by Lisa Wu May 28, 2020 3 min read 2 Comments

Fake or Not? How to Spot Real Obsidian Jewelry

How do you tell a piece of real obsidian jewelry from imitations?

A bracelet, necklace, or ring made of obsidian isn’t just lovely. It is also meaningful. There’s a handful of obsidian jewelry benefits you’ll gain from wearing such pieces, including protection and healing.

With such precious jewelry, many are falling in love with this beauty. Unfortunately, some people try to deceive others with fake versions of these “obsidian” pieces.

This is because obsidian can be easily mistaken for other black stones such as onyx and jet. Some materials like glass can also easily pass off as this gemstone.

So, how do you tell which is which?

To avoid falling victim to these imitations, read on and discover how you can identify a true obsidian stone.

 

How to Identify Obsidian

Other gemstones can look like obsidian when polished well. A professional should be able to tell real obsidian jewelry from other materials using a microscope. However, it can be confusing when you look at it with the naked eye.

To up your chances of finding true obsidian, here are some things you should look at when buying one.

  • General appearance. Obsidian is an igneous rock formed after molten lava cooled quickly. This quick formation gives the obsidian stone a distinctive shiny and glassy-looking appearance.
  • Texture. Obsidian is basically volcanic glass so it feels smooth to the touch.
  • Color. Pure obsidian is usually dark due to the presence of magnesium and iron. However, it can also be green, brown, or tan. On rare occasions, it can also appear white, yellow, orange, red, or blue. The presence of inclusions, impurities, or trace elements causes this variety in obsidian colors.
  • Translucency. Hold your obsidian ornament up and direct it to sunlight. As a volcanic glass made of fiery energy, a real obsidian stone may sometimes appear translucent when shined through.

 

Obsidian vs Other Materials

how to spot real obsidian jewelry

 

How to Tell Obsidian from Jet

Like obsidian, jet lacks a crystalline structure which means it is not a true mineral. Rather, it’s a fossilized wood that formed after being buried in the ground.

One way to tell if a piece of jewelry is made of jet is to put it in water. Jet accessories are much lighter than obsidian. When put in water, it will either float or sink slowly.

Also, check its color. If it looks dark silvery metallic, that’s another tell-tale clue that you’re looking at jet.

As a type of coal, this organic material would also produce a black or brown streak when rubbed across an unglazed surface.

 

How to Tell Obsidian from Onyx

Unlike obsidian and jet, onyx features a crystalline structure which makes it a true mineral. This crystalline structure gives onyx a repeating geometric pattern that makes up the gemstone.

If you compare onyx with obsidian, you’ll notice that the first is heavier than the latter. This is because of onyx’s crystalline structure, which is denser than the random molecules and air bubbles contained in obsidian.

Moreover, although onyx has a slightly duller finish, it can become glassy much like real obsidian jewelry when polished. If this is the case, hold the jewelry against the light. Obsidian may sometimes appear translucent while onyx doesn’t.

 

How to Tell Obsidian from Glass

Obsidian is a natural glass. It has the same luster as the common glass, so how do you tell the two apart?

Obsidian is slightly harder than window glass. With its smooth curved surfaces and sharp edges (aka conchoidal fracture), reinforced with its innate hardness, primitive people used obsidian as weapons and tools in the past.

 

Final Thoughts

While it can be challenging to tell a true obsidian piece from imitations and other look-alikes, we hope this guide was able to help you discern the truth to some extent.

But if you want to be sure of the real deal, you might as well consider checking our obsidian jewelry collection.


2 Responses

Inner Wisdom Store
Inner Wisdom Store

July 12, 2020

Hi Beverly! The Pixiu is made from Sterling Silver plated with Gold!

Beverley
Beverley

July 12, 2020

Does anyone know what the gold dragon is made of, I sure would like to know, also if it’s just gold paint that is used or is it gold leaf.

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