Gemstone Index: Lava Stone
Black Lava Stone Beads: Black lava stone beads are cut from basalt, a type of igneous rock formed during volcanic eruptions. Due to their holes and bubbles, lava stone beads add great texture, but not a lot of weight, to jewelry designs. Lava stone is naturally rough in texture, and our beads appear to be treated with a paraffin wax to make them smooth to the touch - plain basalt would be rather abrasive! Lava stone beads are a great base for Art Clay Silver paste and other Metal Clay pastes - just be sure to burn off the waxy coating in a kiln first.
White "Lava" Stone Beads: Natural lava (basalt) is only available in shades of black and brown. All white and other colors that are commercially sold as lava are a similar stone (likely pumice, which is also volcanic). Due to their unknown makeup, we don't recommend heating white "lava".
Due to the porous nature of these beads, both styles are great carriers for essential oil aromatherapy jewelry. If you find that the wax on the black lava interferes with essential oils, try burning it off with a torch, or baking in a 250-degree F oven on a layer of foil for about 20 minutes to melt off some of the excess (remove from the oven and wipe with a paper towel before they completely cool). Please follow all safety precautions when using either method. We do not recommend this method with White "Lava" beads, as some batches of White "Lava" beads actually catch on fire! (We are not sure what they are formed from.)