Bismuth is a metal with a silvery appearance and is much loved among crystal enthusiasts for its bright, rainbow tarnish. It is considered a ‘hopper crystal’ due to its geometric shape. But is bismuth a naturally rainbow-colored crystal or not?
Well, it’s complicated. While its multicolored tarnish and its shape are naturally occurring, most of the brightest bismuth crystals you can buy have been given a colorful makeover. In fact, you can even make your own multicolored, dazzling bismuth crystals at home with the right equipment!
Bismuth is a soft, pliable metal that can be easily melted and was commonly used by ancient and medieval alchemists who tried to change base metal into gold.
Overall, bismuth is a stone that symbolizes transformation and experimentation, and we can harness its energy to change ourselves and the world around us. Read on to learn more about bismuth, its history, its properties, and how you can make it.
The Science Of Bismuth Crystals
Bismuth has a low melting point 520 °F (271 °C), As it solidifies, bismuth expands and forms crystals. Bismuth crystals that have been grown artificially form a structure resembling a spiral staircase because of the higher growth rate of the edges.
When bismuth crystals oxidize, they become an alluring, magical rainbow color. This is because the oxide layer that forms in the crystal surfaces varies in thickness, which causes different wavelengths of light to combine.
The History Of Bismuth
Bismuth is a pretty rare material that is still relatively new to crystal collectors. Before the 1600s, bismuth was regularly thought to be iron or tin. It’s easy to see the confusion, as they do look alike!
There are two origins for the name Bismuth. One belief is that it’s of German origin, and a variation of the name wismuth or weiße Mass, which translates into English as ‘white mass.’
Another belief is that the name derives from the Arabic word bi ismid which translates into English as ‘similar to Antimony,’ which is another silvery gray metal.
Bismuth was excluded from ancient lapidaries, which are texts that catalog gemstones and their properties. Although little attention was paid to bismuth by lapidary writers, medieval alchemists were very much interested in the crystal.
Alchemists were like early chemists. They were educated people who conducted experiments in the search for everlasting life and, most famously, how to turn base metals into gold. Bismuth was referred to as tectum argenti by alchemists.
This is a Latin word that translates to ‘silver being made,’ and thought of it as the missing link between a base metal and a precious metal.
The Physical Healing Properties Of Bismuth
When you’re feeling exhausted – whether that be due to physical ailments or stress – look to bismuth.
It gives us gentle energy that lets us get on with your everyday life, and reminds us to open up to loved ones about our struggles. It reminds you that you can only do so much, and that your best is always good enough.
The Mental Healing Properties Of Bismuth
Bismuth is a great stone for those with big dreams and have goals they want to reach. It helps us to think big, make effective plans, and put those plans into action.
Bismuth also helps us to be smarter and think more strategically. It encourages us to grow, to embrace lifelong learning, and to reinvent ourselves when new situations or our learning requires that of us.
Bismuth keeps us focused on the future instead of dwelling on the past. It helps us stay engaged and focused on the present moment, as well as thinking sharply.
The Emotional Healing Properties Of Bismuth
Bismuth has a very warm and comforting energy. It encourages us to feel more secure in our relationships and with the wider world. Bismuth also encourages us to vocalize our needs and lets the valuable qualities that make us who we are shine.
It can be beneficial in handling change, and help us to remain calm even when things seem overwhelming and chaotic. Bismuth lets us know that we can handle anything, and that we are capable of succeeding.
Bismuth is also beneficial in romantic relationships, encouraging a deeper connection with your partners. Still, Bismuth also reminds us to put things into perspective and to know our worth.
It helps us work well with others, while making us more independent. However, bismuth’s greatest emotional healing property is how it helps us to embrace the journey we are on as we evolve and grow as individuals.
The Spiritual Healing Properties Of Bismuth
Bismuth is a great stone for those who are ready to embark on an adventure! It assists us in our path, to stay on course while being open to new experiences, and to keep moving forward.
It serves as a reminder to us that the universe and the divine want us to succeed and will bring us good fortune if we are bold and open-hearted.
Bismuth assists in creating a deeper connection to our highest self. It has an energy that is both expansive and grounding, encouraging us to embrace change and positive transformations.
Bismuth can also allow us to connect more easily with those around us when we feel overwhelmed or lonely. It nourishes our soul and takes care of our heart so we always remain enthusiastic and confident.
How To Make Bismuth Crystals
Equipment And Materials
Bismuth (you can buy this on specialty websites, or websites like eBay or Amazon). Two metal containers such as aluminum cans, aluminum foil formed in a bowl shape, or stainless steel measuring cups. A heat source such as a kitchen stove.
Steps To Making Bismuth
Place your bismuth in a metal container. Turn on your heat source, allowing the bismuth to melt. You may see a gray skin form, but there is no need to worry as this is totally normal. While the bismuth is melting, preheat your other metal container.
When the bismuth is melted and the other metal container is warmed up, pour the liquid bismuth from the first container into the other container.
Try to only pour the bismuth under the skin and try to stop the skin from going into the second container as it contains impurities. You can also skim off the skin using a spoon before you pour.
Attempt to slowly cool down the melted bismuth. When cooled slowly the bismuth will create bigger crystals. You can do this by leaving the metal container on the turned off heat source, or by turning down the heat slowly. The bismuth should only be left to cool once it is solid.
Around 30 seconds after cooling, the bismuth should begin solidifying. Once this happens, pour the liquid away from the forming crystals. These crystals should appear to be set, but still have a jiggle to them.
Be patient and allow the crystals to cool completely before you remove them from the metal container. If getting the crystals out of the container is challenging, you can place it in the freezer for a short time.
Your bismuth crystal will not look rainbow-colored straight away. Rather, it will have a more silvery look. However, it will soon oxidize and you will be left with a beautiful rainbow color (see also ‘15 Beautiful Aurora Crystals‘).
So while the rainbow color of bismuth is naturally occurring, you will get a more striking result by making the crystal yourself! If you would like one of these beautiful crystals to help deal with stress, then you can easily make one at home.