Obsidian is formed during a volcanic eruption of lava that contains a high concentration of silica. It is technically a “mineraloid” as opposed to a mineral because it does not have a crystal structure. It is found all over the world in areas of recent volcanic activity (within the last several million yrs).
Color in obsidian varies, depending on impurities in the parent lava formation. Golden sheen obsidian is formed when patterns of gas bubbles are aligned along layers created by the flowing lava before it solidified. Rainbow Obsidian forms when minute inclusions of mineral crystals, rock debris or gas are present inside of the obsidian. When the light reflects off of it a colored sheen is visible. Snowflake obsidian occurs when the rock begins to crystallize over time and forms radial clusters that appear grey in color.
The chemical make-up of obsidian also varies among volcanic sources--sometimes even different eruptions of the same volcano have different chemical types. This makes obsidian tools or weapons a valuable resource to archaeologists for tracking trade routes or dating graves and settlements, as their source volcano and eruption can be determined through analysis.
Fun Fact: Societies such as the Native Americans and Aztecs used Obsidian to carve into weapons and use as sophisticated surgical tools. The ancient Greeks used them for mirrors. It is named after the prominent ancient Roman, Obsius.
Metaphysically Obsidian offers all types of protection both physically & mentally. It empowers one to "Be Fearless" in their interactions with others and the self. There are different properties attributed to each individual type. All of them are very healing and can aid one in staying grounded and emotionally stable during family gatherings and the holidays!
Black Obsidian: Protection, grounding, cleansing of negativity
Snowflake Obsidian: Past life recall, spirit communication, perseverance
Mahogany Obsidian: Healing feelings of unworthiness; releasing inner limitations
Rainbow Obsidian: Recovery from emotional wounds
Peacock Obsidian: Astral travel; psychic protection
Gold Sheen Obsidian: Enhancing manifestation; activating Divine Will