Published September 2016  •  Updated June 2022  •  Read Time: 6 minutes
Bismuth is a silvery metal that can have a bright rainbow tarnish.  It’s fantastical geometric shape is known as “hopper crystal”.  Both the tarnish and the shape occur naturally, but most of the colorful Bismuth on the market has been transformed. In fact, you can make your own Bismuth hopper crystals at home in your own kitchen.  This soft metal can be melted easily and was often used by ancient and medieval Alchemists in their quest to change base metal into gold.  Bismuth is a stone for experimentation and transformation. It’s energy can help us to change ourselves or to change the world around us.  It is a wonderful talisman for scientists and dreamers alike.

Bismuth

Bismuth Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Bismuth is an incredible stone for anyone who is actively journeying. It helps us to know where we are going, to stay the course, to be open to new opportunities and to continually move forward. It reminds us that the Divine and the Universe wants us to succeed and will conspire in our favor if we move boldly and with an open-heart. Bismuth helps us feel deeply connected to our Highest Self and other spiritual energies. It has both a grounding and expansive energy, helping us be comfortable with change and eager for positive transformation. When we feel lonely or lost, Bismuth can help us to easily connect with something or someone, feeding our soul and nurturing our heart, allowing us to regain our confidence and enthusiasm.

Metaphysical Properties Bismuth
Chakra All
Element Fire
Numerology 2
Zodiac Aquarius

Emotional Healing Properties

Bismuth has a very comforting and friendly energy. It helps us to feel more secure in our relationships with people, and with the world at large. Bismuth helps us to make our needs known and to show others our value and unique qualities. It helps us to handle change gracefully and to stay calm even if everyone around us is in a panic. Bismuth reminds us that we can handle whatever life throws at us and that we have what it takes to succeed. In romantic relationships, Bismuth can help couples deepen their connect, often leading to marriage or other forms of long-term partnership. However, Bismuth will also laughingly remind us not to settle or stay with someone who isn’t quite right for us. It encourages us to work well with others, while maintaining our own independence. More than anything, Bismuth invites us to “enjoy the journey” as we grow and evolve over the course of our lifetime.

Mental Healing Properties

Bismuth is a fantastic stone for anyone who is setting goals or has big dreams. It encourages us to think big, to plan meticulously, and to walk our talk. Bismuth also encourages us to be wise, to plan strategically and to be teachable. It urges us to be willing to evolve, to be a life-long learner, and to change ourselves when new information or situations requires that of us. Bismuth keeps us looking forward to the future, rather than dwelling on the past. It helps our mind to stay sharp, focused and engaged in the present moment.

Physical Healing Properties

Bismuth is most often used by metaphysical healers to treat people in comas or other catatonic states, helping the patient to move out of the static state and back into life. It is also said to help reduce fevers.

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Bismuth Mineralogy

Where does Bismuth come from?

Natural Bismuth is found in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, Poland, Spain, United States (California, Colorado, South Dakota) and Vietnam. However, most of the Bismuth on the commercial market is lab-grown in Germany.

Mining and Treatments

Bismuth is usually mined as a biproduct of mining aimed at extracting other metals such as Copper, Lead, Tin and Tungsten. It is usually found in crude lead bullion, which then goes through several stages of refining.

Bismuth Placeholder
Bismuth

Mineral Family

Bismuth is a relatively rare Native Element, a chemical element that appears in nature uncombined with anything else. Native Elements are typically divided into three groups: metals such as Copper, Gold, Silver, and Platinum; semi-metals like Arsenic; and nonmetals like Sulfur and Carbon. Bismuth is a brittle semi-metal.

Bismuth’s energy works well with its family – other Native Elements.  Try it in combination with Copper and Shungite

Bismuth Formation and Crystal Associates

Bismuth is a rare element, about as common as silver. Most of the time it forms as a lump of grey or silvery metal, which is often mistaken for tin or lead. On very rare occasions, high-purity Bismuth will form natural “Hopper Crystals”, with outer walls full developed like steps, while the interior remains empty. This shape occurs when Bismuth grows so rapidly, that there is not time or the necessary materials, to fill in all the gaps. Hoppering happens when the electrical attraction along one edge of the crystal is higher, thus causing faster growth. Bismuth can easily tarnishes, and when that happens it takes on a wide-range of colors.

Bismuth’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination Barite

Hopper Crystals

While native Bismuth may be available to collectors on occasion, most of it is used for commercial purposes. But Bismuth Hopper Crystals are one of the easiest crystals to grow and can be created in any home-kitchen. Unsurprisingly, most of the colorful crystals are lab-grown, rather than mined. To start with, natural Bismuth, which is usually grey and fairly uninspiring, must be brought up to a high enough temperature to melt. Once in a liquid form, it is removed from the heat source and allowed to cool. During this cooling, crystallization will begin to take place and crystals will begin to float on the surface of the liquid. They can then be removed with tweezers and set down to continue to solidify and cool. Later on, the surface of the Hopper Crystals can be oxidized to bring out beautiful rainbow colors.

Mineralogy Bismuth
Chemical Formula Bi
Cleavage Perfect
Color Silver-white, pinkish-white, red. When oxidized it has metallic rainbow colors
Crystal System Trigonal-hexagonal scalenohedral
Form/Habit Cubic
Fracture Uneven
Hardness – Mohs Scale 2-2.5
Luminescence None
Luster Metallic
Mineral Family Native Element
Specific Gravity 9.7-9.8
Streak Silver-white
Transparency Opaque
Bismuth Making

Making Bismuth Crystals

History of Bismuth

Bismuth is a relatively rare mineral that has only recently become available to collectors. Prior to the 1600s, it was often confused with tin or iron, which it can closely resemble. The name Bismuth has two possible origins; it may be a German name, a variation of wismuth or weiße Mass, meaning “white mass”. Alternatively, its name could come from the Arabic bi ismid, meaning “similar to Antimony” (another silver-grey metal).

Bismuth was not included in ancient lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers, nor is it widely included in most modern ones. While lapidary writers took little note of this rare metal, medieval Alchemists showed a keen interest. Alchemists were the forerunners of today’s chemists, educated men and women who performed experiments hoping to find the key to eternal life and/or the ability to turn base metals into gold. Alchemists referred to Bismuth as tectum argenti, Latin for “silver being made” and considered it to be almost an evolutionary step between a base metal and a precious one. Alchemists worked with the metal in the hope that it would reveal its secrets and literally turn into silver, giving them the key for how to turn other metals into gold.