Rhyolite is found in several locations around the world. Here are a few of the deposits of interest for the metaphysical and collectors’ market:
Chrysanthemum Stone – New Zealand
Jaguar Stone and Leopardskin Jasper – Mexico, Peru
Kambaba Jasper / Crocodile Jasper – Madagascar
Nebula Stone – Mexico
Ocean Jasper – Madagascar
Rainforest Jasper – Australia
Thunder Egg – Mexico and the United States
What is a Rhyolite?
Rhyolite is not a mineral, but rather an igneous rock. 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! Many Rhyolites have a high silica content which gives them a high shine when polished. A few colorful varieties are sold on the market, often labeled as a “Jasper.”
How is Rhyolite formed?
Rhyolite is a type of extrusive igneous rock, formed on the surface of the earth by molten magma due to a volcanic eruption. There are five types of igneous rocks created by lava: Basalt, Obsidian, Rhyolite, Trachyte, and Andesite. Other types of igneous rocks, such as Granite, are created by processes deep within the earth. Rhyolite is a relatively rare volcanic rock, almost exclusively found in the interiors of continents. Most Rhyolites are porphyritic and contain large Quartz crystals or other varieties of crystals in an extremely fine-grained matrix. This indicates that these crystals were already being formed before the lava flowed onto the surface. Jaguar Stone is a popular name given to spotted Rhyolite found in North and South America.
Rhyolite is mined at its primary deposit. It is often found with Obsidian and Pumice.
Why is Rhyolite sometimes mislabeled as Jasper?
There are many stones and minerals sold on the market as “Jasper.” Some of these are “true Jaspers,” a spotted Chalcedony, for example Brecciated Jasper. But many others are attractive igneous rocks, usually a colorful Rhyolite. Oftentimes miners and sellers aren’t educated in the finer points of geology, so whatever name is easier to communicate or is considered more marketable will be used. The simple truth is that a “jasper” is easier to sell than “rhyolite.”
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.