Red coral Ne New Mexico

I had a new customer reach out to me 2 weeks ago from New Mexico. He found me on the internet. From my IGS business listing . Thank you IGS. 3rd new customer for the last 2 months.

My customer wrote to me and attached a few photos …
He found an Obsidian stone about 34 years ago while hunting for deer with his father, around a Volcano in NE New Mexico called, Capulin Volcano. This Volcano is extinct, its last known eruption happened 55,000 to 62,000 years ago. He wondered , could this stone be that old? He did some searching on the internet, he couldn’t seem to find this stones color anywhere.

I think I know why. He said he would be ok sending it in to me for testing if needed.

But after some quick overview this morning. I believe this is red coral.

It weighs roughly 56 grams total.

Capulin’s eruption taking place between 56,000 and 62,000 years ago.

As far back as 30,000 years ago, Stone Age peoples used coral to decorate sepulchers, or burial vaults, and the ancient Egyptians used it. However, Blood Coral comes mostly from the Mediterranean Sea. I believe this piece was found in the area of this extinct volcano because it was possibly dropped by a native American, some one of the Spanish decent, or indengenous European. .who had it in their possession during travel on the trail or their voluntary and involuntary travels thru Europe. .Millions of Native Americans would die from exposure of disease and battles. Mildly put. Also. Put mildly because this could lead back to stoneage. This is the very interesting part of gemstones and geology. Especially when something like this is found out of its formation territory

Do yall see red coral as well .

Conchoidal fracture is a clear indicator this is NOT coral!

So , then it very well could be red Obsidian. It looks like the most common jet black type. Given it was found at base , then it would be just a guess. It could possibly be red obsidian. Which obsidian is created by rapid cooling of vicious rapid cooling…

Thanks again Jeff for pointing out what you did.


I can confirm with good confidence that is red obsidian. Mr. Bergman’s observation is on par. Subsequently, the locale of collection provides evidence for its identification.

Although Capulin is a good source for this material, it is more commonly found further southwest in the Jemez Springs / Bandelier Tuff formations, near the Valles Caldera.

Fun Fact: Valles Caldera is the metric establishing the scale for classifying a Super Volcano. Valles Caldera National Preserve (U.S. National Park Service).

New Mexico was my stomping ground for 20+ years. The state offers quite a few geologically diverse terrains and many distractions (ummm… I mean attractions) for rockhounds of all ages.