Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly without crystal growth. Pure obsidian is usually dark in appearance though the colour varies depending on the presence of impurities. Iron and magnesium typically give the obsidian a dark green to brown to black colour. A very few samples are nearly colourless. In some stones the inclusion of small white radially clustered crystals of cristobalite in the black glass produce a blotchy or flake pattern. It may contain patterns of gas bubbles remaining from the lava flow aligned along layers created as the molten rock was flowing before being cooled. These bubbles can produce interesting effects such as a golden or rainbow sheen.
Many spiritualists believe Mahogany Obsidian is a stone of strength - giving the wearer the ability to follow one's own convictions even in the face of adversity and bringing strength in times of need. A stone of reflection, this form of obsidian is said to help with inner reflection, mirroring our flaws while bringing self-acceptance, helping with decision making, and allowing us to make significant change in difficult areas of our lives. This gemstone is also believed by some to relieve tension.