Snowflake Obsidian Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass. It is formed when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools without crystal growth. Obsidian has been known since prehistoric times, and has some fascinating properties as well as some important practical uses. In addition to its use as a gemstone, obsidian has been used in cardiac surgery, as well-crafted obsidian blades have a cutting edge many times sharper than high-quality steel surgical scalpels.
In some stones, the inclusion of small, white, radially clustered crystals of cristobalite in the black glass produce a blotchy or snowflake pattern, and this is known in the gem trade as snowflake obsidian.
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GemSelect has a great selection of smaller cabochons. Many other retailers do not. Plus, the photo of the stone is the one you are purchasing. Shipping from Thailand is nearly as fast as from within the US. Stones are tightly and neatly packaged.