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NSI Smithsonian Crystal Growing Kit

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 2.5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Smithsonian Crystal Set

Several Smithsonian crystal-growing sets are available.

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The Bottom Line

The Smithsonian kits are educational and fun. These are the most popular kits because the crystals grow reliably, plus they are very safe.
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  • Contains everything except water.
  • Materials are safe.
  • Includes educational material about crystals.
  • Containers are re-usable for growing your own crystals.


  • Instructions can be confusing and complicated.
  • Hard to duplicate the appearance of the crystals shown on the box.


  • Designed for ages 10 and up. Younger kids can enjoy this kit but will need adult supervision.
  • Contains everything you need to grow beautiful crystals except hot water.
  • You can keep and display the crystals that you make.

Guide Review - NSI Smithsonian Crystal Growing Kit

I've grown crystals from the Smithsonian kits a few times. The number and type of crystals you can grow depend on the specific kit, but they all contain safe chemicals that are easy to grow into crystals. For some reason they give the crystals gemstone names rather than calling them by their actual chemical names.

When you get the kit, read the through the instructions before starting any crystals. Some instructions will tell you to use materials from another project, so while they aren't sequential, you need to be aware of how all the chemicals get used. Otherwise, there is a decent chance you'll accidentally use all of a chemical for one project that you should have split between 2-3 projects. Just read the directions and you'll be fine.

Most of the crystals you grow will turn out looking almost exactly like the pictures of the crystals on the box (pretty!), but I have had trouble duplicating the emerald, citrine, and aquamarine crystals (all the same type of crystal, just different colors). The color and shape of the crystals is the same, but they don't stick to the rock and radiate outward. You should expect the appearance of your crystals to vary somewhat from the photos.

The safety goggles that come in the kit are too small for just about any kid, but the mixing cup and growing containers are useful and can be saved after you complete the projects in the kit for growing crystals from household chemicals.

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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Works and is safe if you follow directions!, Member R_T_

Did this kit with my 8 yo daughter. The directions specifically say to mix the chemical and the boiling water in a separate container that can withstand boiling temperatures (like a large pyrex measuring cup) - then, it goes onto say make sure you COOL the mixture for 5 minutes before you pour into the provided plastic cups. We had no problems and no safety issues. It was a fun project!

1 out of 2 people found this helpful.

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