Some crystals, favor quartz and diamonds, kind in a variety of various colors. Because that example, quartz can be clear, "foggy", pink, yellow, and even blue.

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What happens throughout the crystal"s formation to do it one color oranother?


The reason minerals favor quarts and diamonds vary in shade is typically caused by the chemical elements involved if the crystal is being formed.

ChemicalsDifferent colors can be produced by different chemicals. Amethyst for instance has traces the iron developed into its crystalline structure giving it a purple hue. Steel can also give crystals a yellow hue.

Growth ImperfectionsSome colors, like in smoky quartz, space from development imperfections. This imperfections adjust the method the crystal shows light, which alters the appearance of coloration.

LightPart that the shade seen once looking at a decision is light. Once light beginning a crystal its spectrum is broken apart, and component of it is absorbed while other parts are reflected. This changes the apparent color of the crystal.

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edited jan 22 "19 in ~ 4:05
answer Apr 18 "14 in ~ 22:09

Azzie RogersAzzie Rogers
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I"d favor to intricate of the Chemicals problem of Azzie Rogers" answer.

You have the right to divide the chemical coloring into three key parts (there may be more, but these space the necessary ones):


A large, hard crystal can have tiny inclusions of various other solid minerals. Commonly these inclusions space too tiny to individually observe by the naked eye. Microscopic methods, either optic or electronic, room usually compelled to properly recognize the inclusions. Nonetheless, as soon as a crystal is perceived on a macroscopic scale, the inclusions provide their characteristic color to the mineral.

Here is one an excellent example:


(Fig. 4 that Anenburg et al. 2014)

You can see the blue celestine (strontium sulfate) in the bottom, and also the white calcite (calcium carbonate) ~ above top. Their interface is colored red and salmon pink. The reason is the presence of small micrometer size inclusions of iron oxides (i.e. rust). Keep in mind that the steel oxides are different minerals, e.g. hematite, goethite, etc.

Mineral inclusions have the right to sometimes reason even more spectacular effects, such as asterism:

(source: Charles Tilford)

In this case, the reason are small inclusions that rutile (titanium oxide).

Crystal field theory (allochromatism)

The crystal ar theory explains, among other things, what wake up to light as it encounters metals in various structural configurations within a crystal. Maintaining the complex terminology at minimum (energy level separating yay!), what basically happens is that different metal cations (positively fee atoms) in a crystalline framework absorb various wavelengths the light. The identity of the metal is no the only essential thing: a paramount factor is the number of oxygen atoms the surround the metal atoms and also their shape (be the a tetrahedron, octahedron, etc.) These steels are not part of the the formal chemical composition the the mineral. Instead, lock replace various other atoms in the mineral by very tiny amounts. Because that example, ruby is a mineral composed of aluminum oxide. If you take simply a bit of this aluminum and also replace it v chromium (less than 1% is enough), it becomes vivid red. Keep in mind that in contrast to inclusions, we space talking around different steels in the same mineral, and also not inclusions that different minerals.

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A digestible explanation through some quite photographs and also applets can be found here:


This is the instance where the shade of the mineral is no dictated by trace amounts of metals in an otherwise colorless mineral (see the ruby example above), yet rather through the major chemical constituents of the mineral. A good example is copper, which gives solid green color to some minerals that contain the (e.g. malachite):