Crystals

Anyone can grow a crystal. Each, who only wants to, and without any special devices, chemicals or laboratory equipment. All you need is willingness and patience. Before that, however, I propose to inspect the crystals. The most beautiful crystals can be found in the geological museum. There are big crystals there, colorful, most often perfectly crystalline, very often noble crystals. They only have one disadvantage. They are all locked in display cases and you must not touch any of them, take in hand, and all the more to watch in detail.

But the crystals can also be viewed at home. All you need is a pinch of salt or sugar and a simple magnifier, yes, which philatelists use, by five- or even three times only magnification. And salt crystals, and the sugar crystals are transparent and colorless. Therefore, for viewing, they should be scattered on dark paper that contrasts well with the whitish color of these crystals. Even better, when we carry out the inspection in a not very bright room, and illuminate each crystal with light, e.g.. electric flashlight. This will allow you to illuminate the same crystal from several sides and see more closely all the faces and the overall shape of the crystal. It is best when we observe evaporated salt, obtained by evaporative crystallization. All or nearly all of the crystals will then be regular, close to the correct cube. But even mine salt delivered to stores after grinding will be crystalline. Not all seeds will be perfect cubes, many of them will be damaged or broken during shredding, and not in the planes of cleavage, but many will keep their correct shape.

Salt has a close relationship with gemstones. Not only because, that it is crystalline, like precious stones, and not only because, that it accompanies us like jewels from the earliest years. Rock salt gave a name to all compounds that are products of acid-base reaction. So the soles are, among others. beryllium silicates, zirconium, pomegranates and topazes. Carbonates are also salts – malachit i azuryt, sulfur – anhydrite and many others. Looking at the salt crystals through the magnifying glass, we saw regular cubes. Pomegranates also crystallize in a similar regular pattern, lazuryt, spinele, and even the noblest of stones - diamond. Pure sodium chloride, therefore the purest salt, called halite, it is as colorless as a diamond, leucosafir or rock crystal. The presence of impurities gives the salt a green color, pink or gray. Smoky quartz or heliodor are gemstones colored by radioactive radiation. The reason for a color that is very rare is similar, beautiful, light blue variety of salt.

When we look at the sugar crystals: "crystal”, "Raffinade" or whatever, it will come out, that their shape is different from that of salt crystals. But the form of the sugar grains is not at all incorrect. They have flat faces arranged at certain angles, and in some sugar varieties, additional corner shearing walls formed by the main walls. I suggest that everyone has some extra fun - drawing the shape of the observed crystals. You can also check their cleavage.

The surfaces of these crystals we use every day are much less perfect than the surfaces of beautiful mineral specimens. This is due to damage during crushing, rubbing individual crystals against each other and as a result of the destructive effect of atmospheric moisture. When we make the crystals ourselves, the walls and shapes will be so perfect, like crystals of precious stones. It is worth a try, maybe we can start creating our own from those we have grown, home collection of crystals, also the noblest ones.