Explosive Jewelry – Gemstones From Volcanoes

Avoid the heat with these cool volcanic gemstone jewelry pieces.

Helenite green and blue gemstone ring sterling silver
Green and blue Helenite baguette gems set in sterling silver, TwankeeJewelry Etsy shop, based in San Francisco; ring, $103

Recently, we enjoyed a trip to Hawaii, the Big Island.

Besides being in paradise, we witnessed the island’s Kīlauea Volcano lava lake.

Kīlauea Volcano lava lake and crater are incredible!
-photo, Brenna Pakes

Seeing an active volcano is amazing and inspired me to write about the gemstones that form from them.

Jewelry From Lava

Highly recognizable, lava is used as a gem material. The black beads are pitted from the porous voids left when the lava was cooling.

black onyx and lava bracelet
Black lava, obsidian and onyx bead bracelet, by Tippin’ The Scales, at www.tippingthescales.com, Etsy; Austin, TX; $64.99

Black lava beads add an intriguing organic quality to jewelry, don’t you think?

 

When volcanoes erupt rapidly and violently, like Mount St. Helen’s,   lava material cools so rapidly that it forms glass.

Obsidian is the result of rapidly cooled volcanic material.

Colors of obsidian range from black to brown to greenish brown.

Just like any other form of glass, obsidian is fairly fragile, breaks easily, and has a hardness between 5-6.

Some obsidian forms with small white crystals against black that look like snowflakes, hence, snowflake obsidian.

sterling silver and snowflake obsidian earrings
Snowflake obsidian earrings on sterling silver wires, MrsRoninsonsAffair, Etsy $68

Shortly after the eruption of Mount St. Helen’s, it was found that when the ashes were subjected to high temperatures, a green glass was formed.

Trademarked as Helenite, various minerals are added to volcanic ash that alter the resulting color.

The most popular is an emerald green, with other varieties like blue and red.

Helenite green and blue gemstone ring sterling silver
Green and blue Helenite baguette gems set in sterling silver, TwankeeJewelry Etsy shop, based in San Francisco; ring, $103

Gems on Fire

Mexican fire opal looks like frozen lava. Ironically, fire opal’s origins began in a volcanic environment.

orange opal fire opal
0.67ct freeform fire opal with color flash, KosnarGemCo,Etsy, $35

Water and the type of minerals that erupt from a volcano’s lava contribute to its forming a solid gel material with the same structure and similar make up to all other opals.

orange stone ring
Vintage Mexican fire opal and diamond ring, 18kt yellow gold, size, 6; Everything I Own, Etsy, $950

Cool Volcanic Jewelry

Even if you just came along to look, now you know the gems that form from a volcano’s creations!

To shop any of the featured jewelry items in this post, click on their associated links to be directed to the artist or jeweler for purchase.