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Particle Physics and Pony Fiction Experimentalist

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Rarity talks about crystals and gemstones · 1:04pm Mar 6th, 2016

“This specimen is one of finest blue diamonds ever found in the Crystal Empire. Just look at how it sparkles with the internally reflected light—the facets expertly cut to bring out its brilliance.” Rarity gazed at the gemstone sitting on a dark cushion in the display case, her artist’s eye admiring both the natural beauty, and the gem cutter's skill. Her friends all crowded around to get a good view.

“Oooo,” said Pinkie Pie. “Pretty!”

“That… looks... delicious…” murmured Spike, dripping dollops of dragon drool onto the immaculately polished crystal floor of the Crystal Castle ‘Crystals of the Crystal Empire’ exhibition gallery. They were in a chamber on a high floor of the castle which housed the museum of the finest mineral samples ever found in the empire.

“It’s just another crystal,” said Rainbow Dash yawning, “shiny bit of coloured glass.”

Rarity stiffened and shoot Rainbow an angry glare. Then realising that her friend was just teasing her she drew her head up high.

“There is a lot more to crystals Rainbow Dash,” she said. “There are many different types, from the diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds in this collection, to the coloured quartz which you rather dismissively call ‘bits of glass’. A crystal is any solid material where the atoms are arranged in a regular lattice. In addition to gemstones, there are snowflakes—remember the ice crystal shown on the flag of the Crystal Empire, and the more mundane crystals like table salt—”

“And rock candy!” cried Pinkie Pie, demonstrating this point by thrusting a stick of crystallized sugar—procured from an extra dimension hidden somewhere behind her right ear—into her mouth.

“—and rock candy,” repeated Rarity. “The microscopic structure gives crystals their beautiful geometric shape and flat faces. And the way that light is reflected internally causes them to sparkle just so. The regular lattice arrangement of atoms often forms the most stable form of a given material, making gemstones as hard as diamond, which can endure forever.”

“So how are crystals like this made?” asked Fluttershy.

“Well,” said Rarity, “most crystals in Equestria must be formed by some sort of magical enchantment which causes ready cut-and-polished gemstones to appear, in considerable abundance, in shallow underground locations, which could never happen naturally. But this particular specimen is an especially rare natural gem formed without magic.”

“How can you make something so sparkly without magic?” asked Rainbow.

“It’s a geological process which happens deep underground. Big crystals are rare because you need to get all the atoms together in the right place in the crystal lattice. But usually they get mixed up with other atoms, and get muddled up and in the wrong place. So natural crystals tend to be small and are part of rocks. But a rare diamond like this was formed deep underground in the mantle of the earth where the super high temperature and pressure allowed the atoms to arrange themselves into a perfect lattice. They were then brought to the surface by some sort of volcanic eruption and cooled so quickly that they were frozen into the diamond structure. Other gemstones are formed in other ways. Some of which we do not fully understand. Each gemstone has its own chemistry. Diamond is an array of carbon atoms. Sapphires and Rubies are made from aluminium and oxygen atoms with small traces of other elements giving them their different colours.

“That gives them each a special flavour,” added Spike.

“It is the imperfections of naturally grown stones which gives them their special beauty,” said Rarity. “Each stone is unique. The tiny impurities and flaws in each diamond give it a unique colour, which is never quite the same as a synthetic magic diamond.” She gazed again at the display case. “And the thought that we are looking at a gem formed deep in the earth over a billion years ago is quite awe inspiring.”

“Can we go for lunch?” said Spike. “This exhibition is making me really hungry.”

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Comments ( 13 )

I've always wondered about Spike's sense of taste, given the sheer chemical variety of his diet. We know it barely resembles a pony's, given the baked bads incident. I wonder if most organic materials just taste vaguely like diamonds to him.

3793961 No wonder he gets shipped with Sweetie Belle so much.

Hmm, giant crystals are Gypsum, like the crystal kits you get for home, though far larger, due to growing over a much longer time. Giant Crystal Cave

Geodes are really strange, as they have various sstages of crystalisation from contained minerals in solution, so they are like the mineral equivalents of coconuts, but can vary in size far more. Probably the greatest limit to size of crystals is the temporary nature of the conditions for creating the solution then cooling in place without eruption, erosion, faulting, subduction etc.

And heres me thinking that Rarity and Twilight working together could use a whole collection of Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, and Rutile Inclusion Quartz to build an Optical Logic Processing device, which uses the Quartz for OptoMechanical interfacing. You speak to it to affect it. Look Ma, no free electrons. :twilightsheepish:

I can totally see this, and I thnk you're absolutely correct that Rarity would know and understand the underlying science. She's highly-intelligent, and quite capable of systematically-studying any topic that fascinates her, as do gems.

I also thnk even vanilla-canon Pinkie would know a lot on the topic, given her family's profession. Her knowledge would be very much pitched toward the practical end.

3793966 Now there's an angle to that ship I'd never considered! :rainbowhuh:

‘Crystals of the Crystal Empire’ exhibition gallery.

Yes, please. :raritystarry:

The idea of Sweetie's unique style of cooking being a plus is hilarious to me.

Spike tries some of Sweetie Belle's spaghetti.

The taste is indescribable.

3794217 "So. Do you like it?" Sweetie Belle stood at the edge of the table while Spike chewed on what he had been told was spaghetti and wheatballs, but if he had been forced to guess, that particular food item would have been far down on the list, if not at the very end. Spike had eaten just about everything that the Royal Chef had prepared during his years in Canterlot, with the exception of steamed spinach, which he still distrusted, so he knew what spaghetti was supposed to taste like.

This wasn't it.

Admittedly, the substance in question had been chiseled out of the pot, and bent two hammers in the process, so it had the consistency of gemstones, without the gemmy flavor and with just a hint of cast iron indicating that a portion of the pot had been included in his serving. There was an aggressive quality to the 'spaghetti' too, as it had clung to the fork as if it were afraid of being eaten, and stuck to his teeth while he chewed. Still, it was different, much like the time he had eaten an unlabeled can out of the pantry by accident, can and all. And Sweetie Belle was still sitting there, looking so much as if she had poured her heart and soul into the cooking, and something inside her had gone up in flames along with half of the kitchen and part of the stove. He had to say something, particularly with the way Rarity had 'just happened' to be in the next room for sisterly support in Sweetie's hour of culinary sadness.

"The taste is indescribable," he finally admitted once his jaws were functional again and the lump of carbonized cooking was safely in his draconic gut.

Years later at his wedding, he would consider those words to be the wisest thing he had ever said in his life.

Thank you for expanding my Undertale reference into something beautiful. :twilightsmile:

Very intriguing. I think Rarity and Pinkie collaborating on such a thing would be very interesting.

One day, Rarity is going to realize being part of the Crystal Empire's elite is far more to her liking than Canterlot. :derpytongue2:

Holy crap I thought caves like that only appeared in RPGs.

3793961 In dragon legends Santa Claws brings coal for all the good little hatchlings.

Rarity has a talent for finding Gems, but Pinkie grew up on a Rock-Farm, so we should get her input on growing gems using Earthen Magic. The Earthen have agromancy and geomancy.

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