The Value Of Obsidian In 2024 By Type (Current Prices)

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

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The Value Of Obsidian In 2024 By Type (Current Prices)

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Obsidian, often dubbed “nature’s glass,” has been a gemstone worth its weight in gold for centuries. A volcanic glass born from fire, it’s blacker than the midnight sky and smooth as a cat’s meow. It’s a sight for sore eyes! In today’s world, where the demand for unique treasures is off the charts, the question on everyone’s lips is, “What’s the real value, price, and worth of this natural wonder?”

You might think, “Why all the fuss over a shiny black rock?” Well, that’s where things get interesting. You see, folks have been using obsidian for eons, right from the Stone Age. Those early humans knew a good thing when they saw it – obsidian was perfect for crafting razor-sharp tools and weapons. Let’s not forget its mystical appeal; the rumor is that obsidian can ward off negative energy and even help us see into the future!

These days, it’s not just about what obsidian can do for us but also how it makes us feel. With its dark, luxurious appearance, it’s a real showstopper. So, it’s no wonder people will shell out the big bucks for this gemstone. Are you intrigued? Buckle up because we’re about to take you on a fascinating journey to unearth an obsidian’s worth in the modern market.

What Obsidian Is

Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed when lava cools rapidly without crystallization. This unique gemstone is known for its strikingly dark and smooth appearance and has been used throughout history for various purposes, including toolmaking, jewelry, and decorative items.

The costs of obsidian is broken down below per type. Given the numerous trace elements found in different varieties of obsidians, they aren’t the only types, but they’re usually the most prevalent.

Rainbow Obsidian

Three beautiful rainbow obsidian necklaces with rope detail

Rainbow obsidian is a mesmerizing variant that boasts iridescent, multicolored bands on its surface. Formed through the inclusion of magnetite or hematite nanoparticles, these deep layers seem to dance and change as light reflects off the stone at different angles.

Often found in Mexico, this captivating gemstone is highly sought after for its breathtaking visual appeal, lending itself to stunning jewelry, artistic sculptures, and spiritual practices that harness its energy and beauty.

How much is rainbow obsidian worth

A rainbow obsidian is a unique type that usually costs between $20 – $50.

Black Obsidian

A unique black obsidian fox necklace

Black obsidian is a volcanic glass renowned for its deep, glossy black appearance. Its smooth, glass-like surface results from the rapid cooling of lava, which prevents crystallization.

This gemstone has been prized for various uses, from crafting sharp tools and weapons in ancient times to adorning modern jewelry and ornamental pieces. Often associated with protection and grounding energies, black obsidian is a favorite among collectors and energy practitioners.

How much is black obsidian worth

One of the most common types of obsidian is black, which usually costs $25 – $30.

Snowflake Obsidian

A pretty snowflake obsidian bagel-shaped necklace

Snowflake obsidian is an eye-catching variety characterized by its striking contrast of black glass with white, snowflake-like patterns. These distinctive patterns are formed by cristobalite, a mineral that crystallizes as the lava cools.

Prized for its unique beauty, snowflake obsidian has been used for jewelry, decorative items, and healing practices. Often linked to balance and inner growth, this enchanting gemstone captures the imagination and hearts of collectors worldwide.

How much is snowflake obsidian worth

Prices for snowflake obsidian range from $8 – $25.

Gold Sheen Obsidian

A gorgeous gold sheen obsidian bracelet

Gold sheen obsidian is a rare and captivating form that features a lustrous gold shimmer on its surface. Formed by gas bubbles and mineral inclusions during the rapid cooling of lava, this iridescent sheen catches the light, creating a magical, ever-changing appearance.

Valued for its distinct beauty and associations with prosperity, gold-sheen obsidian is widely utilized in jewelry, ornamental pieces, and spiritual practices to encourage abundance and personal growth.

How much is gold sheen obsidian worth

Gold sheen obsidians’ quality can vary substantially. You should budget between $10 – $20 per carat.

Mahogany Obsidian

An elegant vintage-looking mahogany obsidian necklace

Mahogany obsidian, a fascinating variant of volcanic glass, showcases a striking blend of reddish-brown and black hues resembling mahogany wood’s rich tones. This unique coloration results from iron impurities in the cooling lava.

Cherished for its visual appeal and symbolic connection to strength and protection, mahogany obsidian is commonly used in jewelry, decorative items, and metaphysical practices, making it a sought-after gemstone among enthusiasts and collectors.

How much is mahogany obsidian worth

Mahogany obsidian frequently sells for $3 – $9 on average.

Why Obsidian Is So Expensive

An obsidian ring with gold detail in the middle

Obsidian, the dark and alluring volcanic glass, has held a special place in human history and culture for its distinctive properties and varied applications. Its enigmatic beauty, rarity, and symbolic significance have all contributed to its enduring value, inspiring awe and fascination among enthusiasts, collectors, and practitioners alike.

One of the main reasons obsidian is so highly valued is its versatility. Since ancient times, it has been utilized for crafting sharp tools and weapons due to its unique conchoidal fracture patterns. Even today, its razor-like edges are employed in surgical instruments for precise cutting.

Beyond its practical uses, obsidian’s visual allure has made it a popular choice for jewelry and decorative pieces, with its various forms—such as rainbow, snowflake, and mahogany obsidian—captivating the imagination with its vibrant colors and intriguing patterns.

Obsidian is also cherished for its metaphysical properties. Many believe that this volcanic glass has the power to ground and protect individuals from negative energies, facilitate healing, and promote personal growth. Different types of obsidian are often associated with specific qualities, such as gold sheen obsidian with abundance and mahogany obsidian with strength, adding to their appeal and spiritual significance.

If you’re unsure whether what you have is obsidian or not, don’t fret! Our comprehensive guides will assist you in identifying it accurately so that you can be confident in your findings:

How To Determine The Value Of Obsidian

Different varieties of obsidian

A few key factors often determine the cost of any given obsidian. Understanding these factors can help buyers make informed decisions when purchasing obsidian pieces, ensuring they get the best value for their money.

Color and appearance

Different types of obsidian, such as black, rainbow, snowflake, mahogany, and gold sheen obsidian, can command different prices due to their unique colors and patterns. Rarer forms or exceptional specimens with vivid hues and patterns are generally more valuable.

Size and weight

Larger and heavier obsidian pieces are often more expensive than smaller ones, as they require more material and are harder to find or process.

Quality and clarity

The quality of an obsidian piece, including its overall visual appeal, transparency, and freedom from inclusions or imperfections, plays a crucial role in determining its price.


Obsidian pieces that have been expertly crafted, whether as jewelry, sculptures, or ornamental items, can command higher prices due to the skill and effort required to produce them.


Rare obsidian specimens or those with unique features can fetch higher prices in the market, particularly if collectors seek them after.

Provenance and origin

The geographical location where the obsidian is sourced can also influence its price, as some regions may produce higher quality or more desirable types of obsidian.

Market demand

As with any commodity, the price of obsidian can be affected by supply and demand. If there’s a surge in demand for a specific type of obsidian, its price may increase accordingly.

Obsidian Price By Type

Obsidians in various colors

A detailed grasp of obsidians’ qualities is necessary to determine their cost and worth. The most popular obsidian types’ most recent pricing are listed in the table below.

Obsidian values by color

ColorLocationPrice (Per Carat)
Rainbow obsidianAny$3 – $50
Black obsidianAny$25 – $30
Snowflake obsidianAny$8 – $25
Gold sheen obsidianAny$10 – $20
Mahogany obsidianAny$3 – $9

The value and price of various obsidian types vary significantly, as can be shown. Find out how much obsidian costs in relation to other units.

Obsidian pricing by unit of measurement

A carat of obsidian$3 – $50
A gram of obsidian$15 – $250
An ounce of obsidian$430 – $7,090
A kilogram of obsidian$15,000 – $250,000
A pound of obsidian$6,800 – $113,400
A ton of obsidian$13,607,800 – $226,796,250

The Most Expensive Obsidian

Two iridescent raw fire obsidians

Fire obsidian is the most expensive and most valuable form of obsidian. This extremely unusual variety of obsidian, when viewed from the right angle, exhibits rainbow colors. Obsidian often appears black from most perspectives, although these colors are frequently fairly strong and powerful.

How To Get An Appraisal On Your Obsidian

Appraising an oblong-shaped obsidian with a smooth surface

After reading our advice above, you’ll have a good understanding of the general value and pricing of your obsidian. To acquire the best estimate, getting your obsidian professionally appraised or assessed is still advised. They will be able to identify positive and unfavorable characteristics that would be difficult for someone without experience to identify.

Look for professionals with experience in evaluating obsidian or similar gemstones. You can search for local gem and mineral societies, as they may have a list of recommended appraisers. Contact the appraiser to schedule an appointment for the evaluation. Provide them with any relevant information about your obsidian piece, including its origin, history, and any accompanying documentation or certificates. This information will help the appraiser prepare for the appraisal.

Clean your obsidian piece gently using a soft cloth to remove any dust or dirt. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that might damage the stone. The appraiser will examine the stone for its type, size, quality, craftsmanship, and other relevant factors. They may use specialized tools and equipment to determine its characteristics and value accurately.

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

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