MINERAL OF THE MONTH: July 2009 – Obsidian Needles

Obsidian is a dark volcanic glass. It is rich in silica and breaks with a very sharp conchoidal fracture. It is formed by the very rapid cooling of viscous acid lava.

Although black is the most common color, it is also found in a variety of other colors from mahogany to red, green, pink, blue, silver, and rainbow. Obsidian Needles are a naturally occurring fracture. This one was dug out of the mountains near Davis Creek, California. Over thousands of years the razor sharp edges of the original fractured pieces have been smoothed by the minerals in seepage from rain and snow melt. Native Americans used these “needles” for leather work tools, hunting weapons, ornamental designs, and cutting utensils.

Obsidian is considered to be one of the main protection stones by many of the Native American tribes.

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