours in the lace pit. For my reward, I retrieved much black obsidian while surface collecting, all of it with an amazing see through translucence akin to smokey quartz. Upon knapping some of these I found many to be "midnight lace" with dynamic opaque swirls and stripes throughout. What I collected from the pit was even more amazing. Aside from much beautiful "mahogany obsidian", I also retrieved ample amounts of "leopard skin mahogany". The icing on the cake came after digging in the lace pit from 10pm to 2 am one night via headlamp, when I was able to free up some bowling ball sized pieces of absolutely stunning "mahogany lace". This variety blends from mahogany to black to absolutely clear like window glass in breathtaking swirls. Knapped or sliced thin and tumbled, these specimens have facilitated many sales of my fantasy knives and jewelry pendants.

    I mined at night because it was summer and who wants to dig in a pit all day under the sun in a high desert? Not me. I highly recommend a trip or two to this public BLM property for any eager rock hound. Primitive camp sites abound there and everybody is permitted to bring out 200 pounds per person per year, so bring some friends along if you want to really score ample amounts of this amazing natural glass. A strong vehicle with high clearance and good tires would help as well, as the dirt roads are HIGHLY rutted (understatement) and at times covered with sharp shards of obsidian. There are some camp sites near the entrance that do not involve any of this vehicle treachery, so if you go with a group, cars are fine, but have one truck or SUV for your exploring and traveling to the varied pits. The size of the site is also a bit mind blowing. Several miles by several miles, with hundreds of several feet wide surface veins crawling through the rolling hills. Of these veins, a dozen have been turned into productive pits over the years. From what I understand, dozens of varieties are all available there, if you know where to look. This includes the varied sheens, and some amazing translucent green as well, which I heard is quite rare. I look forward to returning next summer to explore the "aurora borealis rainbow obsidian" pit on the West side for starters.

  13. Michael Ellestad on September 11, 2021 at 3:01 am

    I have a large piece of rainbow obsidian

  14. martin11844 on September 11, 2021 at 3:04 am


  15. Rho Bot on September 11, 2021 at 3:05 am

    Wow, SO gorgeous!
    I remember being a kid in the family camper going thru Yellowstone, and driving by Obsidian ?Mountain or something like this. I LOVED my park map!!

  16. Andrea H. on September 11, 2021 at 3:05 am

    A couple topic suggestions: Alexandrite and Russian Diopside.

  17. Christina Haynes on September 11, 2021 at 3:08 am

    So cool. How about jasper? There seem to be so may varieties

  18. k c on September 11, 2021 at 3:12 am

    Hi, I have some extruded lava samples collected from Lanzarote ( eruption of 18C ) and several of them have irredescent shiny colours of the raindow / oil slick effect on the surface , is this also due to inclusions of magnatite as mentioned above ? Thank you

  19. Sauce Yeti on September 11, 2021 at 3:12 am

    Imagine all this being in Minecraft

  20. Dick Tracy on September 11, 2021 at 3:12 am

    The eight varieties you presented are beautiful.
    I like the peanut and starburst obsidian.
    I am always looking for obsidian specimens of any kind.

  21. j4d3 goat on September 11, 2021 at 3:13 am

    Great video!
    The fire and rainbow obsidians are my favourites – I didn’t know they existed until I saw this video!

  22. Aisha Lua on September 11, 2021 at 3:15 am

    Is green obsidian a real thing ? I bought a “green obsidian” tower from a crystal shop and I had never heard of it but it was very pretty. But I’m not feeling any energy from it and wondering if its just manmade green glass made to look like a point. Let me know 🙂 Thanks.

  23. Tracy Chesnutt on September 11, 2021 at 3:19 am

    Great job presenting the beautiful varieties of obsidian. I have a pendant of rainbow obsidian. The color isn’t that pronounced as those that were presented. The iridescent coloring acts like labradorite because the colors only appear when the piece is turned. After learning about obsidian, I don’t think it is rainbow type. I love it anyway. My favorite type of obsidian is snowflake because it is so beautiful in it’s simplicity.

  24. Nichole Frazier on September 11, 2021 at 3:19 am

    what about strawberry obsidian?

  25. Tanya Juli on September 11, 2021 at 3:20 am

    What videos would be interesting? I’ve been fascinated by Kyanite’s increasing availability as a bead. Pendants, chips, and spikes were common for a while, now beads are coming out everywhere. Pricey though. I’m fascinated that something so brittle on one cleavage plane and prone to brecciated or lamellar (?) habits can be cut into beads. I have some nice small faceted beads, but the biggers ones are out of the budget. Is the mineral crystal habit a factor in cutting difficulty?

  26. Michael VanDyke on September 11, 2021 at 3:22 am

    My favorite material to hound in Oregon… Easy to work and collect…
    Needed a photo of a true fire obsidian though …

  27. Nichole Frazier on September 11, 2021 at 3:23 am

    this is now my favorite video on the internet

  28. Paul H on September 11, 2021 at 3:27 am

    very cool

  29. Nonmi Hiseddeo on September 11, 2021 at 3:27 am

    I like that pizza slice obsidian shown at the end.

  30. Monique Gibson. on September 11, 2021 at 3:28 am

    I’d like to learn about the different types of opals.

  31. Dakin Maher on September 11, 2021 at 3:30 am

    Wonderful short interesting & informative. I like starburst.
    Thank you

  32. Irish Andy on September 11, 2021 at 3:34 am

    What about blue Obsidian as I’ve have a 7kg rock of it and it has white bubbles in it i don’t know were it came from but I was told by my Parents that they got it when they were on there Honeymoon in Hawaii when they were going from the Big Island Hawaii to the Smaller Islands They’ve brought back Black and Blue Obsidian.

  33. Jim Cornwall on September 11, 2021 at 3:36 am

    Very nice samples of the varieties. I have seen the sheen variety in gold, silver, green, and purple-blue (on a flint knapping FB group). I have read about Arizona being a source for mostly black and snowflake? Up in Oregon there are a number of sites I would like to visit, south of Newberry. Glass Buttes being one of them.

  34. Harry Ballz on September 11, 2021 at 3:38 am

    I’ve used various colors of obsidian in ceramic glazes..
    The firing produces a crystalline pattern..
    Tiffany and Fulper potteries, etc..