Bismuth is a relatively uncommon stone, so if you’re looking to purchase or sell a piece of this beautiful crystal, it’s important to get a feel for how much it’s worth.
How much is a pound of bismuth worth?
One pound of bismuth usually sells for between $3 and $14. The price of bismuth fluctuates depending on the state or country in which it’s being sold, the demand for the crystal, and how pure the particular stone is. Bismuth that has been used in a decorative piece will generally be worth more simply because of the artistic value of the item.
What is bismuth?
Bismuth is a relatively uncommon metal, so you may have seen it but not known what it was. Bismuth is a naturally occurring element.
It is often referred to as a metal, a stone, or a crystal, but it’s technically a heavy metal mineral that forms crystalline structures. It’s also very slightly radioactive.
Bismuth is a silver or white color naturally, but most bismuth has experienced some oxidation, which gives it a darker or even iridescent color.
Bismuth can display a shifting array of black, green, purple, orange, yellow, red, and blue tones.
How does bismuth form?
Bismuth forms naturally in the Earth’s crust, and it’s most common in Australia, China, and Bolivia. Bismuth is most often mined as a byproduct of other metals such as copper, tin, lead, and tungsten.
What is bismuth used for?
Although bismuth is slightly radioactive, it has one of the lowest toxicity levels of any heavy metals. For this reason, it’s often used in cosmetics, pigments, dyes, and some medications.
Bismuth can be used to treat gastrointestinal conditions and is used in medicines such as Pepto-Bismol. It’s not clear why bismuth is so effective in these cases, but many scientists believe that these small doses of heavy metal can have a toxic effect on microbes like as E. coli.
Bismuth is also sometimes used to treat eye infections.
Bismuth is often used as a substitute for lead, particularly in drinking water systems or for ammunition. The mineral can also be mixed with other metals to form alloys, including a particular type of bronze. Bismuth alloys are often found in indoor fire alarm sprinkler systems.
Some people also use bismuth as a decoration or in jewelry, as the colors and structures of the crystal can be very beautiful. Many people feel that bismuth, along with other crystals, has healing properties.
Bismuth is said to be able to help relieve loneliness. It can cause a feeling of serenity and an increase in positive thoughts. It’s also supposed to increase calm feelings, which can be beneficial during times of change.
Bismuth is also supposed to aid in making travel enjoyable, and it can also help activate friendships.
Is bismuth sustainable?
Because bismuth is a byproduct of other metal mining or refining processes and cannot be created in a lab, the mineral can only be sustainably produced if it is recycled.
Unfortunately, because it is often used in things like paints, dyes, or makeup, which can’t usually be recycled or reused, bismuth is generally not recyclable.
This means that, as demand for bismuth increases and less is mined, the price for the mineral will increase.
What should I consider before purchasing bismuth?
It’s always important to thoroughly research any metal or crystal sellers before you decide to purchase from them.
Reputable sellers can often tell you exactly where their bismuth came from, and they should be able to tell you how pure the metal is.
It’s also important to check prices and recognize when something is too good to be true. Compare prices from several different sellers.
If someone is selling bismuth at a significantly lower price, chances are that the metal is not pure and is much more likely an alloy.
How do I make bismuth crystals at home?
Bismuth is usually sold in solid square or rectangular ingots. These ingots generally don’t display the beautiful colors and structures of decorative bismuth, but metalsmiths or jewelers can use heat to reshape the ingots and help crystals form.
Crystal formation can also be done in the home setting. Always use proper safety equipment when making bismuth crystals.
To make bismuth crystals from an ingot, put the bismuth in a solid metal container. You can use a pan, a measuring cup, or even aluminum foil that’s been shaped into a bowl.
Place the metal container with the bismuth in it over a heat source, such as a stove. Once the bismuth melts, pour it into a second preheated metal container and cool the bismuth as slowly as possible.
You’ll begin to see crystals forming. At this point, pour the remaining liquid away from the crystals. Let the metal cool completely before you attempt to move the crystals.
As the crystals cool and oxidize, they’ll take on the iridescent rainbow colors bismuth is known for.