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Aqua aura is a term used to describe a natural crystal that has been coated with gold fumes. It is created in a vacuum chamber from quartz crystals and gold vapor. The quartz is heated to 871 oC (1600 oF) in a vacuum, and then gold vapor is added to the chamber. The gold atoms fuse to the crystal's surface, which gives the crystal an iridescent metallic sheen. The process was awarded the United States Patent No. 6997014 on 14 February 2006. The process was invented by Steven F. Starcke, Ronald H. Kearnes and Keven E. Bennet. While the patent might have been given in 2006, this material has been produced by this method for dozens of years prior.
Additional recommended knowledge
The patent says "The invention provides a decorative object comprising a transparent or translucent substrate having a body and at least one surface bearing a thin film coating. The coating imparts in the substrate a body color that appears substantially constant at different angles of observation. This body color is imparted in the substrate at least in part by absorption of visible radiation that is transmitted through said coating. The coating includes a high absorption layer comprising film that is highly absorptive of visible radiation. Also provided are methods of coating gems and other decorative objects, as well as methods of heat treating coated gems and other decorative objects."
Aqua aura is a very popular item in metaphysical items and a popular item in jewelery. It is the exact same process that is used to coat steel balls used as bearings. The term aqua aura specifically is used for the blue colored quartz. Additional elements can be used to treat quartz, such as indium, titanium and copper. The coloring of this treatment is only on the surface, so all faceted and polished material you find has been treated after it has been made originally. Often, quartz of lesser quality, with fractures and weak spots, will break apart during the coating process.
The aqua aura treatment can be used to reveal twinning in quartz crystals that would otherwise go undetected. While most treated quartz is destined for the metaphysical marketplace, it does have a use in the field of mineralogy.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Aqua_aura". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|