Making golden crystals
How to make gold crystals with just two solutions
The substances used in this experiment are toxic and highly dangerous to your health. Do not try this at home! Use only under professional supervision.
Reagents and equipment
- hot solution of potassium iodide;
- hot solution of lead nitrate with acetic acid;
- a bottle with a stopper;
Pour hot solutions of potassium iodide and lead nitrate with acetic acid into a glass bottle. As the solutions cool, observe the formation of beautiful crystals resembling a golden snowfall! Then close the bottle with a stopper.
The hot solutions of potassium iodide and lead nitrate react to form lead iodide, which is soluble in hot water. However, as the solution cools slowly, the lead iodide begins to precipitate as beautiful golden crystals. Acetic acid is added in order to prevent the formation of byproducts. The crystallization process of lead iodide is called the “Golden Rain” experiment.
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