Crystals are awe inspiring objects that have captivated the attention of people for centuries. The ancient Greeks believed that quartz crystals were ice that was so thoroughly frozen that it could not melt. The word crystal comes from the Greek translation of Krystallos (derived from Kryos), meaning ice cold. Through scientific exploration, truths behind the formation of crystals have become valuable knowledge that you can even enjoy in your own home.
Crystals are formed when minerals are exposed to pressure, heat, and time. The planet creates crystals underground with the application of volcanic activity. Then the mineral will cool out of the liquid state that it has been heated to and form into crystals. Time is a major factor for the cooling process. When the mineral cools down fast, it forms small crystals. If the cooling process is lengthened, then larger crystals will form. When crystals form, they produce a symmetric shape and will repeat this shape as they grow together. This basic shape is dependent on the different mineral that is changing from.
Smithsonian Education- Minerals, Crystals, and Gems
All About Crystals
Salt, diamonds, and snowflakes are all different kinds of crystals. Some crystals are household items like salt and sugar, ingredients that you would use for cooking. Others are formed in colder temperatures such as snow or ice. Rare crystals are a precious commodity, such as diamonds, emeralds, and aquamarine. These crystals have been cut and polished to show off their distinct beauty, and are popular additions to sterling silver jewelry.
Creating crystals is easy to accomplish, and can be done in your own kitchen. Make sure you take all safety precautions necessary. Here is a list of items needed and directions for how to make your own crystals:
Glass or Mason jar (or any other heat resistant container)
Half cup of salt
One cup of boiling water
Tie the paperclip to the pencil
Boil one cup of water.
Stir in a half cup of salt to the boiling water.
Pour the solution into the glass or Mason jar.
Hang the pencil and paperclip into the solution from on top of the jar. Lightly cover the jar with a paper towel to prevent the solution from being contaminated by dust.
Set aside the jar and wait until the solution has completely evaporated, or until you have grown crystals to a satisfactory size. Visible crystals will form after twelve hours.
Congratulations, you have grown a crystal!
People have continued to enjoy crystals; some have even grown their own crystal gardens. Chemistry sets are available and filled with different kinds of minerals, and the different formations would allow you to make a crystal bouquet. Others enjoy cracking open geodes that will reveal a tiny splendor of crystals. The uses of crystals are still ever expanding.
Grow Your Own Crystals
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