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Obsidian is one of our oldest used materials and is able to be found around the entire planet. This material has also been referred to as volcanic glass and provides materials in many colors and patterns, with even more visible visual effects. Obsidian shares all basic properties of glass, and is also brittle, but it is these features that have made it extremely valuable for so long. People in the stone age used the extremely sharp edges to make tools that could skin animals well and could be used as effective weapons. Not only this, but there are obsidian tools and weapons in other areas that are assumed to have been used in rituals and ceremonies that were created all the way back to 10,000 BCE. There are even mirrors made out of this resource in South and Central America.
Obsidian was not naturally found in Egypt. However, it seems that it was a valuable item for trading, and shows why early Egyptian crypts contain features represented by obsidian, like pharaoh masks on tombs. In modern day, we are still finding new ways to use this material, as in 1970 it was discovered that the edges of obsidian scalpels cut cleaner than steel scalpels. It has also been used to make jewelry, ornaments, and more. Obsidian colorations range from black to green, to even blue or yellow, and is caused by different minerals being present within the material, such as magnetite for black and hematite for red/brown/pink. Small bubbles of air or gas within the obsidian, formed when it was cooling, gives it a luster or shine on the surface. Different levels of iron oxidation are responsible for the potential color of green or yellow.
Obsidian can be carved into decorations for the house, and are often used as the backing for opal jewelry. There are even reasons for wearing it that lie in people’s beliefs, as some think that it could shield you from negativity, connect you to the earth, or bring answers for the questions you may have. Obsidian is an inexpensive material that can be used as the main stone or accent stone.
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