Obsidian is often called volcanic glass because it is formed from molten lava that has cooled very quickly. It gets its name from Obsius, a Roman legionnaire who discovered an obsidian deposit in Ethiopia around 280 BC. When the word “obsidian” entered the English language in the 1790s, the stone was still confused with quartz. Obsidian has served as a favored gemstone since antiquity, reaching its height of popularity in Victorian-era jewelry. The stone is also associated with healing properties and the capability of absorbing negative energies.