What are Crystals?

Nature is the most astonishing thing in this world. Just like the way she creates destruction and calamities, she also creates her own beauty. That is why we see exceptions everywhere we see. Just like ice, the only solid which is lighter in mass than its liquid form.

Speaking of solids, sometimes, in a solid, molecules fit together in a particular repeating pattern. These solids are known as Crystals. The unique shapes we see in the crystal are the result of those repeating patterns in the molecules.

When liquids start hardening and cooling, they usually form crystals. In order to become stable, several molecules come together in a repeating pattern. This is how the crystals form. This whole process of how the crystals formed is known as crystallization.

Many Costly crystals like diamonds, ruby, emeralds form when magma, that is, liquid rock cools down slowly and solidify.

When saltwater evaporates, salt crystals are formed.

Crystals can form geometric shapes like that of a triangle, rectangle, or square. The types of molecules that constitute the crystal determines the shape of the crystal. Any types of crystals that forms of the same molecule should have the same shape.

The seven basic types of crystal shape (known as lattices) are –

  1. Cubic
  2. Triagonal
  3. OrthoRhombic
  4. Hexagonal
  5. Tetragonal
  6. Monoclinic
  7. Triclinic

Some examples of crystals

  • Quartz – They are the hardest common mineral and crystal found on earth. Quartz is used for an accurate time in watches.
  • Diamonds – They are the most precious crystal in the world and thus, the most costly one too. Diamonds form from Carbon and besides being jewelry, diamond is also used to cut other metals as it is the hardest metal on earth too.

Kohinoor which is still the largest diamond in the world is in fact, Indian. Ghayatuddin Tughlaq (1320 AD) invaded the Kakatiya Kingdom and took away the diamond along with other treasures. Later it passed on to the Treasury of The Mughal emperor Babar and Humayun. Much later when the British left India, they took some of our treasury including The Kohinoor diamond. Half of it is currently at the Jewel House at the Tower of London and the whereabouts of the rest half is unknown.

(Featured Image Credit: Wikipedia)

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