Special Effects

Icelandic Spar, Image Credit: Lora Hall

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To earn this badge, you’ll need to learn about what causes certain “special effects” in some rocks and minerals. For instance, what causes “cat’s eye” effect and what rocks or minerals typically exhibit that effect? These are fun rocks to share with friends, so you should also start a collection of these special minerals and maybe hold an Amazing Mineral Magic Show!

Badge 17 - Special Effects.pdf

This is a fun badge that Juniors of all ages will remember as a favorite.

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About the image on this page

Icelandic Spar is an excellent example of a mineral that displays birefringence or double refraction. Historically, the double-refraction property of this crystal was important to understanding the nature of light as a wave. There is some evidence that Icelandic Spar is in fact the famed "Sunstone" Vikings used to tell the direction of the sun on cloudy days at sea allowing them to explore as far as the new world.

Image Credit: Lora Hall