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Physical Properties of Crystals

Physical Properties of Crystals

Color, transparency, and how hard they rate on the Moh's scale are three of the most common determining factors when it comes to classifying mineral crystals. 

Color - this is one of the most noticeable physical properties and is determined by factors such as inclusions, the type of impurity, and the presence of other chemical entities. Color affects the way in which the crystal takes in light and can also impact the energetic healing as different colors are linked to different energies and aligned with certain chakras.

Transparency - how transparent a crystal is will also have an impact on how the crystal responds and reacts to light. The more transparent the crystal is - the more light it allows to pass through. Translucent stones let some light through, whereas opaque crystals block that gateway. The internal arrangement of the crystal determines the level of transparency and also how many impurities are stashed within the crystal structure too.  

Hardness - the hardness of the crystal plays a big role in determining which mineral you are dealing with. The Moh's scale is one of the most popular methods for classifying crystal hardness, and this relates to how easy the crystal is to scratch. The hardness is determined through chemical makeup and the tightness of lattice bonds. 

Crystal Systems and Crystal Families

Cubic System - stones in the cubic system include diamonds. Those within the cubic crystal system have three equal axes at right angles and have fourfold rotational symmetry. 

Tetragonal System - stones in the tetragonal crystal system include cubic zirconia. These crystals have two equal axes and one longer or shorter axes with fourfold rotational symmetry around the longer axes. 

Orthorhombic System - stones in the orthorhombic crystal system include Topaz. These crystals have three different axes of three different lengths. Each axel has a twofold rotational symmetry. 

Hexagonal System - stones in the hexagonal lattice system include quartz. These crystals have three equal axes at 120 degrees and sixfold rotational symmetry around the vertical axes. 

Rhombohedral System - stones in the rhombohedral system include rhodochrosite. These crystals have three equal axes at 120 degrees and threefold rotational symmetry around each of the axes. 

Monoclinic System - stones in the monoclinic system include gypsum. These crystals have three axes of different lengths, with one of these not perpendicular to the other two.

Triclinic System - stones in the triclinic system include Kyanite. These crystals have three axes of different lengths and no perpendicular axes. They also don't have rotational symmetry. 


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