Science, Tech, Math › Science Crystal Photo Gallery Share Flipboard Email Print Science Chemistry Projects & Experiments Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated November 05, 2019 Crystals of Elements, Compounds, and Minerals Quartz crystals, variety Amethyst, Virginia, USA. Specimen courtesy JMU Mineral Museum. Scientifica / Getty Images This is a collection of photographs of crystals. Some are crystals you can grow yourself. Others are representative pictures of crystals of elements and minerals. The pictures are arranged alphabetically. Selected images show the colors and structure of the crystals. Almandine Garnet Crystal Almandine Garnet from the Roxbury iron mine, Roxbury county, Connecticut. John Cancalosi / Getty Images Almandine garnet, which is also known as carbuncle, is an iron-aluminum garnet. This type of garnet is commonly found in a deep red color. It's used to make sandpaper and abrasives. Alum Crystal Boric acid (white) and Alum (red) crystals. De Agostini / Photo 1 / Getty Images Alum (aluminium potassium sulfate) is a group of related chemicals, which can be used to grow naturally clear, red, or purple crystals. Alum crystals are among the easiest and quickest crystals you can grow yourself. Amethyst Crystals Amethyst is the name given to the purple form of quartz or silicon dioxide. Nikola Miljkovic / Getty Images Amethyst is purple quartz, which is silicon dioxide. The color may derive from manganese or ferric thiocyanate. Apatite Crystal Apatite crystal from Cerro de Mercado Mine, Victoria de Durango, Cerro de los Remedios, Durango, Mexico. Matteo Chinellato - ChinellatoPhoto / Getty Images Apatite is the name given to a group of phosphate minerals. The most common color of the gemstone is blue-green, but the crystals occur in a number of different colors. Aragonite Crystals Crystals of aragonite. Jonathan Zander Natural Asbestos Fibers Asbestos fibers (termolite) with muscovite, from Bernera, Inverness-shire, England. Specimen photographed at the Natural History Museum, London. Aramgutang, Wikipedia Commons Azurite Crystal Azurite mineral specimen. Matteo Chinellato - ChinellatoPhoto / Getty Images Azurite displays blue crystals. Benitoite Crystals These are blue crystals of the rare barium titanium silicate mineral called benitoite. Géry Parent Beryl Crystals Hexagonal aquamarine crystal of emerald (Beryl). Harry Taylor / Getty Images Beryl is beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate. Gemstone-quality crystals are named according to their color. Green is emerald. Blue is aquamarine. Pink is morganite. Bismuth Bismuth is a crystalline white metal, with a pink tinge. The iridescent color of this bismuth crystal is the result of a thin oxide layer on its surface. Dschwen, wikipedia.org Pure elements display crystal structures, including the metal bismuth. This is an easy crystal to grow yourself. The rainbow color results from a thin layer of oxidation. Borax This is a photo of borax crystals from California. Borax is sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate. Borax has white monoclinic crystals. Aramgutang, wikipedia.org Borax is a boron mineral that produces white or clear crystals. These crystals form readily at home and can be used for science projects. Borax Crystal Snowflake Borax crystal snowflakes are safe and easy to grow. Anne Helmenstine White borax powder can be dissolved in water and recrystallized to yield stunning crystals. If you like, you can grow the crystals on pipecleaners to make snowflake shapes. Brazilianite with Muscovite Brazilianite crystals with muscovite from the Galilea mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Specimen photographed at the Natural History Museum, London. Aramgutang, Wikipedia Commons Brown Sugar Crystals Crystals of brown sugar, an impure form of sucrose. Sanjay Acharya Calcite on Quartz Pink globular calcite crystals on quartz from Guanajuto, Mexico. Specimen photographed at the Natural History Museum, London. Aramgutang, Wikipedia Commons Calcite Calcite crystal. Christophe Lehenaff / Getty Images Calcite crystals are calcium carbonate (CaCO3). They are generally white or clear and can be scratched with a knife Cesium Crystals This is a high-purity sample of cesium crystals maintaining in an ampule under an argon atmosphere. Dnn87, Wikipedia Commons Citric Acid Crystals This is a photo of magnified crystals of citric acid, viewed under polarized light. Jan Homann, Wikipedia Commons Chrome Alum Crystal This is a crystal of chrome alum, also known as chromium alum. The crystal displays the characteristic purple color and octohedral shape. Ra'ike, Wikipedia Commons The molecular formula of chrome alum is KCr(SO4)2. You can easily grow these crystals yourself. Copper Sulfate Crystals These are large, naturally blue crystals of copper sulfate. Stephanb, wikipedia.org It's easy to grow copper sulfate crystals yourself. These crystals are popular because they are bright blue, can become quite large, and are reasonably safe for kids to grow. Crocoite Crystals These are crystals of crocoite from the Red Lead Mine, Tasmania, Australia. Crocoite is a lead chromate mineral that forms monoclinic crystals. Crocoite may be used as chrome yellow, a paint pigment. Eric Hunt, Creative Commons License Rough Diamond Crystal Rough diamond embedded in black rock. Gary Ombler / Getty Images This rough diamond is a crystal of elemental carbon. Emerald Crystals Emerald, silicate mineral, beryl. Be3Al2(SiO3)6. Paul Starosta / Getty Images Emerald is the green gemstone form of the mineral beryl. Enargite Crystals Enargite crystals on a sample of pyrite from Butte, Montana. Eurico Zimbres Epsom Salt or Magnesium Sulfate Crystals Magnesium sulfate crystals (dyed green). Copyright (c) by Dai Haruki. All Rights Reserved. / Getty Images Epsom salt crystals are naturally clear, but readily allow dye. This crystal grows very quickly from a saturated solution. Fluorite Crystals Fluorite or fluorspar is an isometric mineral composed of calcium fluoride. Photolitherland, Wikipedia Commons Fluorite or Fluorspar Crystals These are fluorite crystals on display at the National History Museum in Milan, Italy. Fluorite is the crystal form of the mineral calcium fluoride. Giovanni Dall'Orto Fullerene Crystals (Carbon) These are fullerene crystals of carbon. Each crystal unit consists of 60 carbon atoms. Moebius1, Wikipedia Commons Gallium Crystals Pure gallium has a bright silver color. The low melting point makes the crystals appear wet. Foobar, wikipedia.org Garnet and Quartz Sample from China of garnet crystals with quartz. Géry Parent Gold Crystals Crystals of gold. Matteo Chinellato - ChinellatoPhoto / Getty Images The metallic element gold sometimes occurs in crystalline form in nature. Halite or Rock Salt Crystals Close-up of rock salt or halite crystals. DEA/ARCHIVIO B / Getty Images You can grow crystals from most salts, such as sea salt, table salt, and rock salt. Pure sodium chloride forms beautiful cubic crystals. Heliodor Crystal Heliodor crystal specimen. DEA / A. RIZZI / Getty Images Heliodor is also known as golden beryl. Hot Ice or Sodium Acetate Crystals These are crystals of hot ice or sodium acetate. Anne Helmenstine Sodium acetate crystals are interesting to grow yourself because they can crystallize on command from a supersaturated solution. Hoarfrost - Water Ice Frost crystals on a window. Martin Ruegner / Getty Images Snowflakes are a familiar crystalline form of water, but frost takes other interesting shapes. Insulin Crystals Ultra-pure insulin crystals 200X magnification. Alfred Pasieka / Getty Images Iodine Crystals These are crystals of the halogen element, iodine. Solid iodine is a lustrous blue-black color. Greenhorn1, public domain KDP or Potassium Dihydrogen Phosphate Crystal This is a potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) crystal, weighing almost 800 pounds. The crystals are sliced into plates for use in the National Ignition Facility, which is the world's largest laser. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLNL, US DOE Kyanite Crystals Kyanite, silicate. De Agostini / R. Appiani / Getty Images Liquid Crystals - Nematic Phase Nematic phase transition in liquid crystals. Polimerek Liquid Crystals - Smectic Phase This photograph of magnified liquid crystals shows the crystals' focal-conical smectic c-phase. The colors result from photographing the crystals under polarized light. Minutemen, Wikipedia Commons Lopezite Crystals Potassium dichromate crystals occur naturally as the rare mineral lopezite. Grzegorz Framski, Creative Commons License Lysozyme Crystal Lysozyme Crystal. Mathias Klode Morganite Crystal Example of uncut morganite crystal, a pink gemstone version of beryl. This specimen came from a mine outside of San Diego, CA. Trinity Minerals Protein Crystals (Albumen) Albumen crystals, SEM. STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SPL / Getty Images Pyrite Crystals Pyrite crystals. Scientifica / Getty Images Pyrite is called "fool's gold" because its golden color and high density mimic the precious metal. However, pyrite is iron oxide, not gold. Quartz Crystals Quartz. Science Photo Library / Getty Images Quartz is silicon dioxide, the most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust. While this crystal is common, it's also possible to grow it in a lab. Realgar Crystals Red realgar mineral from Romania. Matteo Chinellato - ChinellatoPhoto / Getty Images Realgar is arsenic sulfide, AsS, an orange-red monoclinic crystal. Rock Candy Crystals Rock candy is clear unless food coloring is added. Claire Plumridge / Getty Images Rock candy is another name for sugar crystals. The sugar is sucrose, or table sugar. You can grow these crystals and eat them or use them to sweeten drinks. Sugar Crystals (Close Up) This is a close-up photograph of sugar crystals (sucrose). The area is about 800 x 500 micrometers. Jan Homann Ruby Crystal Ruby is the red crystalline form of the mineral corundum. Melissa Carroll / Getty Images Ruby is the name given to the red variety of the mineral corundum (aluminum oxide). Rutile Crystal Geminated rutile crystal from Bazil. Matteo Chinellato - ChinellatoPhoto / Getty Images Rutile is the most common form of natural titanium dioxide. Natural corundum (rubies and sapphires) contain rutile inclusions. Salt Crystals (Sodium Chloride) Salt crystal, light micrograph. Pasieka / Getty Images Sodium chloride forms cubic crystals. Spessartine Garnet Crystals Spessartine or spessartite is manganese aluminium garnet. This is a specimen of spessartine garnet crystals from Fujian Province, China. Noodle snacks, Willems Miner Collection Sucrose Crystals Under Electron Microscope Sucrose crystals, SEM. STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / Getty Images If you magnify sugar crystals enough, this is what you see. The monoclinic hemihedral crystalline structure can be seen clearly. Sulfur Crystal Sulphur crystal. Matteo Chinellato - ChinellatoPhoto / Getty Images Sulfur is a nonmetallic element that grows beautiful crystals ranging in color from pale lemon yellow to deep golden yellow. This is another crystal you can grow for yourself. Red Topaz Crystal Crystal of red topaz at the British Natural History Museum. Aramgutang, Wikipedia Commons Topaz is a silicate mineral found in any color. Topaz Crystal Topaz with beautiful crystal form. Matteo Chinellato - ChinellatoPhoto / Getty Images Topaz is a mineral with the chemical formula Al2SiO4(F,OH)2). It forms orthorhombic crystals. Pure topaz is clear, but impurities can tint it a variety of colors.