Student Grows Stunning Crystal Using Everyday Items Found at Home

From inspiring medieval poets to the resurgence of crystal healing, mankind's obsession with shiny jewels doesn't seem to be waning.

Americans made up 35 percent of the global market for gemstones in the middle of the pandemic according to a 2020 Guardian article, with people still willing to hand over the big bucks for the right rock or stone.

One Redditor said they managed to grow their own precious jewel, minus the price tag. User u/crystalchase21 shared how they developed a copper acetate crystal at home, using items you can find around the house.

Posting to the r/interestingasf*** subreddit on Wednesday 21 April (which can be viewed here), the crystal enthusiast shared a snap of the impressive gem they'd grown over a seven-month period.

They wrote: "I grew this crystal from scrap copper and vinegar. It's called copper acetate, and it took 7 months to grow. The crystal formed naturally, and is not cut or polished."

The post has received more than 130,000 upvotes and 1,500 comments from stunned Redditors in awe of the home-grown crystal, which was formed using only scrap copper and vinegar.

420gucciqueen said: "This is amazing!"

Gara_M said: "This is interesting as f*** indeed."

Crystalchase21, real name Chase Lean, told Newsweek that the copper acetate crystal is 3cm in size and weighs 21.5 grams. A math student based in Malaysia, growing crystals is a hobby of theirs, with specimens developed in a storeroom at their home.

They said: "I first got into growing crystals in my high school chemistry class.

"My chemistry teacher asked us to conduct an experiment where we made copper sulfate and crystallized it.

"I thought I was going to see some powdery salt in a dish, but imagine my surprise when I saw beautiful blue crystals inside the next Monday!"

Collecting minerals is an expensive pastime, so Lean decided to start growing their own.

They continued: "Mostly I just keep them in a drawer and share my experiments online. It's a good topic for conversation.

"Sometimes you'll find beakers and dishes lying all over the house."

Lean also has their own website, crystalverse.com, where they share tutorials on how to grow crystals yourself at home.

They also left a mini-guide on how to produce copper acetate in the comments, explaining: "First, I made a concentrated blue solution of copper acetate by dissolving scrap copper in vinegar.

"As the solution evaporated, crystals started forming.

"I think it's really cool how nature produces these flat faces and sharp edges by itself - the crystal is not cut or polished in any way."

The diamond industry was derailed by COVID-19, with mines closing around the world and supply chains collapsing. However, the demand for gemstones has soared, in part due to a growing interest in crystal healing and new-age practices ignited by the pandemic.

Unfortunately, Lean says home-grown crystals aren't sturdy enough to wear as jewelry, and copper acetate is brittle, water soluble and "mildly toxic"—so they recommend wearing gloves to prevent skin irritation and storing crystals in sealed containers.

Student Grows Stunning Crystal At-Home
Chase Lean holding the copper acetate crystal in their gloved hand. The crystal was grown at home over a seven-month period using just scrap copper and vinegar. Chase Lean/crystalchase21