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Crystal Habit, an up-close look at seven stunning minerals

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Observe seven visually stunning minerals and their common crystal habits—”the characteristic external shape of an individual crystal or crystal group.” This short Crystal Habits video from the team at Beauty of Science provides excellent examples of these seven featured minerals: Fluorite, stibnite, quartz, pyrite, also known as Fool’s Gold, aragonite, pyromorphite, and vanadinite.


The terms used by mineralogists to report crystal habits describe the typical appearance of an ideal mineral. Recognizing the habit can aid in identification as some habits are characteristic. Most minerals, however, do not display ideal habits due to conditions during crystallization

Factors influencing habit include: a combination of two or more crystal forms; trace impurities present during growth; crystal twinning and growth conditions (i.e., heat, pressure, space); and specific growth tendencies such as growth striations. Minerals belonging to the same crystal system do not necessarily exhibit the same habit. Some habits of a mineral are unique to its variety and locality.

Watch more Beauty of Science videos on TKSST. Plus, see more videos about crystals:
• The Golden Rain Experiment: Turning lead into ‘gold’ lead
• Incredible Egg Geode
• Michna’s Solid Gold
• Petrified Forest National Park: How petrified wood is made

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