Apache Tears

Gemstone :

Apache Tears


Birthstone Month :

Apache Tears (Obsidian) is not associated with a birthstone month.


Zodiac :

Apache Tears (Obsidian) is not associated with a zodiac sign.


Chemical Symbol :



Chemical Make-up :

Apache Tears (Obsidian) is a Silicon Dioxide and is actually a volcanic glass.

It is formed from silica-rich lava that cools too quickly for crystals to grow

Most Obsidians are 70 percent Silica and its dark color is due to the presence of Iron oxide minerals within its structure.


History & Lore :

Obsidian is named after its discoverer, Obsius of Ethiopia.


The legend of the name Apache Tears dates back to the 1870's when a group of Apache Warriors, in battle on a mountain and outnumbered, decided they would rather ride their horses off the cliffs to their deaths then face defeat against the US Calvary. The tears wept by the family members of the Apache warriors turned to stone upon hitting the ground. The mountain in which the battle took place is now called Apache Leap Mountain.


Apache Tears are associated with the cleansing and healing powers of grief and emotions. They are said to release grief and trapped emotions in a controlled and positive manner. They are also said to provide strength and courage during such times of emotional grief and can bring hope in times of despair. It can also help to develop patience and inner peace.


Apache Tears, as well as all forms of Obsidian, are linked to the Root Chakra and the elements of earth and fire and are known to be powerful protective stones. They can be used to relieve muscle spasms, detoxification, and cleansing of inner energy.


Availability :

Apache Tears are both abundant and relatively inexpensive.


Sources :

Obsidian can be found in all areas where volcanic activity occurs, ahough for it to be classified as Apache Tears it must originate from a deposit in Arizona or New Mexico.


Evaluation :

Apache Tears are rated at 5 to 5.5 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and are quite fragile. Special care should be taken to avoid any sharp blows that can cause the stone to chip or crack. Apache Tears are best suited for necklaces, bracelets, and pendants. Apache Tears are found within a white volcanic material called Perlite. The Apache Tear will have an uneven coating of this volcanic material, and once polished will reveal a shiny glass pebble. The combination of the two creates a beautiful look with the Apache Tear being dark in color and the Perlite being light in color. The Apache Tear is commonly a blackish grey in color and can occasionally be found in shades of brown, red, and green. Apache Tears will have a glassy luster and may be translucent, transparent, or nearly opaque.


Common Cuts :

A gem cutter must be extremely careful when cutting and shaping Obsidian because some may have internal pressures that can be released whilst being cut, causing the stone to explode. Obsidian is not only cut into gemstone shapes but also is also fashioned into ornaments and stone tools.


Routine Enhancements :

There are no known enhancements for Apache Tears.


Care & Cleaning :

Apache Tears can be cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft brush. Care should be taken to avoid sharp blows because they are quite fragile and can chip or crack easily. Exposure to excessive heat and household chemicals should be avoided. Always store your Apache Tears jewelry in a fabric-lined box away from other harder jewelry items in order to avoid chipping and scratching.