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How To Grow Orange Potassium Dichromate Crystals

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Potassium dichromate crystals occur naturally as the rare mineral lopezite.

Potassium dichromate crystals occur naturally as the rare mineral lopezite.

Grzegorz Framski, Creative Commons License
If you've mastered basic crystals, try growing an orange potassium dichromate crystal. Usually you have to use food coloring to get an orange crystal, but this crystal color is natural.
Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: hours for seed crystal, weeks for larger single crystal

Here's How:

  1. Dissolve as much potassium dichromate as you can in warm water.
  2. Filter the solution, cover it, and allow it to sit undisturbed for several hours or until growth is observed. Alternatively, you could produce a seed crystal by evaporating a few drops of this solution in a shallow dish.
  3. You can grow a mass of crystals by just allowing the solution to evaporate, but for a large single crystal, decant the solution into a clean container whenever you notice growth other than on your seed crystal(s).
  4. You can control the growth of your crystal by changing the temperature of the solution or by controlling the rate of evaporation by the type of cover you put on the container (e.g., coffee filter has free airflow, sealing the container with plastic doesn't).
  5. The resulting crystals will be bright orange rectangular prisms.

What You Need

  • potassium dichromate
  • distilled water

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