Project Aragonite: Day 15.
Well, we have a little more activity with the growth of aragonite. Finally, some crystals have grown on the rock itself, plus much more along the walls of the glass jar. I’ve barely been on Tumblr, which is why I wasn’t able to update this project until now. The vinegar has evaporated enough to expose the top half of the rock, so more crystals should continue to grow! I have the rock in direct sunlight to help the process of growing the crystals more successful as well. As the vinegar continues to evaporate, more and more crystals will grow. Here’s an awesome example of someone’s popcorn rock after all the vinegar evaporated on YouTube.
Project Aragonite: Day 7.
So week one has passed and there hasn’t been too much to update you guys with. The vinegar has just begun to expose the limestone, so with some time crystals will be more visable. More of the mineral has formed along the inner walls of the square glass jar, which is always a good sign! For this next week, I’m moving it into warmer temperatures with more light to help the crystals grow faster now that the tip of the rock is exposed.
These are some photos of the aragonite on the inner walls for you guys to see. I’ll try to update more (daily) as the process continues, but the last 5 days have just been uneventful, so I didn’t see much of the point.
Chrome Alum Crystals by Paul’s Lab on Flickr
This is a photo of chrome alum crystals in a chrome alum solution, at 20x magnification. Taken with my Canon SX110 IS, through a Novex stereo microscope with lighting from underneath. The crystals are grown from a saturated solution and are no more than 1 mm in diameter. Created myself, Paul, from www.paulslab.com
Crystal twinning patterns in a leucite crystal from volcanic rock, observed in polarized light by Dr. Michael M. Raith of the Steinmann Institut, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany. (Dr. Michael M. Raith)
(from their description) This crystal came out in January of 2011, from a new deep level of the mine that features crystals of absolutely incredible lustre combined with one of the most intense natural blue colours you will ever see in a tanzanite. Tanzanite in natural unheated form should be trichroic, blue and purple on the a and b axes, and showing red to violet color when looked at with light along the long, or c-axis. Often, natural tanzanite shows more intense purple color saturation than blue (rotated 90 degrees around the crystal, when you look at the crystal while it is backlit). Here, the color saturation on the blue is “through the roof.” The overall appearance of the crystal is that it has the top color of a heat-treated gemstone of tanzanite, and yet it is not treated for enhancement. The red, third, color is strong even just in room light, let alone when lit from underneath in the dark. As well, the brilliant surface lustre is top percentile, like wet glass. Sometimes you get great lustrous crystals that are “sleepy” inside; but this piece has a premium and sparkling internal brilliance to its gemmy interior, much of which is totally transparent. At 69 grams, this is a sizeable crystal for the quality, and it just barely is too big to be a competition miniature size. The gem rough value alone of this important crystal is substantial, though it is worth more as a specimen. Joe Budd photos.
If this was in my collection, I think my life would be made! And for 42,500 US dollars, it’s only 69 grams. That’s practically 616 US dollars per gram!
I don’t care if Quartz is one of the most common minerals found on Earth, I love it so much!
World’s Only Known Natural Quasicrystal Traced to Ancient Meteorite.
A theoretical physicist searched for years to find the only known natural occurrence of an exotic type of structure, the discovery of which netted the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
By Richard Van Noorden on Scientific American
Theoretical physicist Paul Steinhardt did not expect to spend last summer travelling across spongy tundra to a remote gold-mining region in north-eastern Russia. But that is where he spent three weeks tracing the origins of the world’s only known natural example of a quasicrystal—an exotic type of structure discovered in 1982 in a synthetic material by Dan Shechtman, a materials scientist at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa who netted the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the finding.
“I just grabbed the problem and held on wherever it dragged me—even across the tundra,” says Steinhardt, from Princeton University in New Jersey. The story includes secret diaries, smuggling and the discovery that nature’s quasicrystal seems to come from a meteorite some 4.5 billion years old: far from an artificial innovation, the quasicrystal may be one of the oldest minerals in existence, formed at the birth of the Solar System. The finding was published this week in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
When Shechtman first reported the atomic structure of a quasicrystal, it shocked researchers. Instead of a lattice of regularly repeating units like any normal crystal, the atoms were arrayed in a pattern that was ordered but never quite repeated itself, like an intricate three-dimensional mosaic. Around the time of the publication, Steinhardt, then at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, happened to be working with mathematician Dov Levine on the theory behind such non-repeating patterns. He later coined the term quasicrystal.