The process can take anywhere from a few days to maybe a thousand years. Natural crystals that come from Earth form in the same way. These crystals formed more than a million years ago within the Earth's crust. They occur when the Earth's liquid consolidates and the temperature cools.
The formation of quartz requires a gradual and slow cooling of the magma or a gradual precipitation of the hydrothermal solution. Quartz crystals take thousands of years to form. Rapid processes produce massive microcrystalline or semitransparent quartz without the correct crystal shape. Small-sized quartz crystals can form in as little as one day.
Crystals larger than several kilograms can form in just a few months. The growth rate is determined by heat and pressure conditions, as well as by the availability of silica and water nutrients. Ghostly and glorious, it's when a transparent crystal gets a new layer from another crystal that grows on it. It took more than three years, an excursion to collect crystal samples from a pegmatite mine in Southern California, hundreds of laboratory measurements to accurately map the chemical composition of the samples, and a deep dive into some materials science articles from 50 years ago to create a model mathematician who could transform chemical profiles into crystal growth rates.
For those who love the idea that crystals are born from the Earth for millions of years, the crystallization that occurs underground is very exciting. Crystals that are perfectly crystallized minerals can also produce different color glows under UV light. These ghostly layers form over hundreds of years inside a crystal due to the rest of the hot water solutions trapped inside the cavities of the preformed glass. These crystals are colored with the help of modern heat treatment of certain types of amethyst crystals that can be found naturally in igneous rocks.
The most common bright crystals are well-formed cubic crystals of fluorite, calenohedral, prismatic calcite, apatite, corundum (ruby and sapphire), aragonite, scheelite and selenite, gypsum. Another interesting element of crystal growth is that there are no restrictions on the size a single crystal can grow. Then, if supported by the environment, the older crystal will start to grow again and, essentially, the new crystal will swallow up. However, existing crystals will continue to grow and SiO4 tetrahedrons will be added layer by layer to further improve and complete these existing crystals.
Some crystals need heat and water to form, such as quartz, which is one of the best-known and most loved types of crystals in existence. There are many things that can affect crystal creation, from the environment to the temperature and the way atoms are organized, which can affect light, different colors and the texture of the crystal. However, the process that forms quartz crystals is very complex and requires immense pressure to form these crystals over the years.
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