Types of Rocks and Minerals Found In Hawaii: A Guide To the 5 Most Common You’ll Spot

Hawaii is one of the sunniest states of the United States, and it is unique due to its location as being the only state composed of many islands.

Another component of this gorgeous state is that it is volcanic in nature, and this yields a range of rocks and minerals that rock hunters adore.

The types of rocks and minerals found in Hawaii are also enjoyed by many Americans, both locals and visitors alike.

What you will find here are black coral, obsidian, peridot, and olivine, most often, just to name a few.

Use this guide of the most common rocks and minerals found in Hawaii when you are looking to add to your rock collection of the many soils of American land.

Types of Rocks and Minerals Found In Hawaii: A Guide

Black Coral

Black coral is a beautiful stone found in Hawaii and is a living sea creature.

It is also the state stone of Hawaii.

This coral is the product of sea anemones grouping into polyps from colonies, feeding from the plankton of the ocean.

The black coral portion of the stone is the skeleton of the creatures, and this is used for a wide range of purposes once it is taken from the ocean.

It is most often black, but can be found in white, red, yellow, and orange colors.

Black coral is most abundant on the island of Hawaii.

This coral grows slowly and is considered rare.

That will be reflected in its price for jewelry, which is its most common use after home décor and crafts.

The people of Hawaii are proud to be home to this unique rock, and that is one reason it is so coveted across the country.

This is not a coral you are going to find everywhere.


Obsidian is another popular rock in Hawaii.

Although it can be found in other parts of the United States, it is the product of cooled lava.

It is most abundant in the area of the Hualalai Volcano, in an area called the cone of Pu’u Wa’awa’a.

You can do some rock hunting here, but you can’t bring obsidian home.

It is not legal to do so, and native Hawaii residents will tell you that taking obsidian without consent from the gods will bear you some bad luck.

On the outside, obsidian looks like glass, and it looks that way because that is how lava cools.

Lava cools faster than people think, but not fast enough for humans to handle it in a sitting.

When it cools, it will not crystallize, and the result is the glassy outcome of obsidian.

You might see gold in obsidian if you collect it, and that is the result of gas bubbles that occur as lava cools.

Obsidian is a hard rock, but not too hard to break, and is only slightly more fragile than glass.

It is also as sharp as glass.

It is most commonly black, but it also forms in green and blue colors, and can sometimes even be transparent. 

Its commercial uses are in jewelry, and also for some New Age purposes.

It is also used to make knives, spears, arrowheads, and many tools.


Peridot is a stone that is found most commonly on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii, and is also a product of Hawaii’s volcanoes.

It is a result of extreme temperature that combines with sand on the beaches of ocean water.

It is a deep lime or green color, and it has a memorable color to it as well.

It is not exclusive to Hawaii, and can be found all over oceanic beaches in the United States and across the world.

It has been named as the birthstone of August.

Native Hawaiians say that peridot is the product of the weeping from Pele, an ancient goddess revered by locals.

Today, peridot is used in jewelry and decoration.


Olivine is a stone that is found in Mahana Beach in Hawaii.

This is a stone that is earth tones, with a brown and green look to it, and sometimes an olive green shade to it.

It can be found near peridot but is also found in basalt.

This stone gets its color from eroded lava, and also magnesium and iron.

It is found all over the world.

Although many rocks from volcanic activity are a product of lava formations and reactions, olivine occurs when volcanic activity merges with the magma of the ocean.

This is what gives it a muddy tone to it, and an olive-like color.

It is also the stone that makes some Hawaii oceans appear green.

Olivine on its own is used for many industrial purposes, such as to coat large blast furnaces, or in applications where extreme heat is required.

It is a product of lava, and as such, can withstand strong heat.

It is also a beautiful stone when cut into rings, earrings, and necklaces.


Gabbro is a common rock that is used in paving, curbing, and many construction applications.

It is a harder rock that can withstand a lot of activity, and this is what makes it so useful for active use.

Your own kitchen counter where you tenderize meat, hammer away at hard sugar lumps or chop vegetables may contain gabbro.

In Hawaii, is from volcanic activity and the cooling of magma and it forms along ocean ridges.

It is most commonly found in Kilauea on the Hawaiian Islands.

It is a dark gray color that is similar to that of concrete or asphalt.

Plan Your Hawaiian Rock Hunt

The types of rocks found in Hawaii are used for a wide range of purposes.

They will add a gorgeous item to any rock collection, or jewelry collection as well.

Obsidian, black coral, peridot, gabbro, olivine, and more, are all part of what makes Hawaii so beautiful.

They can be found along Mahana Beach, Green Sand Beach, Diamond Head, Honolulu, and Papakolea Beach to name a few starting points for your rock hunt.

While you are there, you are likely to find a few more Hawaiian gems not named here.

Begin planning your Hawaiian rock hunt today. It will be a visit you will never forget.

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Types of Rocks and Minerals Found In Hawaii