SNOWFLAKE OBSIDIAN (ˈsnoʊˌfleɪk ɒbˈsɪd.i.ən) is a type of volcanic glass that can be found in many places around the world, including much of the Americas, Australia, Japan, and across Europe. Its chemical composition is mainly SiO2 , but no two volcanoes are the same, and obsidian often has inclusions and impurities of many different varieties. It ranks between a 5 and a 5.5 on the Mohs scale.
Obsidian forms after magma cools quickly and doesn’t form a crystalline lattice. The “snowflakes” in snowflake obsidian aren’t actually inclusions or deposits of other elements, rather, they’re a silica polymorph called cristobalite. Cristobalite is also SiO2, but it has a distinct crystal structure. Though a very slow process (sometimes called devitrification), the cristobalite “flakes” break apart the bonds between the obsidian’s silica molecules and re-form them following the pattern of their own crystal structure. Over many many decades, the “flakes” will get larger and larger, and will eventually convert all of the obsidian into cristobalite.
Historically, ancient cultures have almost always been familiar with obsidian. Snowflake obsidian is thought to have been used in beads or jewelry.
The obsidian and volcanic glass family is most often associated with removing negativity and promoting emotional and spiritual healing. Snowflake obsidian in particular is said to be beneficial in accepting change and breaking old habits.
Snowflake obsidian has also been used for scrying, and many find it to be a necessity when trying to look into the past. Investigating childhood memories, interpreting visions, or looking at past lives can be more efficient when using this stone.
Many also use it to sort through problems with a friend or loved one, as it can help bring conflicts or worries to the surface and make them easier to solve or discuss.
Care and Cleansing
Snowflake obsidian is best cleaned with a damp rag or under running water.
Cleansing the energies from snowflake obsidian is as simple as cleaning the stone. Many like to use black or white candles to recharge their energy, placing them on either side of the stone and allowing them to burn out.
Unlike regular obsidian, the cristobalite usually prevents this stone from breaking into sharp pieces. However, it is still brittle and should be handled with care. Other stones, especially pointed crystals, may scratch the surface.
We also have it available at our brick and mortar shop.