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What\'s the difference between Jet, Obsidian and Black Tourm...
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What\'s the difference between Jet, Obsidian and Black Tourmalin
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From: tracy
Sent: Sunday, August 16, 2009 7:08 PM
Subject: Comment from - Discount Prices on Healing Crystals, Minerals & Tumbled Stones

hey, can you tell me the difference between jet and obsidian? I've noticed black tourmaline is similar as well. what's the visual difference in those? i tried to search the FAQ's for that, but couldn't find any info.
Hi Tracy,
So happy you liked the article and doubly happy that the pics on the online version of the newsletter worked for you. It makes a real difference when you can see an example, doesn't it?

Jet, is a "gemmy" variety of Lignite (a lightweight type of Coal) which retains the structure of the original wood. Coal is defined as, "A sedimentary rock of organic origin consisting predominantly of carbonized plant remains." Jet normally has a matte like finish (flat, not shiny).

Obsidian is a type of volcanic glass. It is also classified as a rock, not a mineral and is basically formed by grain like particles of super heated Silica. These particles are what are left over after the volcanic eruption has spewed out all the other elements, water, etc As the lava cools, so does this mix of silicas. This quick cooling process leads to what we know as Obsidian. Obsidian is heavier than Jet, it polishes to a really fine shine if tumbled and can be semi-translucent to opaque.

So both are technically "rocks", one being made up of carbonized plant materials and the other made up of super heated, then super cooled silica.

Black Tourmaline  whose official name is Schorl, is a crystal. Its geological name is  Sodium Iron Aluminum Boro-silicate Hydroxide. Black Tourmaline crystals have a "point" however, it is a three sided flat prism like point. Black Tourmaline is for the most part opaque (the larger pieces) and thick. However, they can be found in thin needle like crystals as well. Some of these can be semi-transparent.

I hope that helps a bit! Please feel free to email with further questions if you like :)

with love and crystal blessings,

Posted on August 16, 2009
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