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Video:How to Grow Copper Sulfate Crystals

with Dr. Anne Helmenstine

Copper Sulfate is a chemical that produces naturally colored crystals. Learn how to grow copper sulfate crystals at home.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Grow Copper Sulfate Crystals

Hi, I'm Dr. Anne Helmenstine for About.com. Have you ever wanted to grow your own colored crystals? One chemical that produces naturally colored crystals is copper sulfate. These are bright blue diamond-shaped crystals. Copper sulfate is relatively easy to find and the crystals are simple to grow.

You can find copper sulfate at some stores as a root killer or algicide or you can order it online. Make sure your chemical states on the product label that it contains copper sulfate.

Growing Copper Sulfate Crystals

To grow copper sulfate crystals, stir copper sulfate into a cup of boiling water. Continue adding copper sulfate until a little solid begins to accumulate in the bottom of your cup. This is your crystal growing solution.

Pour the crystal growing solution into a clean container. Try to avoid getting any undissolved solid in the new container. Allow the crystal solution to remain undisturbed. Over the course of several hours, you will see crystal growth.

Tips for Copper Sulfate Crystal Growth

Copper sulfate in water forms triclinic crystals of copper sulfate pentahydrate. You can grow several small crystals or can remove all but one or two of the crystals if you want better growth. When you are satisfied with your crystals, you may remove them from the solution and examine them.

Copper sulfate is an irritant, so wear gloves or rinse your hands immediately after handling the crystals.

Unfortunately, the crystals will not remain bright blue forever. As they dry out, a white to gray powder will form on the surface of the crystals as the copper sulfate pentahydrate returns to copper sulfate. You can always dissolve your crystals in water and make new ones.

I hope you have enjoyed this easy crystal growing project. Get ideas for more projects by visiting at chemistry.about.com. Thanks for watching!
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