Crystal Growing Adds Color To Experiments

Many people have been able to create interesting and colorful displays by crystal growing experiments conducted in their own kitchens. They have found that using different chemicals produces different sizes and colors and when put together in the proper arrangement can make a beautiful crystal growing display.

Chances are that at some time while you were growing up, you were advised to pour some table salt into a glass container and then pour in some liquid bluing, usually found in your mother’s laundry room. Then for the next several days, you could witness crystal growing inside the container. This experiment became the subject of many science projects in the mid-20th century.

Today, crystal growing has taken a new direction with different colors and shapes being created with the use of different chemicals, with sugar and alum being the most popular. For proper crystal growing, a seed crystal must first be created and this is done with a saturated solution. What this means is that the chemical being used, sugar for instance, is added to water until no more sugar will dissolve. Once the saturation point is reached a small amount, two ounces for example, is poured into a saucer and allowed to stand for several days until all liquid has evaporated.

Plant Seed And Watch It Grown

The remaining solution from the jar should be stored and extra sugar added almost daily to maintain its saturation. Once the liquid is gone from the saucer, select the largest piece of dried product and tie it to a string. This will be the seed crystal from which crystal growing will take place. Tie the other end to a small stick and hang it into the solution. Allow to sit in a warm spot and let it grow for about three weeks.

When it stops growing, remove it from the liquid and wrap in a tissue, carefully as it will be fragile. Then you can select another piece from the saucer and grow another crystal in the solution. Once you have been successful in crystal growing for several pieces of varying sizes and shapes, you can arrange them to form an interesting shape for decorating.

You may want to try different dry chemicals in your mix to produce different colors. For example, copper acetate will produce long slender crystals with bluish hues. Potassium Ferricyanide will produce red monolithic-shaped crystals.

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