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Working with rainbow obsidian


#1

I have never worked with this material. I have a beautiful stone
that I want to make a ring with. It is quite large. I know it is only
5.5 or so Moh’s. I’m wondering what problems I might run into using
it in a ring?

J. S. Ellington


#2

Obsidian is technically a glass. It should be set in bezel setting
for protection, but to mount obsidian in bezel is not trivial. If
you really like the stone very much and wanted to do what it takes,
then I would suggest 22 kt gold for the bezel, or it may not survive.

Leonid Surpin


#3

What you’ll encounter using rainbow obsidian in a ring is scratching.
Being a natural glass, obsidian scratches as glass would do, eagerly,
deeply, chippy and distressingly apparent against the dark of the
stone. I’ve been storing some rainbow cabs I cut about two years ago
on a foam pad in a glass covered display case. The case doesn’t get
moved around much at all. Yet even so a visibly abraded patch has
formed on the tops of the cabs where they contact the glass.

Cheers,
Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada


#4

J.S.,

Obsidian is nature’s GLASS. So know that when applying it to
wearability.

Kay Taylor


#5

I have polished a number of obsidian cabochons, including rainbow
obsidian. All obsidians are relatively soft and quite brittle. Think
glass! As a ring stone your obsidian would lose polish very quickly
and be vulnerable to impact. It would last much longer as a pendant
or pin.

Good luck!
Richard Davies


#6
...to mount obsidian in bezel is not trivial. If you really like
the stone very much and wanted to do what it takes, then I would
suggest 22 kt gold for the bezel, or it may not survive. 

Will all respect to Leonid, don’t let this stop you. I have set
obsidian, and I would say it just requires care. It’s not made of
glass, after all… oh, wait, it is. Hmmm. Well, I wouldn’t want to
set a stone with sharp corners, but with a fine silver (or 22k)
bezel and reasonable caution, it should be fine. Not really a good
choice for a ring or bracelet, though.

Noel


#7

If you could be creative and build a wall of material (SS) around
the stone so that the top of the stone was lower than the wall of
metal, you might get away with using this stone.

If the stone would not be protected, it would not look good is a
short period of time. The surface of the stone would continually
need repolishing.

Larry E. Whittington
http://www.jewelrycabs.com


#8
If the stone would not be protected, it would not look good is a
short period of time. The surface of the stone would continually
need repolishing. 

Yes, its true that obsidian is a fairly soft stone (5-5.5 Mohs)
but…if it is not worn for laying brick/block it will last a long
time. The first stone I ever cut back in 72 was an obsidian and has
been in a nice setting all these years…for my wife. While she does
not wear it much these days, (silver setting, she now wants only
gold!) she did wear it a lot in the earlier days. It looks just like
the day I polished it!

Opal is soft, but people make it into ridiculous jewelry…why not
obsidian?

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!