Apache Tear Obsidian

“Apache Tear Obsidian” is the name given to small pebbles of rounded black Obsidian, otherwise known as Marekanite.

It is often found in Perlite – this all depends on the water present when the Obsidian began to form.

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Appearance, Uses and History

Apache Tear Obsidian is a trade name for small, rounded pebbles of Obsidian, also known as Marekanite.

They are typically opaque black, although they may be translucent in bright, direct light. It is often found embedded in or with the mineral Perlite.

The name ‘Apache Tear’ comes from an Apache legend, as Apache warriors fought the US Cavalry on a mountain in Arizona. Rather than face defeat, they rode their horses off the mountainside rather than be killed by the soldiers.

When the news reached the wives and families of the dead, they cried, and their tears turned to stone as they hit the ground.


Locales

Apache Tear Obsidian is found around the western United States, particularly Arizona and Nevada.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
SiO2, Silicon Dioxide
Colours and Variations
Black, but brown-amber with a light directly through them.
Streak
White / colourless
Luster
Vitreous
Fracture
Conchoidal
Crystal habit
Small nodules, generally spherical – siliceous glassy rock.
Mohs hardness
5.0 – 5.5
Specific Gravity
2.3 – 2.6
Easiest testing method
Common Treatments
None

Photos of Apache Tear Obsidian

Obsydian (Łzy Apacza) w perlicie - Arizna. USA.
Apache Tear in Matrix

Hazards and Warnings

While ‘Apache Tears’ are generally very rounded, Obsidian is a naturally occurring glass, and as such can have extremely sharp fragments and edges when broken – to the extent that Obsidian scalpels have been tested.

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.

When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations

Arabic:

  • أباتشي سبج المسيل للدموع

Hindi:

  • अपाचे फाड़ ओब्सीडियन

Portuguese:

  • obsidiana lágrima apache

Bengali:

Indonesian:

Punjabi:

English:

Italian:

  • apache lacrima ossidiana

Russian:

  • апач слезу обсидиан

French:

  • apache déchirure obsidienne

Japanese:

  • アパッチ涙黒曜石

Spanish:

  • obsidiana de lágrima apache

German:

  • Apache Tränen Obsidian

Korean:

  • 아파치 눈물 흑요석

Thai:

Gujurati:

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

  • 阿帕奇眼泪黑曜石

Urdu:


Further Reading / External Links