Gemstones

By Samuel S.

Introduction

Have you ever been to a store and seen kits with crystal growing or geodes? Did you know, though, that crystals are everywhere? Rocks are made of crystals. Sand is probably made of crushed quartz crystals. Sugar and salt are both made of crystals, too. Sometimes crystals grow in underground caves. In 2000, miners working in a lead mine in Chihuahua Province, Mexico discovered a cave containing huge crystals. Some are 30 feet long or more. Gemstones are transparent crystals that can be cut to make them sparkle even more. Some crystals, such as diamonds, are harder than others. Crystals are rated on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, according to their hardness. Talc is the softest mineral and is given a score of 1. Diamonds are the hardest mineral and score a 10. Your fingernail would rate a 2, and gold and silver rate between 2 and 3. Click the link to see the mohs scale.

A really cool and interesting video

Learn Mohs Scale With Minecraft

What are crystals?

A crystal is any solid whose molecules are arranged in an ordered repeating pattern. Most solids are made by tiny crystals. Crystals can be made by different elements. Diamonds for instance are made from carbon and salt is made from sodium and chlorine. A crystals color is determined by the crystals and elements mixed in. Quartz can be transparent, milky white, pink, yellow, or even purple when they have a lot of iron in them.


How they are formed

The shape depends on the way the elements group themselves together. They actually grow in orderly geometric shapes as new join the organized crystal lattice. The individual atoms combine in regular shapes, shapes which repeat themselves in the shape of the large crystal. These shapes are hard to find in tiny rock or salt crystals but crystals that grow free. But crystals that grow in rock cavities or caves are bigger and more precise in shape. The atoms are arranged so perfectly that crystals break along clean lines called cleavage.


Other ways crystals are formed

Rocks & Minerals : How Do Crystals Form?

Fun Facts

Beryl, or precious emerald, is a green or blue-green crystal that forms deep within the ground. Some emeralds grow to the size of a car. Beryl is rated 7.5 to 8.
Calcite is a soft crystal that often forms limestone. Calcite ranks a 3 on the hardness scale.
Fluorite has a hardness rating of 4. These interesting crystals may be green or purple and some of them glow under ultraviolet light.
Garnets are usually bright red or deep red. These hard crystals form under intense heat and pressure. Rated 6.5 to 7.5 on the hardness scale.
Quartz is one of the most common crystals, found in most continental rocks. It comes in many colors, including white, yellow, or purple, which is known as amethyst. Quartz rates a 7 on the hardness scale.

Conclusion

Like I said before crystals are all around you. They are inspiring for me and I hope they are for you too. I hope you liked Gemstones and I hope you discover the world around you.