In chemistry and mineralogy, a crystal is a solid in which the constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are packed in a regularly ordered, repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions.
The word crystals originates from the Greek word "Krystallos" meaning clear ice, and once referred particularly to quartz, rock crystal. Most metals encountered in everyday life are polycrystals. Crystals are often symmetrically intergrown to form crystal twins.
Which crystal structure the fluid will form depends on the chemistry of the fluid, the conditions under which it is being solidified, and also on the ambient pressure. The process of forming a crystalline structure is often referred to as crystallization, While the cooling process usually results in the generation of a crystalline material, under certain conditions, the fluid may be frozen in a noncrystalline state. In most cases, this involves cooling the fluid so rapidly that atoms cannot travel to their lattice sites before they lose mobility. A noncrystalline material, which has no long-range order, is called an amorphous, vitreous, or glassy material. It is also often referred to as an amorphous solid, although there are distinct differences between solids and glasses: most notably, the process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion. For this thermodynamic reason, many scientists consider glassy materials to be viscous liquids rather than solids, although this is a controversial topic; see the entry on glass for more details. Crystalline structures occur in all classes of materials, with all types of chemical bonds. Almost all metal exists in a polycrystalline state; amorphous or single-crystal metals must be produced synthetically, often with great difficulty. Ionically bonded crystals can form upon solidification of salts, either from a molten fluid or when it condenses from a solution. Covalently bonded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, silica, and graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the lengths of the molecules usually prevents complete crystallization. Weak Van der Waals forces can also play a role in a crystal structure; for example, this type of bonding loosely holds together the hexagonal-patterned sheets in graphite. Most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defects. The types and structures of these defects can have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.
Other meanings and characteristics
While the term "crystal" has a precise meaning within materials science and solid-state physics, colloquially "crystal" refers to solid objects that exhibit well-defined and often pleasing geometric shapes. In this sense of the word, many types of crystals are found in nature. The shape of these crystals is dependent on the types of molecular bonds between the atoms to determine the structure, as well as on the conditions under which they formed. Snowflakes, diamonds, and common salt are common examples of crystals. Some crystalline materials may exhibit special electrical properties such as the ferroelectric effect or the piezoelectric effect. Additionally, light passing through a crystal is often refracted or bent in different directions, producing an array of colors; crystal optics is the study of these effects. In periodic dielectric structures a range of unique optical properties can be expected as described in photonic crystals. Crystallography is the scientific study of crystals and crystal formation.
Inorganic matter, if free to take that physical state in which it is most stable, always tends to crystallize. Crystalline rock masses have consolidated from solution or from fusion. The vast majority of igneous rocks belong to this group and the degree of perfection in which they have attained the crystalline state depends primarily on the conditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled very slowly and under great pressures, have completely crystallized, but many lavas were poured out at the surface and cooled very rapidly; in this latter group a small amount of non-crystalline or glassy matter is frequent. Other crystalline rocks such as rock salt, gypsum and anhydrite have been deposited from solution in water, mostly owing to evaporation on exposure to the air. Still another group, which includes the marbles, mica-schists and quartzites, are recrystallized, that is to say, they were at first fragmental rocks, like limestone, clay and sandstone and have never been in a molten condition nor entirely in solution. Certain agencies however, acting on them, have effaced their primitive structures, and induced crystallization. This is a kind of metamorphism.
Amethyst is the birthstone for February. It is associated with the signs of Pisces, Aquarius, Virgo and Aquarius. Crystal Mythology : Bacchus the god of wine declared in anger that the first person he passes will be eaten by tigers. This turned out to be the beautiful maiden Amethyst. Goddess Diana quickly turned Amethyst into a white stone to save her from the tigers. Regretting his anger Bacchus poured red wine over the stone as an offering to Diana. In doing so turning the stone purple. USES : Enhances psychic abilities. Good for meditation. Aids in channeling abilities. To meditate with this Amethyst place it on your forehead between your eyes.
Calcite is formed in water and is very soft. Calcite in it`s most common shape is the three dimensional parallelogram called a rhomboid. A rhomboid has six parallel planes all connected to each other. Clear calcite is most commonly found in rhomboid form. Green calcite comes in a variety of shapes. Honey calcite comes in chunks. Pink calcite is most commonly found in chunks which are then tumbled. On the spiritual level calcite teaches us the importance of allowing new energies to flow through us. That it's all right for us to break the barriers of old beliefs.
Citrine is the birthstone for November and its corresponding signs are Gemini, Aries, Virgo, and Leo. Technically Citrine is "burnt amethyst" but it is usually categorized as Citrine. Citrine dissipates negative energy and as such never requires cleansing. Uses : Citrine activates the third chakra, enhances the body`s healing energy and is good for mental focus and self esteem.
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Corresponds to all zodiac signs. The most common form of quartz appears is as a six sided crystal whose termination is also six sided. The largest single quartz crystal ever found is approximately 20 feet long and weighs more than 48 tons. Clear quartz is the mirror of the soul because it reflects and radiates that within us that is divine. Uses : Clear quartz is a pure and powerful energy source. It receives, activates, transmits, and amplifies energy. It activates all levels of consciousness.
Rose quartz which is soft pink in color usually occurs in massive form, rarely in crystal form. The color is usually considered as due to trace amounts of titanium, iron, or manganese, in the massive material. Uses : Promotes love energy in relationships. Very calming it helps clear stored anger. Replaces negativity with harmony. Aids in balancing the upper four chakras. Is becoming more popular.
Most often transparent and colorless
if selenite crystals show translucency, opacity, and/or color, it is caused by the presence of other minerals (including druse) druse meaning crust of tiny, minute, or micro crystals that form or fuse either within or upon the surface of a rock cavity, geode, or another crystal. USES : Selenite may be used as a tool in accessing your past and future lives by gently rubbing the stone. It is also of benefit to the spinal column and skeletal system. You should not leave selenite in water if it is left in water for an extended period it will dissolve.
Uses : Smoky Quartz helps to process and release that which is no longer needed. It balances the energies of mind and body. Excellent for meditation. Smoky Quartz is also a protective and grounding stone. Smoky quartz or Smokey quartz, also known as Cairngorm or Cairngormstone is a brown variety of quartz caused through the natural (or artificial) irradiation of aluminium-containing rock crystal. A very dark brown to black opaque variety is known as morion.
Tourmaline crystals are prismatic crystals, hexagonal that commonly have a rounded triangular cross section. Uses :
Black Tourmaline : Protects against negativity. Corresponds to the root chakra. Astrological sign of Capricorn. Blue Tourmaline : Psychic awareness. Corresponds to the throat and third eye chakras. Astrological sign of Taurus. Green Tourmaline : Represents life energy of plants. Excellent for people who work with herbs for healing. Opens the heart chakra. Astrological sign of Capricorn. Rubellite Tourmaline : Love, devotion. Corresponds to root and heart chakras. Astrological signs of Sagittarius and Scorpio. Pink Tourmaline : Love, spirituality, joy, peace, understanding. Corresponds to heart chakra and crown chakra. Astrological sign of Libra. Watermelon Tourmaline: Activates the heart chakra, corresponds to the astrological signs of Virgo and Gemini.
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