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There are four common types of earth staves. One is a long solid piece of crystal. The second type, introduced in the Thursday March 9th update bears a strong resemblence to the Earth Wand, with a crystal head and a black shaft. The third type is somewhat more rare, it is a long and thin staff with yellow spiral patterns on it, with an obsidian stone attached to the bottom, and one floating on the head with a constant faint glow. The fourth type, which is only available in Cantha, is metallic with a flat, hexagonal head which appears to have a fossil embedded in it.
The obsidian version of this item can be found in some advanced gaming areas like the Fissure of Woe, Southern Shiverpeaks, and the Ring of Fire Islands. But has also been known to drop in places in and around Ascalon (Pre-Searing Ascalon and Post-Searing.)
The Obsidian Earth Staff can be dyed, but only its icon will actually change color, while the 3D art will always be the same.