UV reactive crystals: what and why (2023)

UV reactive crystals: what and why

Crystals fascinate you, otherwise you wouldn't be here, would you? And you've heard of ultraviolet light. But did you know that there are tons of crystals that glow under ultraviolet light? If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love finding all this amazing stuff.UV reactive crystals🇧🇷 Sometimes it's a fun surprise when I come home from the gem shows and turn off my UV light in the room full of new crystal babies.

If you're as curious as I was when you heard about this amazing phenomenon, then read on, we've got you covered here.

What is UV reactive glass?

Simply put, it is any crystalline structure that glows in the presence of ultraviolet light. The mineral content of the crystal determines whether and to what extent it fluoresces. Any mineral can reflect light, but some have the additional property of capturing a fraction of that light, holding it temporarily, and then emitting it later and at a different wavelength.

This property is called fluorescence, and under ultraviolet light, fluorescent stones or crystals may appear to be the light source.

Why do some crystals glow under ultraviolet light?

The presence of some specific wavelengths of light from cathode rays, X-rays, and of course ultraviolet light excites receptive electrons within the illuminated mineral. The reactive electrons briefly move to a higher orbital position within the atomic structure of the mineral. This is essentially the moment that light is "captured" as energy in the material. When the electron returns or falls to its lowest orbital position, this light energy is released in the form of a beautiful fluorescent glow.

(Video) What minerals show fluorescence under UV light?

Furthermore, the light is not only released, but also often differs significantly in wavelength from light that is normally reflected from a full spectrum light source, causing the crystal to glow a different color than the crystal. daylight.

The deciding factor here is the change in wavelength after the excited electron has returned to its original orbital position. When the wavelength changes, the color also changes.

The effect is best seen in a dark room where only ultraviolet light is reflected from the surface. Ultraviolet light is invisible to the human eye, so only reflected and altered light is visible. In other words, we don't see the light coming from the UV device, just a reflection from the glass or stone. This creates the truly wonderful impression of gemstones magically glowing in the dark.

If that's not a magical property of nature and physics, then I don't know what is!

Do crystals react differently to long wave light and short wave light?

They Yes! And if you like it as a hobby, it's important to know the difference.

Ultraviolet light is outside of the visible spectrum, where you'll find violet. Wavelength ranges from 100 to 400 nm (nanometers). The short wave is between 200 and 280 nm, the medium wave between 280 and 315 nm and the long wave between 315 and 400 nm.

There are some minerals that glow under both light sources, as well as the less common medium wave light. There are some stones that only glow on one wavelength. There are also some amazing crystals that emit different colors specific to the wavelength of light under which they fluoresce.

Long wave ultraviolet light, or "black light", is the best known and effectively illuminates about 15% of all fluorescent minerals. Long wave bulbs are the cheapest and a good place to start if you are looking for a bulb.

UV reactive crystals: what and why (4)

(Video) Ask A Scientist - Why Do Some Minerals Glow?

Medium wave UV light is becoming more popular as lamps in this range become more widely available. Some minerals only fluoresce in this light or may be a different color than those released under LW and SW lights. This can be a really fun way to explore rocks in a new way that you may have already seen on either of the other two wavelengths.

Shortwave is by far the most popular UV light source among enthusiasts and will cause most stones to fluoresce, magically glowing in the dark. While these bulbs are more useful, they tend to be more expensive than those designed for the other two areas.

What minerals glow under ultraviolet light?

There are over 500 of these incredible gems for you to discover. Here are ten of the most popular, in no particular order:

  1. Opal: glows green under UV rays
  2. Ruby (corundum) - bright red
  3. Sodalite - bright orange
  4. fluorite- Look for blue, green-white and the occasional red
  5. Aragonite - blue, green, yellow or white
  6. selenium- lime green, blue
  7. Apatite - pink, yellow, purple, blue, white
  8. ManganoCalcit- Pink rot
  9. Sapphire (Korund) - rot
  10. Calzedonia- green, white, yellow

*Bonus Stone: Calcite in General: Although not always reactive, this particular beauty gives you yellow, white, green, blue, pink, red...just about any color you can imagine.

While these are some of our favorites, keep in mind that this is far from an exhaustive list.

UV reactive crystals: what and why (5)

UV reactive crystals: what and why (6)

Why do crystals glow different colors under ultraviolet light?

Each mineral has a different atomic composition and each crystal has a different mineral content depending on its origin. When you expose a crystal to ultraviolet light, its fluorescence depends on its mineral content. Likewise, the fluorescence of any mineral depends on its atomic composition.

If you recall our earlier explanation, a mineral fluoresces because the electrons in its atomic structure have been excited by the specific wavelength of ultraviolet light to which it has been exposed. The reactive electrons temporarily jump to a higher orbit, expend their excess energy, and then return to their original orbit, emitting a new wavelength of light depending on the distance and duration of this jump and rebound, specific to each mineral.

(Video) Fluorescent Rocks | Understanding UV Light and Minerals

This explains why some minerals with reactive properties emit light when exposed to ultraviolet light, and why the light emitted varies depending on the atomic structure of the active property and possibly also the wavelength of ultraviolet light to which it was exposed.

Pure mystery and natural wonders explained through physics!

What are the most common types of UV lenses?

In no particular order, here are five of the most well-known crystals that glow in the dark under ultraviolet rays.

1. Clean diamonds-Diamonds do not have to be your favorite gemstone to appreciate the beautiful blue glow that the ultraviolet wave can create on this stone. Along with blue, you will occasionally find green or yellow reflected in a transparent diamond.

2. Ruby-This stone glows a brilliant red under ultraviolet rays and, like diamonds, tends to perform better under longer wavelength ultraviolet rays.

3. Yellow topaz- This stone is interesting because it glows yellow under long wave ultraviolet rays and white under short wave ultraviolet rays.

4. Zirconia- Short wave ultraviolet light is the best option to enhance the yellow-orange brilliance of cubic zirconia.

5. Kunzit- This is another gem that changes color depending on the light source; bright violet or orange for long waves and violet or white for short waves.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and there are many, many more stones that you can use to experience this wonderful effect.

(Video) UV Reactive Crystals

What is the best UV light for minerals?

Are you ready to take the next step and buy your first UV lamp? Here's what you need to know.

There are three basic options to choose from; Short waves, long waves or a combination of both. If you want the best value for money, choose shortwave first. About 85% of reactive minerals glow shortwave and you can buy some very cheap 4 watt hobbyist bulbs to start with.

You can also buy extremely cheap long-wavelength "blacklight" lamps, but keep in mind that only about 15% of all fluorescent minerals react to far-wavelength ultraviolet rays.

The best option for most people, if you have a little more to spend, is a combo lamp that you can switch between the two, or have both work at the same time.

You can find some options linked to ourfavorite productsSide.

Are UV lenses safe?

UV light can cause sunburn and you should avoid applying it directly to your eyes or skin. Although most lamps are extremely low risk, you should still read all the safety information that came with the product you purchased.

If your hobby gets serious and you invest in a science lamp, or if you spend a lot more time under UV light, there are a few simple precautions to take. This includes wearing UV-blocking glasses while you work and avoiding prolonged overexposure of your skin to the light source.

But the risks are very small and easily avoidable, so don't let that discourage you from this amazing hobby.

If you're ready to party, we've got someUV crystalsnowhere!

(Video) Magic Rocks!? A Journey into Fluorescent Crystals, Gems & Minerals with The Crystal Collector



Why do crystals glow under UV light? ›

If you've ever seen a gem appear to glow, you've witnessed gemstone luminescence. This phenomenon occurs when electrons in certain atoms of a crystallized mineral absorb energy and then release it in small amounts over time. Some minerals glow or fluoresce under ultraviolet (UV) light, such as some shown here.

What does UV reactive mean? ›

UV Reactive Products explained

UV reactive Products will react to a range of Ultra Violet Light, and either will appear (become visible), as in Invisible Ink, or will Product a Glow Effect, as seen in UV Glow Paint. If you have been to a night club, you would have seen UV Black Lights at work.

What makes things UV reactive? ›

When UV light bounces off objects that contain special substances called phosphors, interesting things happen. Phosphors are substances that emit visible light in response to radiation. Phosphors hit by UV light become excited and naturally fluoresce, or in other words, glow.

Do fake gems glow under UV light? ›

Both natural and synthetic rubies fluoresce under UV light. Learn how slight differences in fluorescence patterns can help gemologists distinguish them.

Does UV reactive mean glow in the dark? ›

UV reactive products will only glow under UV or black light. They have an intense glow under UV light plus anything white will also glow under this light.

What happens to diamonds under UV light? ›

Some diamonds fluoresce when they are exposed to long-wave ultraviolet (UV) rays from sources like the sun. This can cause them to emit a bluish light or more rarely, a yellow or orangy light. Once the UV light source is removed, the diamond stops fluorescing.

What colors are UV reactive? ›

Orange, yellow, green and pink usually always work. You will occasionally get lucky with some brands of red, blue or purple although most brands won't glow in these colors. You can also purchase invisible ink pens.

Why is UV light so harmful? ›

Higher-energy UV rays are a form of ionizing radiation. This means they have enough energy to remove an electron from (ionize) an atom or molecule. Ionizing radiation can damage the DNA (genes) in cells, which in turn may lead to cancer.

Why do blackheads glow in blacklight? ›

Background: Orange-red fluorescence in the follicle openings, induced by ultraviolet A light, originates from porphyrins, the metabolic products of Propionibacteria acnes.

Does female discharge glow under black light? ›

Since body fluids like semen, saliva, and vaginal fluids are naturally fluorescent, the use of a light source offers a unique method for locating them.

What factors cause UV exposure? ›

Seven factors affecting solar UV radiation
  • Solar elevation. Where the sun sits in the sky determines the level of UV radiation reaching us. ...
  • Ozone. ...
  • Cloud cover. ...
  • Ground surface reflectivity. ...
  • Altitude. ...
  • Aerosols and pollutants. ...
  • Direct and diffuse UV.

What gemstones glow blue under UV light? ›

Fluorite typically glows a blue-violet color under shortwave and longwave light. Some specimens are known to glow a cream or white color.

Can UV pass through quartz? ›

Quartz will transmit UV from 180 nm to 400 nm. The glass that is transparent to visible light absorbs nearly all UVB hence UV lights can't pass through it hence one can not get sunburn from light coming through the glass.

Does UV light effect crystals? ›

Ultraviolet radiation in sunlight or fluorescent lighting can produce discoloration and phosphorescence in scintillation crystals. The coloration produced by UV radiation appears in the bulk of the crystal rather than the surface and is most noticeable in large crystals.

What color is a real diamond under UV light? ›

Usually fluorescence is blue in color. Less often, a diamond can have yellow or even white fluorescence (other colors too). Diamonds with Strong - or Very Strong - fluorescence can appear quite cloudy, milky or hazy to the naked eye, and emit a prominent and saturated glow in the presence of UV light.

Can you tell a real diamond under UV light? ›

Black light test:

When you place a real diamond underneath an ultraviolet light, the stone with fluorescence in it will turn blue. But it's important to know that this will only happen with about one-third of all diamonds. A fake diamond, on the other hand, will almost never look blue under a black or UV light.

Why do some diamonds look white under UV light? ›

(Fluorescence is a type of glow that occurs almost immediately after exposure to UV light). In most cases, diamonds fluoresce blue. This cancels out the slightly yellowish color in most diamonds, resulting in a whiter appearance in sunlight.

What is the green crystal that glows in the dark? ›

What is it: This is a naturally occuring glow in the dark gemstone. Aragonite is a carbonate mineral, one of the three most common naturally occurring crystal forms of calcium carbonate. It is formed by biological and physical processes, including precipitation from marine and freshwater environments.

What is the difference between UV and glow? ›

Glow emits light after being charged with an external light source, while UV treatments reflect existing ultraviolet light from the sun.

What is a positive effect of UV light? ›

Some UV radiation is essential to the body as it stimulates the production of vitamin D. Vitamin D has an important function in increasing calcium and phosphorus absorption from food and plays a crucial role in skeletal development, immune function and blood cell formation.

Why is my diamond purple under a blacklight? ›

Roughly 30% of diamonds contain a certain level of boron, which causes the precious gems to glow when they're exposed to ultra violet, also known as "blacklight." The level of boron present in the diamond determines how much light the diamond will emit when exposed.

Why does my diamond glow green under black light? ›

The phenomenon that causes a diamond to glow under black light is called fluorescence. Around 35% of diamonds grown naturally have this component in them, and 95% of them glow a bluish color when exposed to a black light.

Does cubic zirconia glow under UV light? ›

Fluorescent test using a regular UV light source will help to distinguish Natural Diamond vs CZ. Cubic Zirconia will not fluoresce unlike Natural Diamonds Fluoresce of about 25% to 30%.

What color absorbs the most UV? ›

Dark or bright colors, including red, black and navy blue, absorb more UV rays than lighter colors like whites and pastels. For example, an everyday white cotton T-shirt has a UPF of only about 5. As a rule of thumb, the more intense the hue, the better protection the clothing will provide.

What color is most UV resistant? ›

A study conducted in Spain found that fabrics with darker or more intense colors tended to have better UV radiation protection than lighter colors. Of all colors tested, dark blue offered the best levels of UV protection, making it the best color to wear in the sun.

What material reflects UV light the best? ›

Fortunately, there is a material that offers much higher reflectivity at UV wavelengths, while also being robust, cost- effective and easy to fabricate. That material is aluminium. A conventional anodised aluminium surface will reflect more than 80 percent of incident light at UV wavelengths.

How does UV light damage DNA? ›

UVA (and also UVB) radiation cause indirect damage to DNA via absorption of photons by non-DNA chromophores. This generates reactive oxygen species like singlet oxygen or hydrogen peroxide that oxidize the DNA bases causing mutations.

What absorbs UV light? ›

Medium-wave UV, mostly absorbed by the ozone layer: intermediate UV; Dorno radiation. Short-wave UV, germicidal UV, ionizing radiation at shorter wavelengths, completely absorbed by the ozone layer and atmosphere: hard UV.

What are 5 harmful effects of UV rays on humans? ›

Depending on the amount and form of the radiation, as well as on the skin type of the individual exposed, ultraviolet radiation causes erythema, sunburn, photodamage (photoaging), photocarcinogenesis, damage to the eyes, alteration of the immune system of the skin, and chemical hypersensitivity.

What are the white strings coming out of my pores on my cheeks? ›

Sebaceous filaments are the white strings that come out of your pores when you squeeze your nose. You can usually manage them with a proper skin care routine that includes gently washing your face twice a day and using noncomedogenic and nonacnegenic products. You might also consider: exfoliating.

What color is sperm under a blacklight? ›

Things You Should Know. Use a blacklight—if the stain is sperm, it will likely light up. Check the color. Sperm stains are usually gray, light yellow, or off-white.

What bacteria glows under black light? ›

Pseudomonas Aeruginosa: The Fluorescent Bacteria.

What body fluid glows under UV? ›

A phosphor converts the energy in the UV radiation from a black light into visible light. For example, body fluids like blood and urine contain these fluorescent molecules and are made visible with the help of a black light.

What color is blood under UV light? ›

A bloodstain exposed to UV light absorbs all light of that bandwidth and does not reflect back – that is to say, it does not fluoresce in any way. Thus the stain will appear black under UV.

Does Pee show up in blacklight? ›

Wavelengths in a blacklight cause phosphorous and proteins in the urine to glow, making it easier to spot old stains. Pet stains that weren't cleaned properly with an enzyme-based cleaner will show up under UV light as well.

What is the most common source of UV light? ›

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a form of non-ionizing radiation that is emitted by the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds. While it has some benefits for people, including the creation of Vitamin D, it also can cause health risks. Our natural source of UV radiation: The sun.

What are 3 harmful effects of UV radiation? ›

Health Effects of UV Radiation
  • Skin cancer (melanoma and nonmelanoma)
  • Premature aging and other skin damage.
  • Cataracts and other eye damage.
  • Immune system suppression.
Dec 15, 2022

Which type of UV radiation is most harmful? ›

Short-wavelength UVC is the most damaging type of UV radiation. However, it is completely filtered by the atmosphere and does not reach the earth's surface. Medium-wavelength UVB is very biologically active but cannot penetrate beyond the superficial skin layers.

What gem glows pink under UV light? ›

Eucryptite. Some eucryptite (lithium aluminum silicate) minerals fluoresce pink under ultraviolet light.

What color is quartz under UV light? ›

Conclusion - Fluorescence in Gemstones
Yellow GemstonesLWUVSWUV
Quartz, variety cirtrineInertInert
Yellow sapphire (natural)Apricot orange to inertInert
Yellow sapphite (synthetic)Weak red to inertInert
Yellow scapoliteYellowishReddish
1 more row
Sep 7, 2018

Why quartz does not absorb UV? ›

Ultraviolet light has shorter wavelength than visible light, although ultraviolet waves are invisible to human eyes. If we use glass in place of quartz then glass will absorb ultraviolet rays while quartz does not. Ultraviolet radiant has a low power of penetration, hence it directly affects the human body as well.

What materials can UV light pass through? ›

UV-grade fused silica is a material that is transparent for wavelengths that are down to 200 nm. Cheaper standard-grade fused silica is transparent for wavelengths that are below 260nm. Artificial diamond is transparent down to 230 nm. Borate crystals like BBO and LBO also have relatively good UV transparency.

Why do you charge crystals in the sun? ›

Sunlight energy is strong and vibrant. Its energy feeds, strengthens, and moves forward. This makes sunlight's masculine energy ideal for charging stones. As long as your crystal is not sensitive to light and has been cleansed in advance with another method, you can put it in the sun to charge.

What happens when light goes through a crystal? ›

Upon entering the crystal, the ordinary light wave is refracted without deviation from the normal incidence angle as if it were traveling through an isotropic medium. Alternatively, the extraordinary wave deviates to the left and travels with the electric vector perpendicular to that of the ordinary wave.

How does light react with crystals? ›

Light can trigger coordinated, wavelike motions of atoms in atom-thin layers of crystal, scientists have shown.

Is UV light good for crystals? ›

Ultraviolet (UV) light is present in sunlight and is the most damaging to your crystals. Some highly photo-sensitive crystals are affected by other specific lightwaves, but most of the time, UV light is the one you want to worry about.

Are glow in the dark crystals real? ›

Being the owner of the Glow in the Dark quartz stones you are discussing, I can attest that they are indeed real. I purchased them from a very reliable Gem & Mineral guy who has been in the circuit for years.

What kind of rocks glow under UV light? ›


Autunite is a group of rocks that form due to the oxidation of uranium minerals. The phosphate-rich mineral composition gives autunite rocks a yellow to dark green fluoresce when under ultraviolet light.

Why does fluorite glow under UV light? ›

Fluorite typically glows a blue-violet color under shortwave and longwave light. Some specimens are known to glow a cream or white color. Many specimens do not fluoresce. Fluorescence in fluorite is thought to be caused by the presence of yttrium, europium, samarium [2] or organic material as activators.

What is the effect of UV radiation in crystal growth? ›

The results demonstrate the existence of an interaction between the crystals and the UV light; the UV light assistance causes crystal growths in an acicular shape. Also, the final product obtained is cadmium sulfide and shows no evident difference when synthesized with or without the use of UV light.

What is the effects of ultraviolet radiation on crystal growth? ›

Ultraviolet radiation in sunlight or fluorescent lighting can produce discoloration and phosphorescence in scintillation crystals. The coloration produced by UV radiation appears in the bulk of the crystal rather than the surface and is most noticeable in large crystals.

How do glow in the dark crystals work? ›

The crystal growing solution is specially infused with Luminol which is a chemical that absorbs light then glows in the dark.

How long do glow in the dark crystals last? ›

The pigment particles are charged by most any visible light or ultraviolet light. The pigments then release energy in the form of visible light for 10 to as much as 24 hours.

What are glow crystals made of? ›

True Glow in the Dark Crystals

If you want the crystals to really glow in the dark (no black light), then you stir phosphorescent pigment into a solution of alum and water.

What crystal glows orange under black light? ›

Sphalerite. While most fluorescent specimens of the mineral exhibit an orange fluorescence, sphalerite can fluoresce in a rainbow of colors. A zinc sulfide, sphalerite is the most common and most important zinc ore in world. Sphalerite typically occurs as well-formed crystals in a variety of sizes.

Why is sodalite UV reactive? ›

Specifically – the rock in question is partially composed of a mineral called “Sodalite”, which is a fluorescent mineral. Electromagnetic radiation (here light from the UV flashlight) at one wavelength is absorbed by the mineral, which then re-emits radiation at a longer wavelength – in this case, the yellow glow.

Do emeralds glow under UV light? ›

Under long-wave UV light, emerald specimens from most localities show very weak florescence or none at all, but some show a strong red. Emeralds from Chivor, Colombia display a very weak red glow. Synthetic emeralds fluoresce dark or strong, dull red.

What blue gemstones turn red under UV light? ›

The Hope Diamond Phosphorescence

A famous example of a gemstone that strongly phosphoresces is the blue Hope Diamond, which glows a bright red for several minutes after being excited by short wave UV light.


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