Is Obsidian Brittle? Is It Fragile?

Obsidian is a volcanic stone that is formed when lava cools quickly. Is obsidian brittle or fragile? The answer to this question may surprise you! When obsidian fractures, it often does so along surfaces of relatively low internal stress and without producing sharp edges. It usually shatters into irregular pieces with jagged edges.

In this article, we will talk about if obsidian is brittle and how dense it is compared to other crystals and stones.

Is Obsidian Brittle?

Obsidian is considered to be less dense compared to other naturally occurring stones and crystals and is considered by many to actually be brittle. It may not be brittle in comparison to other materials, but when compared to other more dense stones it is considered to be on the softer side.

Is obsidian brittle is a question that has been asked by many who are interested in this type of stone. It may seem like obsidian should be very brittle and basically shatter into pieces if dropped on any surface. However, most stones or crystals are tough enough to withstand a small drop but some stones are tougher than others.

Obsidian has a hardness of 5.5 on the Moh’s hardness scale which is right around the middle of the scale. The Moh’s hardness scale is an instrument that helps scientists determine the hardness of different types of stone. The scale ranges from one to ten with talc being the softest and diamond being the hardest substance on earth.

This means that obsidian is more fragile compared to hard stones such as diamonds, but also much stronger compared to talc. Obsidian was used to make jewelry, weapons, and tools in the past so it is known to be tough enough for specific uses. Typically, when obsidian breaks it will create a sharp break compared to crumbling into smaller soft pieces. This is one of the reasons that obsidian was commonly used to form knives or other sharp tools in the past. For knives, obsidian blades tend to be very sharp because of their tendency to form a sharper edge when it breaks. This is why many people choose obsidian knives for their outdoor activities like fishing or hunting.

Any material that is capable of being used in tools and work equipment can’t be considered brittle or fragile in the grand scheme of things when compared to other materials but when compared to harder stones then obsidian can be considered more fragile than diamonds.

How Dense Is Obsidian Compared To Other Stones?

Obsidian is located halfway up the Moh’s hardness scale with a score of 5.5. This means it is tougher than other stones like talc which scores a one but softer when compared to materials such as topaz or quartz.

It’s not the hardness of obsidian that prevents people from using them in tools, machinery, and work equipment but instead its toughness. Since obsidian has sharp edges even after being broken then it can be considered as a sharp tool and not a brittle tool. When looking at how heavy obsidian is, you will notice that it is right in the middle of the average weight for this type of stone.

The hardness and strength of obsidian can differ based on the type of obsidian you are using. There are many different types of obsidian and each one has slightly different properties. Below are the most common types of obsidian:

Overall, obsidian is strong and sharp compared to most other materials in the world. It is of average strength when compared to all other stones and crystals.