Dear 100 Hour Board,
Where can I find yttrium iron garnet crystals? I can't seem to find anyone that sells them. Is there some kind of governmental control on their distribution? I am interested in their magical magnetic properties.
- Charlie Horse
Wow, I see what you mean. Everybody talks about it and uses it, but nobody sells it. I think there are two main problems here. First, yttrium iron garnet (YIG) is used primarily in scientific work due to its interesting properties. Second, it is not a naturally occuring crystal and must be created from yttrium oxide. Something human-made just isn't as cool as a natural crystal, as far as jewelry and magical talismans go.
Despite this, however, its use in jewelry is not unheard of. Yttrium aluminum garnet is apparently quite nice and used as a diamond substitute. Yttrium iron garnet is "opaque and black with a metallic luster and is sometimes used by the trade to imitate hematite".
But where do you buy it? You can buy products that contain YIG, but those won't contain the amounts of crystal you're looking for. The only place I could find it for sale is here, where you can get it for around $3.50/carat.