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How long does it take for a crystal to form?
  
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h.abbasi




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PostPosted: May 30, 2022 11:25    Post subject: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

We know when each crystal formed and we know this from the local age where we find the crystal.
But the question is, how long does it take for a crystal to form?
For example, how long does it take to form a 5 cm quartz crystal?
One rainy day we got out of the car in a place where the soil was gypsum and returned a few hours later; The place of our shoes on the ground was filled with tiny crystals (maximum 5 mm).
This means that a 5 mm gypsum crystal takes about 5 hours to form.
But is it the same for other crystals?
Definitely not ... !
Pressure, concentration of raw materials, temperature, cooling rate, etc. affect this issue.
And another influential issue is that crystals form in metamorphic rocks, sedimentry rocks or igneous rocks.
That their formation time is different.
For example, the time of crystal formation in a metamorphic rock probably depends on the length of the rock metamorphic process.
And the last question :))
Is there a book or article in this regard?

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Daniel Garcia




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PostPosted: May 30, 2022 11:49    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

There are many textbooks about this, in a field named "chemical engineering science"
The question you ask is also crucial to many industrial applications, including the growth rate of pharmaceutical drugs.
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: May 30, 2022 12:09    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

No simple answer, except every mineral and situation can be different. Zircon is used for dating the rock it is formed in often; some minerals form in hours to days or weeks; some of these can also grow MUCH more slowly under different circumstances; some [most] minerals take months to many hundreds of thousands of years. There are many articles [and books] on this - and many are about the surprise of finding a crystal or crystals that grew unusually fast or slow given its 'circumstances'. I think a search using a short version of your question on the internet will give some answers and references.
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alfredo
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PostPosted: May 30, 2022 12:23    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

There is evidence that some large gem crystals in pegmatite pockets grew in just hours or days, and some crystalline gold plates in quartz fissures could have formed in only minutes or seconds. At the other end of the scale, big garnet crystals embedded in mica schist might have taken millions of years to grow.
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Firmo Espinar




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PostPosted: May 30, 2022 12:41    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

Hi Mr. Abbasi:

You can read this interesting thread written by Peter Lemkin:


Just how fast can the crystals we love and collect grow?!


Regards.
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: May 30, 2022 13:46    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

Firmo Espinar wrote:
Hi Mr. Abbasi:

You can read this interesting thread written by Peter Lemkin:


Just how fast can the crystals we love and collect grow?!


Regards.


While that article is notable for a scientific report of pegmatite minerals forming very quickly, I think the general consensus is that most pegmatite minerals form a bit more slowly [weeks to months], but some may usually crystallize first and more quickly than the rest and thus be found on what was then the bottom of the cavity. With the right temperatures and pressures artificial quartz crystals can be formed in days to weeks - so why not under natural conditions too - sometimes. Other times I'm sure it takes much longer. It is an interesting, not trivial and complex topic. One 'size' or 'time' does not fit all!!!
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Roger Warin




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PostPosted: May 30, 2022 15:33    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

Hello,

The chance of your exchanges presents me with a subject that fascinates me.
I'm not just a keen mineral collector, but also a chemist, which seems rare on the Fabre’s FMF.
I totally agree with Peter Lemkin's ideas, while extending the unit a bit. Rather than days, I propose (just an impression) that the abscissa unit be of the order of a few weeks.
My admiration for my tourmalines, however, suggests that this growth is jerky, as growth figures imprint themselves into the crystal, eventually forming a Mercedes star.
I don't remember ever reading a geology article on pegmatites that mentioned the critical point of water.
This aspect is however decisive it seems to me, because the physical conditions can be present in a magma chamber.
Water is a liquid (under normal conditions) whereas it should be a gas given its mass. But it is not. Because water is a dipole that quickly aggregates and disintegrates under the action of random and permanent exchange of hydrogen bonds. It thus forms aggregates of (H2O)n molecules. The result is that water is the most polar solvent that exists.
The phase diagram of water shows that there is a critical point at 374°C / 218 atm.

What happened ? A black hole ? From this point, hydrogen bonds no longer exist. So water can no longer be a liquid phase, whatever the pressure. The water molecules become totally independent of each other again, more so than in a vapor phase where proximity of molecules can have influences.
The polar solvent no longer exists. Its solvent power becomes nil with respect to inorganic substances, such as our fine beryls and tourmalines. The organic molecules become compatible but given the temperature they decompose. They disperse in the supercritical phase.
I assume that this transition is still gradual and that water thus loses its potential to be a good polar solvent.
This could explain the rapid crystallization kinetics in pegmatites, an unexpected aspect in geology where time is often very long.

What do you think ?
Roger.
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silvia




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PostPosted: May 30, 2022 17:02    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

I have often considered setting up a “bomb” to make large crystals of some of the common sulphides. Perhaps two stainless steel and Teflon lined hemispheres (40 mm thick and cast as solid pieces without defects) that are bolted together with high tensile steel bolts. According to my partner such an arrangement could withstand several MPA of internal pressure even at temperatures as high as 300ºC. Charge the unit with say zinc, sulphur, water and salt to mimic the conditions in typical hydrothermal vein. Then heat with a special heating jacket.

The X-ray crystallographers often grow small inorganic crystals in thick walled Pyrex tubes heated to about 300ºC. It takes anything from a few minutes to a few hours to grow the crystals.

We have grown some very large (50 mm +) crystals of Sulphur in Toluene. I would like to upload a video of the Sulphur crystals growing – absolutely fascinating stuff! It takes about 25 minutes for the crystals to grow from a seed crystal.

My partner has a fully equipped machine shop (lathe, milling machine, metals saws and lots of other things) and is very experienced in machining metals – both ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
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h.abbasi




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PostPosted: Jun 03, 2022 14:19    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

Hi,
Thank you very much for your explanation

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h.abbasi




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PostPosted: Jun 03, 2022 14:23    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

Peter
Thank you very much
It is true
There is no simple answer.
and that is why I am looking for a credible article

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h.abbasi




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PostPosted: Jun 03, 2022 14:25    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

Alfredo,
very well
Thank you for your explanation

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h.abbasi




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PostPosted: Jun 03, 2022 14:27    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

Firmo,
This article was very interesting
I read it and found the answers to many of my questions
Thank you

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h.abbasi




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PostPosted: Jun 03, 2022 15:33    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

Silvia
It is true
When crystals grow in the natural environment, then they can form in environments that we humans have created, and this is not very strange.
In Iran, the growth of crystals is used to make a kind of sweet called NABAT.
Beautiful crystals that are sweet.
But to make more complex crystals, we need to build more advanced and modern equipment in conditions similar to real conditions (such as high temperatures in the earth's crust or long times for metamorphic processes).
Of course, in this case we can control and direct them, for example, make larger crystals, organize special shapes, change their color and purity, and ...
Today, very beautiful artificial crystals are made in China, and in the market, we see many of them with the quality of a museum, which is claimed to have come from the famous mines of China.
But most of them are man-made and are sold at very high prices.
This may not be important for someone who just wants to see and enjoy the crystal.
But we (those who like crystals) find it hard to love an artificial crystal (maybe I're the only one)
Of course, it is clear that if they are used for specific tasks that require greater purity or larger size, it is necessary to make crystals.
For example, manufacturing optical devices, measuring devices, medical equipment, etc.
But it is not (in my opinion) interesting for making collectible and museum specimens.
Does anyone like to keep an artificial crystal as a natural crystal in their collection?
Do they enjoy watching it?



IMG_۲۰۲۲۰۶۰۴_۰۰۴۲۳۸.jpg
 Mineral: Nabat. An artificial crystal
 Description:
Locality: Esfahan, Iran
2 * 5 cm
The sugar dissolves in warm water as much as possible.
Then a thread is placed in it as a crystal sperm and then it is slowly cooled (about 10 to 12 hours) and these crystals are formed.
Their consumption with tea is very pleasant
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IMG_۲۰۲۲۰۶۰۴_۰۰۴۲۳۸.jpg



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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Jun 04, 2022 00:38    Post subject: Re: How long does it take for a crystal to form?  

Speaking for myself, artificial crystals, have no meaning or beauty for me. I do not collect them, although I learned about crystals in my youth growing them. Then I turned to the real thing - natural ones. Additionally, this Forum is dedicated to only discussing natural minerals and crystals. I think most here feel, at least somewhat, what I do about artificial ones and to those natural ones that have been altered, as well. Artificial crystal growth and experimentation has its place in science and technology, but not in the 'art' of minerals, in my opinion. In my collection I have only two artificial crystals - one of quartz and one of silicon - and neither are on display. The second one - nearly pure Si is interesting to me only to see its color and hardness, etc - yet it is clear when mixed with oxygen in SiO2.

On the original topic and question: We now know of xx that can grow to fairly large size in hours to days; on the other hand we know of xx that have taken tens to hundreds of thousands of years to grow - with some taking millions or even billions. These are often different xx in different environments, but some minerals can grow quickly or slowly depending on their chemical, pressure, temperature, physical, base/acid, electrical charge environment. To my knowledge no book has attempted to handle this subject fully. One finds bits and pieces in chapters, parts of chapters or more likely in research articles. One really needs to read many of these articles to get the full picture. I would love it if someone would try to tackle this subject with a complete book - even if it is written by many authors each doing a chapter on their speciality. For a long time in mineralogy it seems that aside from some evaporates, salts, and minerals that formed after mining activities - that most if not all crystals formed quite slowly, over time spans that are great to the human experience. While some do, it is amazing to me that some of the fantastic xx in my collection may have formed in very short periods of time. But, why not, if one knows how crystals grow and have grown [artificial] crystals in my youth overnight or in a few days. Nature is amazing and full of surprises we slowly discover and I collect with a sense of never-ending wonder and delight.
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