Description- Bismuth is a brittle metal with a white, silver-pink hue, often occurring in its native form with an iridescent oxide tarnish showing many colors from yellow to blue and often a pink tinge owing to the surface oxide. The spiral stair stepped structure of a Bismuth crystal is the result of a higher growth rate around the outside edges than on the inside edges.
Location- In 2005, China was the top producer of Bismuth followed by Mexico and Peru. Native Bismuth has also been discovered in Australia, Bolivia, and China. New mines in Canada and Vietnam have been recently discovered.
History- Bismuth metal has been known from ancient times, although until the 18th century it was often confused with lead and tin, which have some of the metal’s physical properties. The name possibly comes from the German words meaning “white mass.”
Folklore/Metaphysical – Bismuth, the Rainbow colored mineral, is said to be a stone for focusing and visualization. It is purported to help when you are overwhelmed by the many responsibilities of life, while increasing your energy levels. Bismuth is also noted to relieve lonely feelings of isolation transforming and changing the person with a calming assurance.
Care-. Bismuth has many rough edges and would not be applicable in jewelry designs regardless of it’s striking appearance. The tiny metal edges would catch on fabrics and small fragments could become imbedded in the skin. Commercially, Bismuth is able to hold a good polish and is sometimes used in light reflectors and mirrors. In recent years, bismuth has replaced lead alloys increasing its commercial importance.