What are crystals?

Rocks and Minerals

Crystals are rocks and minerals in which the atoms or molecules were arranged in very regular patterns as the crystals were formed.

Perhaps you think of a crystal as a beautiful gem.  You are partly right.  Diamonds and rubies are crystals.

But no all crystals are gems.  Each grain of salt and sugar that you sprinkle onto your food is also a crystal!  And every snowflake that falls in winter time is made of tiny crystals of ice.

Crystals are rocks and minerals in which the storms or molecules were arranged in very regular patterns as the crystals were formed. These shapes usually consist of smooth, flat surfaces that have sharp edges and corners.

Each kind of crystal has its own special shape.  Salt crystals, for example, have cube like shapes.  Because a snowflake is a crystal of frozen water, it always has six sides.

Many rock crystals are so beautiful that we use them as gems.  Usually, however, we do not use them in their own shapes but cut them to make them the shape we want. – Dick Rogers

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2 Comments

  1. Gemmology is an exciting science in which you examine cut crystals for clues as to their crystal families and origins. You use light and the extent to which it refracts, polarizes, absorbs wavelengths at specific bands etc.

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