Crystals themselves can not catch on fire because of their particular atomic bonds. But certains crystals can start fires! Let's find out which.
Can Crystals Start Fires?
Yes, crystals can start fires but they need a very powerful light source (like the sun) to do so.
Not only will you need a light source as strong as a laser or the sun, but you need the right kind of crystal too.
Let's start be ruling out all the kinds of crystals that CAN'T start fires...
If you can't see through your crystal then it's not gonna be starting any fires. But! Just because you can through your crystal doesn't mean it can start a fire. Any transparent crystal that has a strong color hue won't start fires either.
Crystals like Citrine, Yellow Tourmaline, Orange Kyanite may let lots of light pass through but they deflect enough to prevent starting fires.
(We explain how crystals can start fires down below) If your crystal is transparent and flat... it still won't start a fire.
It must meet these 2 requirements:
- Extremely high level of transparency
- A curved crystal that concentrates light
This is actually the requirements for starting a fire with reading glasses.
Bottom line: Unless you have a curved crystals in direct sunlight, your crystal will not start a fire.
What Crystals Can Catch Fire?
I've got some bad news for you, if you're crystals catches fire... then you have fake crystal. We usually recommend less destructive ways to test if a crystal is real. Like checking for resin fakes and glass counterfeits.
But, we will admit that taking a flame to a crystal is another effective way to test if you have a real crystal or a fake crystal.
The ability to catch fire is determined by the flash point of a material. Crystals won't catch on fire because they have don't have a flash point.
Flash point is the lowest temperature at which a liquid creates a vapor above its surface with high enough concentration that it can be ignited.
Crystals don't do that. Even if they did you'd be looking 4000+ degrees.
Which would be hotter than a blowtorch gets.
So yeah, if your crystal caught fire from a candle... it was never crystal to begin with.
What Crystals Can Be Exposed To Light?
We're gonna take this questions in two directions.
- Are there any crystals that can't be exposed to light?
- Which crystals fade in response to light?
Starting with the first one...
All Crystals Can Be Exposed To Light.
There are no crystals that will explode or have an immediate photosensitive reaction when exposed to regular light.
There are some minerals that have really interesting reactions to UV light!
Sodalite for example with completely change colors when hit with UV light, and will change back with regular light.
Not only does it change colors, it will actually glow!
Some Crystals Fade In Sunlight
Pink Kunzite will turn from a light pink to totally clear with long term sun exposure.
Hackmanite will go from a red color to green, blue, or even colorless with enough sunlight.
Amethyst is notorious for losing it's purple hue because of sunshine.
Fluorite can fade in as little as an hour. It's very sensitive to light.
There are of course many, many examples of light sensitive crystals. But nearly all of them require days up days of exposure to do fade.
And none of them a dangerous reaction.
Hanging Crystals In Windows
Here's the deal, hanging crystals in windows is just so darn pretty!
But is it dangerous to hang crystals in your window?
Not unless they meet the requirements we listed above!
Which they probably don't. Most people hang obelisks and raw stones near their windows.
If you've never tried it, you totally should!
Not only does it give color to your whole room, raw crystals make super interesting light patterns on the wall.
Can I Hang Up Crystal Dream Catchers?
To be honest with ya, I don't know much about dream catchers yet.
But! As long as the stone in the center is totally transparent and curved then you can hang it up safely.
We'll have to do an article on crystal dream catchers sometime so we can figure out to make one together.
If you've got and designs you like or tips to share then shoot us an email!
Does Sunlight Through Glass Cause Fire
Absolutely it can! The London fire brigade once responded to 25 sunlight caused house fires per year.
The way glass or crystals start fire is pretty simple -- photons.
Photons are the thing that carry visible light from the sun to the earth. Photons also contain energy in the form of heat.
By using a curved glass or crystal, the path of these photons is concentrated to a highly localized area -- a dot.
The result is a concentration of heat that can reach super high temperatures...
Enough to catch something on fire!
But without a curve surface, the light won't be concentrated and there's not risk for a fire.
How Do You Tell If A Crystal Is Real Or Fake?
Every crystal will have a different way that's best suited to tell if it's fake or not.
Yes, burning them can show if they're plastic or not.. but what if it's not plastic and is just the wrong crystal?
What if they've used hard glass to fake a crystal? Glass isn't going to melt like plastic.
In every one of our crystal guide articles we explain how to test each individual crystal for authenticity.
So check em out!
Different crystals simply require different testing methods.