Last winter, I was given a forged flint striker and a piece of flint by blacksmith extraordinaire Mr. Seikku.
I have used it to light charred cotton cloth, and I find it to be a lot of fun to use. Seeing as how flint and flint-like rocks are not found naturally in Finland, I was curious to see if quartz would work, as quartz is found in abundance here. So, using the poll of my hatchet, I knocked off a small piece of quartz from a boulder at my old campsite and tried it with the striker. I was happy to find that it worked just as well as the flint! I’m pretty sure a piece of quartz wouldn’t stand up to this kind of abuse for as long as a piece of flint, but it certainly has shown itself to be a viable alternative. So if you also lack flint, obsidian etc. in your area, give another type of stone a try!