Not a lot of people have heard of Bismuth, but if you’re going to sell or buy a piece of this interesting crystal, you should have a good understanding of how much it is worth.
How much is a pound of bismuth?
Quality Bismuth costs somewhere between just $3 and $14 per pound. The bismuth price will usually fluctuate depending on several factors including its purity levels, the demand for the crystal, and the state in which it is sold. You will usually spend more on a bismuth that has been made to be used as a decorative piece, mostly due to the artistic value it has.
What is bismuth?
Bismuth is so uncommon that you might have seen it and not even know what it was. Bismuth is an element that forms naturally.
Although people call it a crystal, a stone, or even a metal, it is a heavy metal mineral that is formed in crystalline structures. It is also somewhat radioactive.
In nature, bismuth can be found in a white or silver color, although due to oxidation, most bismuth chunks will have a darker, or, in some instances, even iridescent color.
It isn’t uncommon for bismuth to have a shifting array of blue, red, yellow, orange, purple, green, and black tones.
How does bismuth form?
Bismuth forms as a natural element in the Earth’s crust. It is the most common in Bolivia, China, and Australia. Bismuth is mostly mined as a byproduct of metals like tungsten, lead, tin, or copper.
What is bismuth used for?
Although it is true that bismuth is somewhat toxic, its toxicity levels are among the lowest of all heavy metals. This is why it is commonly used in some medications, dyes, pigments, and even cosmetics.
Bismuth can be found in medicines like Pepto-Bismol, being used as a way of treating gastrointestinal conditions. It is pretty hard to explain why bismuth is effective in these particular cases, although scientists believe that getting this heavy metal in small doses can damage E. coli and other microbes due to its toxicity levels.
Some eye infections are also treated with Bismuth in combination with other substances.
Bismuth can also be used to substitute lead in ammunition and drinking water systems. It is also mixed with other metals to make different alloys, like a certain type of bronze. Indoor fire alarm sprinkler systems are known to use bismuth alloys.
Most often, you will see bismuth used in jewelry and as decoration pieces. This is because it has very beautiful structures and colors, similar to those found in crystals. Some people also consider bismuth and similar crystals as having healing properties on the human body.
Some individuals use it to help relieve their loneliness. It is said to cause an increase in positive thoughts and give you a feeling of serenity. It should also increase feelings of calm, which is a great thing especially when you’re going through times of important change.
Bismuth should also help activate new friendships and fix old ones, as well as make your traveling more enjoyable.
Is bismuth sustainable?
Bismuth can only be produced in a sustainable way if it is recycled, as it cannot be created in a lab and is only mined as a byproduct of other metals and obtained through refining processes.
The bad news is bismuth is hardly ever recyclable, as it is mostly used in things like makeup, dyes, and paints, none of which being recyclable materials.
This means that the mineral is bound to see an increase in price, as more and more people want bismuth and it is mined less frequently.
What should you consider before purchasing bismuth?
Before deciding to purchase a metal or crystal of any kind, it is a good idea to do extensive research on the metal itself and its seller.
You should expect a reputable seller to be able to tell you how pure the bismuth is and exactly where it was mined from.
It’s also important to understand that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Compare the prices across several sellers and see exactly what would be a fair price for a slab of bismuth.
There are a lot of instances in which sellers tried to sell something they called bismuth way below the market value, but it turned out to be not very pure, closer to an allow.
How do you make bismuth crystals at home?
You will usually find bismuth in solid rectangular or solid ingots. You won’t find the beautiful colors, traits, and structures on these ingots, as you’d find in bismuth already crafted for decorative purposes. It will come down to jewelers or metalsmiths to reshape these Bismuth ingots with the help of heat to give them the crystal look.
You can also attempt crystal formation at home. Before you try this, make sure you have proper safety equipment.
If you want to transform an ingot into bismuth crystals, put the bismuth piece in a solid metal container. Anything from a measuring cup to a pan or even aluminum foil made into a bowl can be used for this process.
Put the bismuth inside the metal container and over a heat source. A stove will work just fine. Wait for the bismuth to melt and then pour it into a second metal container that has been preheated. Let the bismuth cool as slowly as possible.
If everything is done right, you should start to see crystals form. This is where you should pour any remaining liquid from the crystals. The metal should cool off completely before you move the crystals.
You will notice beautiful rainbow colors on the bismuth as the crystals cool and oxidize.