The gemstone Obsidian is a natural glass formed from volcanic activity in the same way as Granite. Obsidian is 35-80% Silica and is low in water content. It has been used in tool-making and jewelry-making for centuries . Its sources are the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia, Armenia and Russia.
Below are images showing rough snowflake Obsidian being cut and polished into beautiful gemstones.
It is best to choose a piece of Obsidian rough with the least amount of cracks and visible lines. Sometimes Obsidian may crack whilst cutting along cracks. We selected a large piece to start with and cut it in half.
The best saw to use to cut or slice Obsidian is a Diamond Saw. Obsidian is easy to saw and makes the ideal stone to cut and polish. Always wear a protective mask when working with Obsidian Rough as the silica can be harmful to your health.
Always have plenty of water running over the saw blade or polishing wheel as Obsidian, this will minimise the amount of silica dust rising into the air and being inhaled.
We used a 6 inch saw blade with 0.18 grit and 3 polishing wheels which were Diamond impregnated from 180,240 to 400 grit, then a final polish.
Obsidian is also fun to carve. Use a Dremel drill with diamond tip drill bits. They are the best and then polish with final laps or on pig skin or polish clothes.
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