Bismuth | Gemopedia

Bismuth is rarely found naturally in its elemental form (even less commonly than platinum), but lab-grown crystals are gaining in popularity for their unique geometric formations (hopper crystals) and phenomenal iridescence. Bismuth is a silver-white metal, but an oxide layer forms immediately when crystals make contact with air. This produces an array of colors similar to that of a soap bubble or oil on water. The different colors are dependent upon the thickness of the oxide layer, which determines how light is reflected off of the surface creating a striking rainbow effect.
Colors
Metallic, Steel Gray With Varying Rainbow-Colored Iridescent Coating

Bismuth Classification

Common Name

Bismuth

Species

Bismuth

Variety

Colors

Metallic, Steel Gray With Varying Rainbow-Colored Iridescent Coating

Alternate Names

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

Appearance

Comments

Bismuth Optical Properties

Transparency

Opaque

Refractive Index

Birefringence

Optic Character

Optic Sign

Polariscope Reaction

Fluorescence

SWUV:
LWUV:

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

None

Dispersion

Comments

Bismuth Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

Bismuth

Chemical Formula

Bi

Synthesis

Crystal System

Trigonal

Classification

Native Element

Nature

Synthetic

Crystallinity

Crystalline

Comments

Bismuth Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

2-2.5

Streak

Silver White

Specific Gravity

9.7-9.8

Toughness

Inclusions

Spiral stair-stepped structure

Luster

Metallic

Stability

Fracture

Cleavage

Perfect

Comments

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