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What Is A Crystal?

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I was at a goldfish breeder/importer last year, and saw the pricey "Crystal" goldfish from Tung Hoi.

The colour was beautiful - a black/gray back with a white body. However, I've seen other Crystals with orange in them, and on other websites, ones that seem to be any colour.

What is the difference between a Crystal and a Ranchu? Or rather, what is it that makes a Crystal a Crystal?


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Crystal refers to the actual scale itself. It is not a breed, as in Ranchu. Any breed of goldfish could have crystal scales and a crystal can be of any color. A metallic scale is one that is defined as having full irridicytes, which is the crystal-like substance in the scales that produces the shine. Matte scales are completely lacking in irridicytes. A crystal is defined as scales that have an overall matte finish, but parts of the scales have irridicytes so that, as the light hits the scales, only part of the scales reflect the light back giving it the crystal effect. Sunlight is the best way to bring out a crystal's true effects.

Edited by Lynda Von G
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