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What on Earth Is Apache Tears Obsidian?

What on Earth Is Apache Tears Obsidian?

Apache Tears are a small variety (about 2 inches or less in diameter) of the igneous rock Obsidian. They form as oval-shaped pebbles through the rapid cooling of viscous lava from volcanoes and they commonly occur in lava domes and ash-flow tuffs.

Popular extraction sites of Apache Tears Obsidian are located in the southwestern part of the US and some parts of Mexico.

Read on to discover more about the stone's history and properties.

The Physical Properties of Apache Tears Obsidian

Made of silicon dioxide, the stone is considered a volcanic glass with a similar composition to Rhyolite. Having a glassy luster, raw Apache Tears Obsidian displays a conchoidal fracture and can have a jagged surface. The pebbles can appear black and opaque, but they are actually translucent when you hold them against a light.

In terms of hardness, they fall between 5 and 5.5 on the Mohs scale. This means the pebbles can get easily scratched by a knife blade.

The History of Apache Tears Obsidian

The stone got its name from a legend of the Native American Apache tribe. In the 1870s, it is believed that 75 Apache warriors fought with the US Cavalry on a mountain in Arizona. The Apaches were eventually trapped and outnumbered by the US Cavalry.

Rather than be killed in battle, the warriors rode their horses off the mountain to their deaths. Their demise caused sorrow to their loved ones left behind. When they learned of the tragedy, their wives and children mourned and cried hard for over a month.

Upon hitting ground, their tears turned into what we now know as Apache Tears Obsidian.

The Lore of Apache Tears Obsidian

Drawing from the stone's history, ancient lore holds that those who possess or hold an Apache Tear should never shed a tear again. It is because the women of Apache already cried enough tears for everyone who mourns.

It was also believed that carrying an Apache Tear will help one foresee danger before it could happen. In the same way the Apache warriors recognized their defeat before the US Cavalry and chose to die, someone who uses the stone will be granted wisdom in the face of a dire situation and be able to decide the right course of action to handle it.

Apache Tears Obsidian is also known to help its user manage struggles with grace and gentleness.

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The Metaphysical Properties of Apache Tears Obsidian

Today, Apache Tears Obsidian is widely used in crystal healing and meditation. These little Obsidian stones are regarded as a gentle protective stone. They are used to protect against psychic attacks and conflicts anywhere. They are recommended for people who work in a fast-paced, competitive work environment and want to guard their inner vibrations and be spared from ill intentions of others.

As a grounding stone, Apache Tears Obsidian also helps people to stay rooted in positivity and to welcome unpleasant emotions. An Apache Tear user will be more accepting of grief, pain, and suffering as a natural part of humane experience. This sensibility will help one to better connect with others, lending an empathetic ear to those who are going through a rough patch.


King, H. (n.d.). Obsidian. Geology.com. Accessed from https://geology.com/rocks/obsidian.shtml

Apache tears. (n.d.). Wikipedia.com. Accessed from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_tears

Goncalves, T. (2020, June 30). Apache Tears: How This Stone Can Help Your Emotional Healing. Conscious Items. Accessed from https://consciousitems.com/blogs/crystal-guides/apache-tears

Obsidian. (2021, March 2). Britannica. Accessed from https://www.britannica.com/science/obsidian

Apache Tears. (n.d.). Mindat.org. Accessed from https://www.mindat.org/min-27156.html