BISMUTH CRYSTAL LAB
Great little Bismuth Crystal Lab Grown. Showing rainbows of oxidation from when it was cooling down and forming the crystals. This specimen has been mounted on a perspex pad for enhanced display. Sorry for a blurry photo, my eye sight is just not as good as it once was.
3.9cm x 3.7cm x 2.1cm, 35.
Bismuth is rarely found in nature in its elemental form. Of growing interest in rock shops, however are laboratory grown bismuth crystals. These crystals, while not natural, are nonetheless very interesting to the mineral hobbyist and to others. The unique look that these clusters offer is really indescribable. Its color consists of iridescent metallic yellow, blue and green hues.
Of interest to hobbyists are the pseudocubic “hopper” crystals that are always present on the laboratory produced specimens, they are not seen in but only the rarest of natural crystals. Hopper crystals are a unique crystallographic curiosity Just the edges extend outward from the center of the crystal leaving hollow stairstep faces between these edges. The hopper crystals form due to the disparity of growth rates between the crystal edges and the crystal faces. A few interesting properties is that Bismuth shrinks when heated. It is the second most paramagnetic material occurring naturally and is of only a few heavy metals used as medicine (antacid).
A couple of interesting facts about the metal Bismuth are:
It is the second most paramagnetic material naturally occurring, the first is Graphite. This is great to make magnetic levitating displays using neo magnets.
It shrinks as it heats up, only a few substances do this like water up to 4 degrees C. It has a low melting point so you can melt it in a pot on the stove. Bismuth oxide is used in medicine such as quick ease to reduce stomach acid build up. Bismuth is Element 83 on the Periodic Table.