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Canotila
08-06-2009, 01:22 PM
So...I need a transparent black stone. Pretty much like a smoky quartz/Apache tear, but there are no Apaches in the world I am writing about, and the word "smoky" in smoky quartz kind of tweaks with the tone of the sentence a little too much.

Anybody know of alternate names for that mineral? Or know of any similar looking minerals? It doesn't have to be a precious stone, any transparent-esque dark stone will do. Thank you so much for your time.

alleycat
08-06-2009, 01:30 PM
Some black opals are translucent (rather than transparent).

You could just call it a black quartz or black stone and say it's transparent. Perhaps a type of stone never seen before in whatever world you're writing about.

Mumut
08-06-2009, 01:57 PM
Black diamond? Is obsidian transparent? and Tourmaline (not sure if transparent but it is black).

Puma
08-06-2009, 05:14 PM
Use obsidian instead of Apache tear. An Apache tear is obsidian and obsidian occurs pretty much world wide where there are volcanoes that throw out volcanic glass. Puma

Medievalist
08-06-2009, 08:32 PM
Obsidian is the word you're looking for. It's essentially volcanic glass--it's what apache tears is.

Obisidian comes in transparent as crystal clear quartz, to a transparent jet black.

It's basically melted silica (glass), with mineral impurities that give it color.

dahmnait
08-06-2009, 09:01 PM
In addition to the suggestions above:

Augite - http://webmineral.com/specimens/picshow.php?id=80

Biotite (Black Mica) - http://www.thunderhealing.org/rock/biotite.jpg

Melanite (variety of garnet) - http://edwardsminerals.com/proddetail.asp?prod=Africa048

Puma
08-06-2009, 09:28 PM
Biotite would be transparent only in a very thin piece. But yes, mica (clear/white called muscovite) was what was used in stoves as Isenglas. Puma

dahmnait
08-06-2009, 10:23 PM
Biotite would be transparent only in a very thin piece. But yes, mica (clear/white called muscovite) was what was used in stoves as Isenglas. Puma
Yes, it does depend on whether you (the op) are strictly looking for transparent. Larger or thicker peices will be translucent to opaque. Size does matter for this particular mineral. ;)

On another note, if you are looking for something that most people will be able to identify, I would think that obsidian would be the best bet. Or something like Alleycat suggested, a stone never seen before in your world.

veinglory
08-06-2009, 10:26 PM
Obsidian seems best to me, most people know what it is.

blacbird
08-06-2009, 10:38 PM
Except that even obsidian, when black, is transparent only in the thinnest edges. Frankly, it's pretty hard to envision anything truly black as also being transparent. Look at deeply darkened car windows; they're illegal in many places precisely because you can't see into the car from outside.

caw

Canotila
08-06-2009, 11:07 PM
You all rock (no pun intended). Thank you so much, obsidian or mica should work.

That melanite is really pretty!

veinglory
08-06-2009, 11:09 PM
Obsidian, as i have seen it 'in the wild' comes in a range of shades.

Keyan
08-06-2009, 11:16 PM
You all rock (no pun intended). Thank you so much, obsidian or mica should work.

That melanite is really pretty!

I suggest if you use obsidian, you call it 'clear obsidian' or something like that - all the obsidian I've seen in quite opaque, so I'd trip on it if it was suddenly used to signify a transparent stone.

blacbird
08-06-2009, 11:32 PM
For some further clarification, volcanic glass (obsidian) potentially would be a common substance on any planet with active surficial geology and volcanic activity, so it would be a believable material. I'd suggest maybe using the term "dark" rather than "black" to describe the stuff, though. "Black" carries an implication of "opaque".

caw

Rowan
08-08-2009, 02:56 AM
Black diamond? Is obsidian transparent? and Tourmaline (not sure if transparent but it is black).

Black Obsidian isn't transparent but it comes in rainbow, snowflake, mahogany and other varieties (not sure any of them are translucent - I have jewelry and stones of all three and can't see through any of 'em)... neither is most black tourmaline... Two of my favorite stones though. :)

I don't know of any "black" stones that are transculent - most are opaque, especially Jet and Onyx.

Can I ask what the stone will be used for -- ie., will it represent something or be used for scrying, etc.?? I may be able to help if I know what the stone will represent...

dmytryp
08-09-2009, 08:13 PM
Except that even obsidian, when black, is transparent only in the thinnest edges. Frankly, it's pretty hard to envision anything truly black as also being transparent. Look at deeply darkened car windows; they're illegal in many places precisely because you can't see into the car from outside.

caw
Not to be nit-picky here, but with the darkened glass it isn't a matter of transparency (after all, you can see fine from within) rather than thelack of light inside the vehicle. Same as you can't see much from inside an illuminated room to the dark outside.
As for transparensy as a function of color -- there is no connection. The reason of the transparency or lack there of is the size of the particles/grains amount of imperfections etc. For example, a dispersion of nano-size carbon black would be black, but very transparent (as it should be since the particles are smaller than the half wavelength). A black diamond with no imperfections will be transparent also. The transparency is seen, of course, only when you look through the object onto te light.

Oberon
08-11-2009, 04:22 AM
There are black agates, that are somewhate translucent. Obsidian (I have a huge chunk in my yard), is translucent only when thin enough, at which point it is gray, not black. You can get black stones with relatively translucent edges.

Canotila
08-12-2009, 01:38 AM
Thanks again. Blacbird, that is a good distinction to make.

I was trying to describe a ghost, but dark instead of greyish/whitish like ghosts are normally portrayed. Something dark and transparent at the same time. I have a big sack of apache tears which is apparently the same thing as black obsidian. They look opaque laying on the ground or if you shine a light on them, but if you hold them in the air where light can shine through they are transparent. I guess that is the effect I am going for.

Kurtz
08-12-2009, 01:47 AM
Obsidian edges can also be several times sharper than surgeons scalpels and never get blunted. Aztec macuahuitls (essentially cricket bats with wedges of obsidian glued to the sides) were able to cut the head off a horse in one blow. I would kill for a set of kitchen knives in obsidian. And probably be killed by them.

hammerklavier
08-12-2009, 06:40 AM
Mica very easily flakes into thin layers.

Kalyke
08-12-2009, 11:06 PM
Apache tears are obsidian