Science, Tech, Math › Science How To Preserve Homemade Crystals Protect Them From Moisture and Humidity Share Flipboard Email Print Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images Science Chemistry Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments 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 May 04, 2019 Once you have grown a crystal, you probably want to keep it and possibly display it. Homemade crystals are usually grown in an aqueous or water-based solution, so you need to protect the crystal from moisture and humidity. Types of Crystals to Grow Alum CrystalsBlue Copper Sulfate CrystalsAmmonium PhosphatePurple Chrome Alum CrystalsBismuth Crystals Once your crystals are grown, there are steps you can take to preserve them: Preserve the Crystal in Plastic Polish You can coat your crystal in plastic to protect it from humidity. For example, you can buy a kit that allows you to embed your crystal in lucite or other forms of acrylic. A simple, yet effective method of preserving many crystals is to coat them with a few layers of clear nail polish or floor polish. Be careful using nail polish or floor wax because these products may dissolve the top layer of your crystals. Be gentle when applying the coatings and allow each coating to dry completely before adding another layer. Preserving a crystal by coating it with acrylic or another plastic also helps to protect the crystal from being scratched or shattered. Many crystals that are grown in water may be either brittle or else soft. Plastic helps to stabilize the structure, protecting the crystal from mechanical damage. Set Crystals in Jewelry Remember, polishing your gem doesn't turn your crystal into a diamond! It's still a good idea to protect your crystal from direct contact with water (e.g., treat is as water-resistant and not water-proof) or rough handling. In some cases, you may be able to set a protected crystal as a gem for jewelry, but I advise against using these crystals in rings or bracelets because the crystal will get knocked around more than if it was set into a pendant or earrings. Your best bet is to either place your crystal in a bezel (metal setting) or even grow it in the setting and then seal it afterward. Don't set toxic crystals for use as jewelry, just in case a child gets hold of the crystal and places it in her mouth. Crystal Storage Tips Whether or not you apply a treatment to your crystal, you'll want to store it away from common sources of damage. Light: Many crystals react to heat and light. Keep your crystals away from direct sunlight. If you can, avoid exposure to other sources of high energy synthetic light, such as fluorescent bulbs. If you must light your crystal, try to use indirect, cool lighting. Temperature: While you might guess that heat could damage your crystal, did you know cold is dangerous, too? Many homegrown crystals are water-based, so if the temperature dips below freezing the water in the crystals could freeze. Because water expands when it freezes, this can crack a crystal. Cycles of heating and cooling are especially bad since they cause the crystal to expand and contract. Dust: It's easy to keep dust off of a crystal than to try to remove it, especially if the crystal is fragile. Keep your crystal in a sealed container or else wrap it in tissue or store it in sawdust. All of these options will help keep your crystal from accumulating dust and grime. If you do need to dust a crystal, try to use a dry or very slightly damp cloth. Too much moisture could cause you to wipe away the top layer of your crystal along with the dust.