Bismuth ore with attractive geometric patterns
Hello, I am Yanagisumi, a craftsman.
I love gemstones and ores and often visit jewelry stores and mineral shows to collect stones that I like.
This time I tried to make "bismuth ore," which is said to be the ore you can make yourself, in the workshop!
I actually made crystals from bismuth ore.
Well, I actually made one myself right off the bat!
First, I stocked up on bismuth chips by mail order; they were available on both Amazon and Rakuten.
Before melting, it is sold in the form of plates or grains like this. It is very smooth and interesting.
Set and heat.
Tools needed to make crystals from bismuth ore
The tools we prepared this time are
Stainless steel cup
Stainless steel fork
Tweezers (stainless steel)
Burner (or stove)
Not required for the following stoves
Tripod stand (steel)
We prepared a stainless steel one that has a melting point that can withstand heat because it is heated over a fire, and that does not cause extra reactions in bismuth.
The melting point of bismuth is about 271.5°C. Pliers are large pliers used to hold a hot cup. Since fire is used, work with care to avoid burns.
Melt bismuth chips
This time, we worked in the MITUBACI workshop, so we used a burner to heat the bismuth chips.
It's melting fast!
It is now soft enough to scoop with a fork.
Turn off the heat and let cool for a while.
Look at the bottom of the cup, crystals are forming!
However, it became difficult to take them out when they were so clumped together.
Apparently, it would be better to remove the crystals with tweezers at the right time.
Extract bismuth crystals
Thaw it again, and then pick it up with tweezers to see how it looks and take it out.
It's coming off good.
This will be the biggest one this time around!
The pattern is properly and beautifully done, even if you make it yourself. I am very happy about this.
It seems to take some skill to make beautiful crystals and take them out, but I am satisfied with the good feeling I got from it.
Once again, what is bismuth ore?
Bismuth ore is an ore that crystallizes by melting and cooling pure bismuth chips, and has an attractive unique geometric pattern.
The chemical symbols are Bi and Bismuth, substances that are sometimes used in internal medicines such as stomach pills, so the mineral can be safely handled even without specialized knowledge.
The Japanese name for bismuth is soen, and its low melting point means that it can be melted at home if you have the right equipment. When cooled down after melting, a crystallization reaction occurs immediately and a mysterious shape peculiar to bismuth is formed spontaneously.
Bismuth ore is rarely produced by itself and is generally mined as a mixture with other metal ores. Bismuth ore is usually removed as an impurity when refining other metals, but its beautiful crystal structure and coloring have recently made it popular as an ornamental material.
The iridescent glow of bismuth ore is created when the heat combines with oxygen in the air to form an oxide film as the crystals grow due to a drop in temperature. This is reflected by the light, making it look beautiful. Bismuth itself does not shine, but is said to have a structural color, which is the same principle as the rainbow colors of a CD disc.
In a Nutshell
It was so much fun to challenge myself with something I've always been interested in!
If we wanted to make many large crystals, we would need to prepare more bismuth chips.
It is possible to make it at home, but since the metal is melted and hardened, experimentation should be done with safety in mind.
I'll keep you posted on any interesting findings!