How to tell if black obsidian is real? 4 Easy Methods

Last Updated on December 29, 2023

To see if your stone is black obsidian, there are a few key signs on how to tell if black obsidian is real:

  • A round breakage or pattern- glass, even volcanic glass will break in a circular pattern. 
  • It feels dense- in comparison to other stones, obsidian is heavier and denser
  • It’s shiny
  • Softness-obsidian is a softer stone, so if you’re unsure if your stone is obsidian, you can try to scratch, carve, or engrave it. If it’s obsidian, the surface will scratch easily


What is black obsidian?

In simple terms, black obsidian is black volcanic glass. It’s magma that erupted from a volcano, cooled, and solidified. 

The black color found in most obsidian is because of the presence of magnetite and/or hematite, which means it’s slightly magnetic! These properties have been studied, and acid glass has been found to be more magnetic than base glass (referring to the chemical composition).

What does black obsidian look like?

Typically, black obsidian has an opaque black or grey but could have other tones or veins running through it. It may have an iridescent sheen. 

Black obsidian is shiny, and it will probably have some circular curvature to it due to the natural structure of the stone. 

Is Obsidian a gemstone?

Obsidian is naturally occurring. It’s magma that erupted from a volcano and hardened into the volcanic glass known as obsidian.

Obsidian is used for ornamental purposes such as ornamental blades, and it is considered a gemstone.

Where do you find black obsidian?

Obsidian is found in places where volcanic activity is found. Significant amounts of obsidian can be found in many places including but not limited to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Iceland, Russia, Japan, and Kenya.

How can you tell if black obsidian is fake?

Fake obsidian will be lighter than the real stone. Real obsidian has a hardness of about 5.5, which means that it’s easy to chip, break, or scratch.

Is there fake black obsidian?

Unfortunately, there are lots of fake black obsidian in the market. True black obsidian will be dense and heavy while fakes will be light, akin to glass (because it probably is man-made glass).

Is real black obsidian expensive?

Large pieces of black obsidian can cost hundreds of dollars. This is not the most valuable gemstone, but it’s more valuable than some.

Generally speaking, a small piece of real obsidian can range from $2-100 depending on the quality, carat, and processing it’s gone through. Higher quality and polishing will increase the value of almost any stone, obsidian being no exception to this.

Is black obsidian rare?

Obsidian that is older than 20 million years is extremely rare. This is because obsidian is easily and rapidly destroyed by natural processes and weather.

Fire obsidian is the rarest form of Obsidian, found only in the United States and mostly in Oregon. 

Is obsidian easy to break?

Obsidian has a hardness of around 5.5, which means that it’s easily scratched, chipped, or broken. It’s also easily worn down by natural processes such as weather and heat.

How can you tell the difference between black obsidian and tourmaline?

Tourmaline has a rough, lumpy texture that obsidian does not. Obsidian also breaks in semi-circular patterns (like glass).

How can you tell the difference between black onyx and black obsidian?

The simplest way to tell the difference between onyx and obsidian is to feel the weight of each stone and compare the two. Onyx is considerably heavier than onyx, and denser too.

How do I use black obsidian?

Spiritual uses of black obsidian include protection and cleansing of your energetic space. Wearing black obsidian on your left side is thought to attract good luck and wealth.

Black obsidian is also good at reducing and/or removing psychic fog in your aura. It’s a wonderful protection stone.

Obsidian can be used as a metaphysical shield against negativity and may stimulate prophetic dreams in the wearer. They can be particularly useful in financial applications.

Is it illegal to take obsidian?

While it’s not illegal to pick up rocks, it may be prohibited on the land you’re on. It’s best to check with the landowner or a park ranger before taking anything from it.

Are obsidian blades sharp?

Because obsidian is a softer stone than some of its counterparts, it’s underestimated when it comes to sharpness. Because of its softness, it’s easier to get a fine edge on obsidian.

Obsidian scalpels and blades can be sharpened to a fine edge, equal to that of a diamond blade. It’s better than even the best of steel scalpels.

Eran Hayo is the Chief Editor of Jewels Advisor, with over 5 years of experience in the fields of jewelry and memorabilia. He built Jewels Advisor to serve one main purpose – to teach you everything he knows about jewelry, and help you make better-informed decisions when buying diamonds and engagement rings online. His work has been cited on famous publications such as The Sun, MSN and WikiHow.