Helenite: World’s Most Amazing Gemstone Found in Volcano

Helenite is a man-made glass that was created accidentally. The gemstone was first created after the volcanic eruption of Mount St. in 1980.

As we found the story of it interesting, we at Anomalous decided to share some special facts about it.

Helenite is a man-made glass made from the fused volcanic rock dust from Mount St.
Photo: Ryan Masin

After the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, a lot of workers were trying to salvage equipment damaged by the eruption. While they were working using torches they saw something which was melting the nearby ash and rock and turning it into greenish color. 

That’s how people first discovered the way to form Helenite. We all know how powerful is the word of mouth. As the story of this gemstone spread, more and more jewelry companies noticed it and started to produce Helenite. 

The gemstone is produced by heating both rock dust and particles from the Mount St. Helens area in a furnace to a temperature of about 2700°F (1,480 °C)

It is categorized as Silicate and it registers around 5 for hardness on the Mohs scale.  However, there are other resources and gem providers that increased the hardness to about 6 to 7.5 on the hardness scale. The gemstone consists is made of materials including 65% SiO2, 18% Al2O3, 5% Fe2O3, 4% CaO, 4% Na2O, and 2% MgO.

A lot of jewelry companies are marketing Helenite due to its emerald look, good refractive index, and durability. We can also call it a cheap alternative to naturally occurring gemstones like Emerald or Peridot. 

Even though the most common name for it is Helenite, Mount St. Helen’s Obsidian, Emerald Obsidianite, and Ruby Obsidiaite are some other names that are used to call this gemstone.

Normally only naturally occurring volcanic glasses are known as obsidians, and Helenite is not an actual one.

Faceted red helenite. Photo: B. Cedric

Facet rough, faceted stones, tumble stones, and mounted-in finished jewelry are some different forms in which Helenite is sold. Helenite is formed in a lot of different colors like green, red, and blue by enhancing color agents while it melts. 


Last but not least Helenite is not a rare substance. There are billions and trillions of cubic tons of volcanic ash and mud to create this gemstone. Just a five-gallon bucket of ask would be enough to make thousands of carrots of them.

Written by Multisitez

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