I love this recent question I received recently about crystals fading in the sunlight. It covered many angles. LURVE IT! It’s a loaded question & right up my geo-geek ally!
You mentioned not to put certain crystals that are very strongly pigmented in the sun, because they fade. Why does the pigment fade in the sun, and how does that affect the crystal if it does fade? Is the pigment related to the quantity of the mineral inside the crystal? And if so would the difference in pigment in a crystal affect how well it performs? i.e. If I get a piece of amethyst that is only lightly pigmented, does that mean a heavier pigmented amethyst would outperform the lighter one (i.e. it is of better quality?)
Well, why some colors fade really has to do with photon physics or particle physics. Oh yeah, Jelly Bean. I said “PHYSICS”…and you’re gonna like it!
First, let’s simply explain what a photon is. It’s a teeny-tiny bundle (aka quantum) of electromagnetic energy. EM energy = light…one in the same. Ya with me? OK.
Now, when a photon from any source (the Sun, a light bulb, whatevs) hits an atom 2 things could happen:
- If the atom’s nucleus has a “color charge” (basically a certain color by virtue of an extra particle), the photon will kick the extra sucker out: “Hey, get out of here… it’s too damn CROWDED!” With the poor extra bugger gone, that makes the atom colorless or neutral. When that extra color-charged particle (aka quark) hits your eye…yep, the 1 that got kicked out…your brain registers that as color! OK, so after a while of receiving light here, our atoms are gonna start running out of color-charged quarks, right? And color-less atoms will start to take over, hence COLOR FADE.
- If a photon strikes a color-neutral atom, its gonna either get bounced off (reflected) or get absorbed as heat. And you won’t see that guy b/c photons are considered grey or colorless.
I don’t feel that the fading effects the crystal’s effectiveness greatly but the color change does somewhat change its dominant osciallary rate (vibrational frequency) as color frequency is part of what makes up that vibration up. The fading didn’t affect the crystal’s basic molecular structure so if it was amethyst before but now just a light amethyst, it will still do its amethyst thang. 😉
Not all crystals/gems will fade. It has to do with how stable the atoms are or sometimes it actually has to do with water loss between the molecules! Certain crystals are more prone to fading depending on these factors. If they’ve been artificially irradiate; they can be very susceptible to fading.
In my humble opinion, it doesn’t mean that a faded amethyst has lost all its healing power. I would most def. still use it.
*Put your goggles on…Throwing Glitter*
P.S. What do you think about this? I’d love to hear if you agree or even if you disagree. 😀