Bismuth Specimen – 27-44g


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Bismuth Sample – Natural Bismuth – Lab Grown – Sold per piece.

Small specimen weighing between 27 and 44g. Supplied at random from available stock,

Bismuth specimens are prized for their captivating rainbow-like appearance, a result of surface oxidation. When bismuth interacts with oxygen, a thin oxide layer forms on its surface, creating a brilliant iridescent display of colours. This phenomenon is akin to the play of colours seen in oil slicks and is a distinctive feature of bismuth crystals, adding an aesthetic allure to these naturally occurring formations. The oxidised layer refracts light, producing a spectrum of hues that enhances the visual appeal of bismuth specimens, making them sought-after in both scientific and collector communities.

In creating these samples, bismuth is melted in a lab and though a carefully orchestrated process, it’s allowed to cool and grow into it’s own unique natural crystal shapes. At first glance, these specimens look like something out of a 3D printer, but no. This is actually the natural way the mineral grows as it cools and assumes it’s natural crystal lattice. No molding or trickery involved! This is the beauty of natural elements! Consider how amethyst and citrine grow into long thin pointed crystals, pyrite grows into perfect cubes and optic calcite forms in offset parallelograms. 

Bismuth is a chemical element denoted by the symbol Bi and holds the atomic number 83 on the periodic table. This metal is characterized by its distinctive metallic hue, setting it apart from other elements. What makes bismuth particularly intriguing is its relatively low melting point, making it one of the rare elemental metals that can melt at moderate temperatures.

The crystal structure of bismuth is extremely unique. It forms stunning stepped hopper-shaped crystals during solidification, a phenomenon resulting from a higher growth rate at the crystal’s edges compared to its interior. While bismuth doesn’t play a recognised biological role in living organisms, it has found various applications in the human world. Bismuth subsalicylate, for example, is employed in medications targeting digestive system disorders, while bismuth oxychloride is a component in cosmetics.

Bismuth’s role extends to alloys as well, as it is often combined with other metals to create low-melting alloys. These alloys are used in fire sprinkler systems and soldering applications. Despite its utility, bismuth is relatively uncommon in nature and is typically extracted as a byproduct during the processing of lead and copper ores. In terms of toxicity, bismuth is generally less toxic than some other heavy metals and in it’s oxidised form poses no risk. Cases of bismuth poisoning are rare. Bismuth’s intriguing characteristics, both in terms of its appearance and applications, make it a noteworthy element in the periodic table.

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