Obsidian, Apache Tear (Rough)


Compassionate Strength 

Soothe your heart during times of grief and sorrow.

Understand and let go of baggage from the past.

Accept what is and feel safe and grounded.

Be resilient and find strength within yourself.

Let Apache Tear help you to find peace!

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Healing Properties of Apache Tear Obsidian

Spiritual: Apache Tear Obsidian has a more gentle energy than regular Black Obsidian, making it a perfect choice when we need to accept life-shattering truths.  Apache Tear help us to process through negative emotions thoroughly, so that we can understand the depth and breadth of our new emotional landscape.  It encourages us to feel the pain, rather than trying to get rid of it as quickly as possible.  It reminds us the pain is there, because love is there, and that sweeping the pain away too quickly is a disserve to the love.  Apache Tear encourages us to grieve honestly and then to release the grief when we are ready.  When used intentionally, it can help us to take our raw emotions and transmute them into hard-won wisdom and a much greater degree of compassion. It also gives us courage and support if we need to forgive ourselves or others.  Apache Tear Obsidian is attuned to the Root and Heart Chakras and linked to the astrological signs of Sagittarius and  Aries. It is connected to the element of Earth and vibrate to the numbers 1 and 6.

Emotional: Apache Tear Obsidian is highly recommended during times of grief.  It can be used around the clock, for weeks, months or even years.  Hold the Apache Tear and let the grief flow through you and into the stone.  Sometimes the grief is sadness, at other times it might be expressed as anger, numbness or confusion.  It doesn’t matter how it expresses, or whether it is loud or quiet, the grief can always be poured into the Apache Tear and be exchanged for comfort and grounding.  Apache Tear has an extraordinary capacity for holding emotions and doesn’t need to be cleansed or recharged like other stones.  Instead it can simply hold the energy, allowing us to lean on it energetically without judgement.  The value in this is that it gives us space to grief and doesn’t rush the process.  When we prematurely bury grief, it often leads to new problems down the road.  So it is better to process the grief, regardless of how long it takes or how awkward it might feel.  When grieving is over, some people may want to return the Apache Tear back to Mother Earth, either by burying it or putting it in a natural body of water.  For some griefs, the pain never goes away entirely.  In such cases, the Apache Tear may be put away for most days, but taken back out during anniversaries or whenever the pain resurfaces.  Ultimately, however, Apache Tear’s goal is to help us to accept the new reality and find our way back to peace.    

Mental: Apache Tear Obsidian inspires emotional intelligence, especially in regards to the complexity of sadness and grieving.  For anyone who has buried grief, out of shame or fear, Apache Tear helps us to gently unbury the pain so we can understand it, heal it and release it.  It is an excellent stone to take to therapy or whenever we are trying to understand our negative emotions.  It helps us feel safe enough to talk about the hardest memories and feelings.  It offers a steady rock to cling to, when intense emotions threaten to sweep us away.  Apache Tear shushes any judgmental voices that tell us that we “shouldn’t feel like that” or “shouldn’t act like that” or “shouldn’t feel that this long” or “should have felt that longer”.  Apache Tear replaces those unhelpful “shoulds and should nots”, with a very helpful acceptance that grief is a child of love.  Like any child, it deserves to be treated kindly and wisely.

Physical: Apache Tear Obsidian is recommended when grief has assaulted our body and we feel it as a physical pain.  The pain may be expressed in different ways depending on how a person processes grief.  It can be a sharp pain or a dull pain, or fluctuate between the two.  For some people it will be felt more acutely at the initial moment of grief and then subside, for others the physical affects may not appear until long after the shock has worn off.  Anyone who feels as though they might die of a broken heart or feels their life has been reduced to a gray shadow world, would do well to hold tight to an Apache Tear.  It is extremely comforting and non-judgmental and can help us to process our grief in a healthy way.  This in turn reduces physical problems associated with grief, such as higher blood pressure, vulnerability to infections, inflammation, fatigue, etc.  

Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.

Mineralogy of Apache Tear Obsidian

Raw Apache Tear Obsidian
Raw Apache Tear Obsidian, Superior, Pinal Co., Arizona, USA

Rock Family: Igneous Rock
Major Mineral: Volcanic Glass
Minor Minerals: Feldspar, Hematite

Color: Black, gray
Gravity: 2.35-2.6
Hardness: 5-5.5
Texture: Vitreous
Transparency: Transparent to opaque

Location: While Obsidian deposits are found in many locations, the type known as Apache Tears is found only in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico – the historical territory of the Apache Tribe.

apache tears mine locations

Rock Family: Obsidian is not a mineral, but rather a rock. An easy way to understand the difference is that rocks are like cookies and minerals are ingredients such as flour or sugar. Many different minerals are used to create a rock! In the case of Apache Tear Obsidian, it is an igneous rock made of volcanic glass (major mineral) and Hematite and Feldspar (minor minerals).  Some Apache Tears are pure black, but most are a mixture of Black Obsidian and grayish-white Perlite.  Obsidian and Perlite are both forms of volcanic glass.  When polished, Apache Tear Obsidian may be opaque or translucent.   

Formation: Obsidian is formed when lava from a volcanic explosion solidifies so quickly that there is no time for mineral crystals to grow within it. It is sometimes referred as “volcanic glass” due to its glass-like texture. Each volcanic explosion creates a distinct type of Obsidian.   Obsidian is most often jet black, however the inclusion of various minerals can create colored varieties and sheens.  The white areas on raw Apache Tears is Perlite,  another form of Obsidian with a higher-than-normal water content.  It’s white or grayish-white color is due to water bubbles trapped within the glass.

Mining: Apache Tears are mined at their primary deposit in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico and can often be picked up directly off the earth.

Apache Tear 2
Rockhounding Site for Apache Tear Obsidian, Superior, Arizona

Enhancements: All Apache Tears on the market are natural, enhanced only through tumbling, cutting, and polishing. 

Synonym: Smoky Obsidian, Marekanite 

Map courtesy of TravelBlog
Photos: Raw Apache, Superior, Arizona

History of Apache Tear

Apache Tear Obsidian was “discovered” relatively recently by the metaphysical community and so it was not included in any early lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers. However, various forms of Obsidian were used by many nearby indigenous cultures to make weapons, tools, and ornaments, as well as for healing and spiritual purposes. From this it can be inferred that Apache Tear Obsidian would have been similarly used. 

IG31-1Apache Tears are a form of Black Obsidian found only in the American Southwest, in the historical territory of the Native American Apache Tribe. The name “Apache Tears” comes from a legend that arose following a particularly heartbreaking episode in 1870. The event took place during the height of the Apache Wars (1849-1886), between the United States Army and the Apache Tribes. It was a time in which hatred proved stronger than compassion, and sorrow was the result.

In 1870, an Apache band in southern Arizona had established a secret settlement on top of a large rock pile called Big Picacho. The trail to the settlement was hidden away among the sheer mountain cliffs, and so the Apache felt themselves secure. The young men of the band occasionally perched as lookouts on the edge of Big Picacho and scanned the wide desert, but no one thought to guard the trail to the camp. Close by, an American army camp had been established to protect the white settlers from Apache attacks. The army officials had long suspected the Apaches were on Big Picacho but were unable to flush them out. However, eventually the white settlers, crazed with hatred, found the secret pathway leading to the Apache camp.

The settlers attacked at dawn from three sides, killing men, women, and children indiscriminately. Soon approximately 2/3 of the tribe had been killed or mortally wounded. The survivors realized that no mercy was to be had, and so ran West in the one direction that remained open to them. They ran towards the edge of the mountain, where sheer cliffs stretched hundreds of miles over the desert floor. Without any hesitation, they leapt off the cliffs and fell to their deaths. The entire band, numbering approximately 75 people, was completely destroyed.

Apache Leap, Arizona

According to legend, when other Apache bands heard the story they cried so bitterly that when their tears hit the earth, they formed black stones. Today, Apache Tears are considered the very best stone for processing through grief.

Photos: Apache Family, Apache Leap, Arizona

Ethically Sourced Apache Tear Obsidian


The Apache Tear Obsidian is collected by hand.

The collectors sells directly to Moonrise Crystals.

Moonrise Crystals sells directly to you.






The Supply Chain

The Supply Chain is extremely short and clean.



The Mine

This Apache Tear Obsidian is from Superior, Arizona where it was hand-collected off the ground. 

Conditions are completely safe and there is virtually no environmental impact. 

Learn More: Ethical Mining



The Whole-seller

This Apache Tear Obsidian were hand-gathered by a married couple who lives near Superior, Arizona.

The wife sells the Obsidians and is willing to share information freely.

Learn More: Ethical Lapidary


Sourcing Relationship

I originally had another source for rough Apache Tear Obsidian.  But I wanted to find something closer to the source, with less middlemen involved.  Due to Covid-19, I was unable to keep Apache Tear Obsidian in stock and hadn’t been able to find a new source or even continue to buy from my original source.

In the spring of 2021, I was completely sold out of Apache Tear Obsidian, rough and polished, when a young woman contacted me during a time of intense grief.  Her best friend had unexpectedly died and she was very worried about her friend’s boyfriend.  I advised her to get Apache Tear, but had none to offer her.  This felt completely unacceptable to me, so I decided that all other work tasks needed to be paused and that I would devote my full time and energy to finding a new Apache Tear Obsidian source.  I was able to contact her soon after, to tell her I had found a new source.  She immediately purchased an Apache Tear for her friend’s boyfriend.  I sent two Apache Tears, one for the boyfriend and one for her.

As always, ethical sourcing was at the forefront of my mind when I was searching for a new supplier.  I am very pleased to have found a direct supplier and I hope to continue to do business with them for many years to come.

Safe Handling of Apache Tear Obsidian

Apache Tear Obsidian

What You’ll Receive: A 100% natural Apache Tear Obsidian

Selection Process: The stone I select for you will be carefully chosen for its beauty and appeal.  If combined with other stones, I always take time to choose stones that look and feel good together.

Origin: United States

Polishing Method: Natural raw nuggets. Each stone is unique and minor variations are what makes them beautiful.


  • Color: Black and greyish-white
  • Polish: Natural
  • Quality: A
  • Shape: Rounded
  • Size: Average size varies
    • Small is .5 in / 12 mm
    • Large is .75 in / 19 mm
  • Transparency: Mostly opaque, may have translucent areas
  • Weight: Average weight varies
    • Small is 2 g / 10 carats
    • Large is 0.3 oz / 8.5 g / 42 carats

Shipping: Next business day – Domestic First Class averages 3-7 days.  International First Class averages 2-3 weeks.


  1. Samina J. (Ohio)

    Perfect! Thank you very much.

  2. Robert S. (Oklahoma)

    Very nice stone. Dealer is super nice. Most pleasant experience

  3. Michelle V. (Georgia)

    Definitely yes, thank you!

  4. Barbara J. (Alaska)

    Not only did you pick the right shape, once I held it, I knew it was perfect!

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