Published June 2023  •  Updated February 2024   •  Read Time: 8 minutes
Platinum Obsidian is a silver and black banded Obsidian.  Despite the name, it doesn’t contain any precious Platinum, the name is strictly for marketing purposes.  Obsidian is formed from rapidly-cooling lava after a volcanic eruption.  The bands of color are due to differing amounts of micro-crystallinity as each layer hardens.  All Obsidians are grounding and encourage truthfulness.  Platinum Obsidian is particularly good for tact and efficiency.  It’s not enough to just know the truth, we have to know how to express it and act upon it.  It is a wonderful stone for cultivating wisdom.

Platinum Obsidian spiderweb obsidian

Platinum Obsidian Healing Energy

Spiritual Healing Properties

Platinum Obsidian has a slightly softer energy than pure black Obsidian.  The black variety is a stone of unvarnished truth, by contrast, Platinum Obsidian reveals truth with tact and diplomacy.  The truth is still revealed, but it is shown in a way that makes it easier to receive and accept.  Platinum Obsidian is a fantastic choice for shamans who need to be able to communicate with both the spiritual realms and the earthly ones.  It is particularly useful for far-seeing, the ability to predict the future based on a clear understanding of the past, present, and current trajectories.  It encourages us to be sincerely committed to acting with integrity.

Metaphysical Properties Platinum Obsidian
Chakra Root
Element Earth
Numerology 2
Zodiac Sagittarius

Emotional Healing Properties

Platinum Obsidian is a fantastic healing stone to work with after a traumatic experience.  It helps us to recognize the truth of the situation and to process it in a healthy manner.  Platinum Obsidian gently redirects us if we start making up false stories about what happened and why, particularly if we are incorrectly blaming ourselves or refusing to acknowledge our actual role.  It won’t allow us to play the victim or to play the martyr, instead it asks us to be our full complex human self rather than a distressed archetype.  It teaches us that emotional turmoil is often rooted in denial.  When we accept what is real, we are set free.  It reminds us that the truth, even if painful, will always serve us better than a lie.

Mental Healing Properties

Platinum Obsidian sharpens our vision so we can see very clearly what is happening, what needs to happen next, and how best to go about it.  It encourages cooperation and helps us us to get along with others in order to achieve a common goal.  When used with intention, it helps us to quickly shift into problem-solving mode and to carefully assess all the variables, before jumping into action.  It reminds us to measure twice and then cut once.  Platinum Obsidian is extremely good for reminding us to be effective, not just efficient.  Being efficient may seem smart in the short-term, but without careful consideration it may have long-term disadvantages.  Being effective is what allows us to elegantly meet strategic goals in a positive holistic manner, without wasting time, resources, or energy.

Physical Healing Properties

Platinum Obsidian is an ideal stone when we are faced with a physical problem that triggers our emotions, especially fear and denial.  The denial can be a refusal to accept a diagnosis or to get the appropriate treatment.  The denial can also be a refusal to accept normal realities of life, such as growing older and the body reflecting that.  Platinum Obsidian helps us to calmly accept the truth of the situation and to behave with wisdom.  It is a fantastic talisman for embracing growing older, including letting our hair take on its natural white or silver tones.  It is particularly good during that transition stage of middle age when we are still a little young and a little old all at the same time.

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Geology of Platinum Obsidian

Where does Platinum Obsidian come from?

Obsidian is found all over the world wherever volcanic activity has occurred.  Gray banded Obsidian is found in Chile (Easter Island), Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States.  The variety called Platinum Obsidian is from Jalisco, Mexico.

Mining and Treatments

Obsidian may be found on the surface of the Earth and requires little to no mining to extract. It is much prized by indigenous cultures for crafting weapons, tools, and ornaments.

Obsidian is a natural stone, enhanced only by  cutting and polishing.  However, there are also manmade glasses that are occasionally sold as “Obsidian”.  Real Obsidian is almost always a black stone and a additional colors can usually only be seen in the right conditions.  By contrast, manmade “Obsidian” is usually a vivid artificial color such as lime green or magenta.

Platinum Obsidian Placeholder
Platinum Obsidian

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Mineral Family

Obsidian is a rock, rather than a mineral. As an easy way to understand the difference, think of rocks as being like cookies and minerals as being the ingredients which make up those cookies. Many different minerals are used to create a rock! Obsidian is an igneous rock that is formed by lava cooling after a volcanic eruption.  The lava cools and hardens so quickly there is no time for any other crystal growth.  It is sometimes referred to a natural glass, volcanic glass or lava stone.  Despite the name, Platinum Obsidian does not contain any Platinum.  That is strictly a marketing name due to the silvery-gray bands.

Platinum Obsidian’s energy works well with its family – other igneous rocks.  Try it in combination with Chinese Writing StoneGarnieriteIndigo GabbroLarvikite Moonstone TourmalinePreseli Bluestone, and Unakite.  Or try combining is with other types of Obsidian like Apache TearBlackGold SheenMahoganyRed Sheen, Silver Sheen, and Spiderweb.

Platinum Obsidian Formation and Crystal Associates

Obsidian is formed when lava from a volcanic explosion solidifies so quickly that there is no time for visible mineral crystals to grow within it. It is sometimes referred as “volcanic glass” due to its glass-like texture. Obsidian is typically jet black, but can also be gray.  Occasionally the two colors are found together in alternating bands of light and dark.  This banding can be so narrow that it’s invisible to the naked eye or the bands can be up to several inches thick.  The banding is caused by differing amounts of microcrystallinity.  The higher the concentration of microscopic crystals, the darker the band appears.  Platinum Obsidian has thick bands which may have been created by viscous deformation, in which layers of lava fold and stretch as it travels and slowly cools.  While it’s bands look similar to the bands sometimes seen in Rainbow Obsidian, the two varieties  are not found in the same location.

Platinum Obsidian’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Fire Agate and Purple Opal

Mineralogy Platinum Obsidian
Rock Type Igneous Rock
Major Minerals Volcanic Glass
Minor Minerals None
Color Black and silver-gray
Texture Vitreous
Transparency Opaque

History of Platinum Obsidian

Obsidian was not included in most early lapidaries, texts which describe gemstones and their powers. However archaeological evidence reveals that Obsidian was used to create some of the very oldest cultural artifacts in human history. In fact, Obsidian was also used by our evolutionary ancestors and cousins!

The very earliest Obsidian tools date to the Oldowan, at the very dawn of the Paleolithic/Stone Age (2.6 million -10,000 BCE). Archaeologists believe that the very earliest hominid to use stone tools was Australopithecus garhi (2.5 million BCE) who lived in Ethiopia and is believed to be one of our direct ancestors. Among the fossil remains for this early hominid are obsidian tools used for chopping, scraping, and piercing. Sometime later two other early hominids began making stone tools; Homo habilis(2.4-1.4 million BCE), whose name means “Handy Man” precisely because he used stone tools, and Homo erectus (1.89 million – 143,000 BCE), the first hominid to stand upright like a modern human. Whether each species discovered stone tools independently, or were taught to use them, is a matter of speculation. Equally so, it is impossible to know whether these tools were purely practical or if they had any spiritual purpose.

Obsidian Arrow

Obsidian Arrowhead

At the dawn of human civilization and writing, we know that Obsidian was definitely being used for ritual purposes. In Egypt, Obsidian knives were used for ceremonial circumcisions, as well as to make mirrors and various decorative objects found in tombs. The actual name “Obsidian” was first used by Pliny the Elder (CE23-79) who named it after a Roman citizen/explorer, Obsius, who “discovered” it in Ethiopia. During the ancient and medieval period, Obsidian was thought to drive out demons, and was used as an aid in rituals. It was also used to heal wounds and alleviate pain.

Obsidian was also widely used in the Americas. In Central and North America, Obsidian was a symbol of Tezcatlipoca, the chief god of the Aztec religion.  Tezcatlipoca was the god of night, storms, kings, shamans, war, and beauty. He was depicted as a Jaguar, an incredibly potent symbol for spiritual power and authority. When the Aztecs practiced human sacrifice, it was an Obsidian knife that was wielded. The name Tezcatlipoca translates to mean “smoking mirror,” likely a direct reference to the Black Obsidian mirrors used by Mayan priests for divination and shamanic purposes.  Obsidian was widely traded throughout both South and North America. Each volcanic explosion creates a unique type of Obsidian, and so it is relatively easy to trace trading routes.  While Black Obsidian was the most common, gray Obsidians were also traded.

Platinum Obsidian is found in Jalisco, Mexico.  During the Aztec period, the area was home to nomadic tribes and any mining would have been very minimal.  Centuries earlier, Jalisco was home to a thriving city known as Ixtépete, “the hill of Obsidian.”  Little is known about the ancient civilization that lived there, it is known only by its artifacts including a large pyramid, some tombs, and various stone and ceramic artifacts.  The city thrived between the 7th and 10th centuries CE, and then mysteriously declined.

Platinum Obsidian is a marketing name for a gray-banded Obsidian from Mexico.  It doesn’t actually contain any Platinum, nor is the precious metal mined in that country.  Platinum sometimes costs as much or more than Gold, the specific price fluctuating on the global market.  Platinum is 30x more rare that Gold.  While the yellow metal is found worldwide, approximately 75% of Platinum is mined in South Africa, with the rest coming from small deposits in Canada, Colombia, India, Russia, and the United States.  Most Platinum is actually sold to the automotive industry and used to make catalytic converters for diesel engines, rather than being used in fine jewelry.

Polished Platinum has a similar shiny gray color as Silver and White Gold (yellow Gold mixed with Zinc and Nickel), but Platinum is more durable and maintains a high shine without much maintenance.  It’s a good choice for jewelry if you have a metal allergy, very few people are allergic to Platinum.   People commonly speak of being allergic to Silver, but the majority of the time, the allergy is actually to Nickel, which is found in both Silver and White Gold jewelry.  Nickle is added to fine jewelry because the pure precious metals are so soft they need to be mixed with stronger metals for durability.

Additional References:

  1. Hall, Matthew, “The five most expensive minerals and where they are mined?” Mining Technology, March 10, 2020, https://www.mining-technology.com/features/five-most-expensive-metals-and-where-they-are-mined/
  2. History.com, “Jalisco,” https://www.history.com/topics/latin-america/jalisco
  3. Mindat.org, “Obsidian,” https://www.mindat.org/min-8519.html
  4. Vanessa Ngan, “What is a jewelry allergy?” Dermnet (2012), https://dermnetnz.org/topics/jewellery-allergy
  5. Structured Database, “Deformation flow banding in obsidian,” https://structuredatabase.wordpress.com/deformation-flow-banding-in-obsidian/

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