Fire Obsidian Rough = 3,000 Gram Lot, 15 High Grade Pieces- Glass Buttes, Oregon

Price:$290.00  Item number:91432
Item location:Port Townsend, Washington, United States
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 Jun 25, 2013 17:00:39 PDT  View all revisions

Offered For Sale to the Highest Bidder!

This is a large lot of prime fire obsidian rough from Little Glass Butte, in Central Oregon. The total weight of this parcel is just over 3000 grams (3 kilograms, or 6.6 pounds), over 15,000 Carats! The largest piece weighs over 1-1/3 Lbs. The color and definition of the fire layers is good to excellent in these pieces. There are one or more layers of good to fine fire in every piece in the lot. This lot consists of 15 pieces.

In general, the color in fire obsidian runs within very thin flow bands, sometimes only through part of a flow band, and often with fire only being present in one or two bands of the many that a stone might harbor. Sometimes fire is only visible on one side of the a band, so many colorful surprises may lie undiscovered until the stone is sliced open. Careful consideration should also be taken to determine which side of a fire-layer to work towards, as some of the color can be obscured by other banding in very close proximity. With some pieces, the best results may be obtained by slicing the stone open and then grinding towards the outer surfaces of the nodule, rather than from the outside-in. Because of these inherent attributes of the 'fire' there will be a significant amount of waste from rough-to-finished stone. Otherwise, this is 100% usable obsidian with a good diversity of brilliant fire color and patterns.

All fifteen of these pieces have at least one significant fire layer within. Immersing the rough stone under a bright focused light will broaden the refractive angle of light, allowing the fire layers to be more easily identified and marked. These can all be worked into high end jewelry stones or carvings.

Free shipping is offered for this parcel, in the United States only, via U.S.P.S. Priority Mail with Tracking. Shipping to addresses outside the U.S. will also be by U.S. Postal Service, and will be assessed accordingly, with no handling fee charged. I typically ship the next business day following receipt of payment.

Thanks for looking & please have a look at my other items for sale.


This is Fire Obsidian…Dream in color again!

Presented here is a sample of true fire obsidian from Little Glass Butte in the high desert of Central Oregon. This is the only known locale where this type of material can be found. Once seen in person, fire obsidian cannot be confused with any other type of stone or obsidian, although the name is sometimes misapplied to other sheen obsidians with flame like patterns of orange or red against smoky coloration. Fire obsidian is unique for the thin bands of color that it contains, which are often intricately patterned and are occasionally extremely vivid and highly reflective.

Fire obsidian is unlike any other phenomenal gem. While its color-play is reminiscent of fossil ammolite or of precious opal, the chemistry behind the color phenomena is inherently different. The color in fire obsidian is produced by light reflecting off of a polarized lattice of sub-micron scale magnetite crystals. This network of micro-crystals is arranged in such a way as to create quantum wave interference of the light, hence emitting colors of different frequencies. While this physical mechanism that causes the color play in fire obsidian is nothing unusual in the realm of color and light, the particular manifestation of color, pattern and brilliance can be found in no other member of the mineral kingdom.

As with any rock or mineral species, not all specimens will embody the same qualities of color, clarity, pattern or aesthetics. Like many gems and minerals, obsidian can be highly transparent to completely opaque. It can be crystal clear, or heavily included with impurities and accessory minerals.  Fire obsidian is no exception to the rule. A slice that may be quite impressive by the flint knapper's craft might not be suitable for carving into a conventional cabochon, and vice-versa. As with any natural sculpture material, the nature of the rough form dictates what the finished form will be, according to the artisan's interpretation.

Fire obsidian is considered an ultra-rare gemstone. It was showcased in the January 2006 edition of Rock & Gem magazine. Fire obsidian, perhaps along with some other chatoyant obsidians, is the only true gem-phenomenal rock, since obsidian is considered a rock type and not technically a mineral.  A Google image search for “fire obsidian” can give you a better idea of this material's potential. Also, see the guide on Obsidian Types for more information on this rare and beautiful phenomenal stone.

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