Dazzling Bismuth Crystals Look Like Hypnotizing Rainbow Stairs

bismuth crystal

Bismuth has a long and rich place in history, but its colorful, crystallized form continues to dazzle us today. The element’s existence dates back to ancient times—it was one of the first 10 metals to be discovered—with the name bismuth appearing in texts around 1660. Often confused with tin or lead, its pure state dons a similarly silver hue.

Bismuth crystals are derived from the element but are only created under the right conditions. These brilliant iridescent pieces are extremely rare in nature and are instead fabricated in a lab or even your stove top. Bismuth has a low melting point just above 271 °C (520 °F), and the transformation to crystals happens once it’s in liquid form. It cools into a hopper formation, which accounts for its ridged appearance that looks like tiny sets of stairs you’d find in an M.C. Escher drawing.

Instructables offers a short DIY for making your own Bismuth crystals, or they’re readily available for purchase in shops like Bismuth and Beyond.

Bismuth crystal dazzle us with its iridescent form that also resemble tiny, hypnotizing stairs.

Above photo source: bismuthcrystal.com

bismuth crystal growPhoto source: bismuthcrystal.com

bismuth crystal look like rainbow stepsPhoto source: bismuthcrystal.com

bismuth crystalPhoto source: bismuthcrystal.com

bismuth crystal look like rainbow stepsPhoto source: bismuthcrystal.com

bismuth crystal look like rainbow stepsPhoto source: bismuthcrystal.com

grow bismuth crystalPhoto source: Bismuth and Beyond

grow crystalsPhoto source: Bismuth and Beyond

grow crystalsPhoto source: Bismuth and Beyond

grow crystalsPhoto source: Bismuth and Beyond

bismuth crystalsPhoto source: Bismuth and Beyond

bismuth crystalsPhoto source: Bismuth and Beyond

bismuth crystalsPhoto source: Bismuth and Beyond

bismuth crystalsPhoto source: Bismuth and Beyond

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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