Transparent obsidian is a type of volcanic glass that is characterized by its transparency. Transparent obsidian can form when molten rock, or magma, cools quickly. Translucent obsidian forms when the cooling process takes longer than for transparent obsidian. Transparent and translucent are different because one has air bubbles in it but the other does not.
In this article we will talk about how transparent obsidian is formed and how it differs from black obsidian.
What Is Transparent Obsidian?
Transparent obsidian is a variation of traditional obsidian is easily detectable because of its transparent and translucent color. Transparent obsidian is a type of volcanic glass that is characterized by its transparency. Transparent obsidian is often mischaracterized as other types of stones as most individuals think that obsidian can only be black. But there are actually many different types of obsidian and each comes in different colors.
Below are a few of the most common types of obsidian:
As you can see by reading the above articles, obsidian comes in many different colors and styles. And transparent obsidian is no different. Transparent obsidian is much more rare compared to traditional black obsidian crystals.
What Does Transparent Obsidian Look Like?
When you hear the term transparent obsidian you might think that they crystal will be completely translucent but that isn’t quite the case. The stone will typically still have a dark shade of black or gray but will be more translucent compared to traditional obsidian. Transparent obsidian can also have little sparkles of light running through the stone. Transparent Obsidian
Although transparent obsidians are quite rare, they are not considered to be very valuable because it isn’t as hard to find compared to other crystals such as diamonds or rubies. This crystal is rarely found in nature but has been recreated in laboratories. Transparent obsidians are usually cut and polished to be used as jewelry such as rings or necklaces.
Translucent VS Transparent: Although transparent is less valuable than translucent, the two words can easily get mixed up when describing crystals because they both describe how much light passes through a crystal. Translucent means that some of the light passes through, but the crystal is not clear. Transparent means that it is easy to see right through a material because there are no particles or impurities blocking light from passing straight through the material. Transparent materials allow all of the light to be seen very easily and this makes them more valuable than translucent materials which can block some of the light.
You can learn more about the cost of obsidian by reading our article.
How Is Transparent Obsidian Formed?
Now that you have a better understanding of what transparent obsidian is, let’s talk about how it is formed. Transparent obsidian is formed by volcanic eruptions. Transparent obsidian forms when the lava cools down at a relatively quick rate which does not allow crystals to form within the glass. This makes it easier for light to pass through without being blocked or refracted by any other material, making it highly transparent.
The speed in which the stone cools is what will make it more or less transparent. This means the level of transparency will vary greatly depending on the time it takes to cool, where it is located, the climate of that area, the temperature of the volcanic lava, and much more.
How Is Transparent Obsidian Different Than Black Obsidian
Transparent obsidian is different from traditional black obsidian because of the amount of light that is able to pass through the stone. Transparent obsidian also has a smooth and glassy texture, whereas traditional black obsidian is not as shiny and may have small bubbles in the stone. Transparent Obsidian and Black Obsidian both come from volcanic magma but transparent obsidians are formed when it cools at a different speed compared to other types of obsidian stones.
The overall color and texture is the easiest way to identify transparent obsidian compared to other types of obsidian that we have talked about within this article.