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In Terraria I've gathered a few Life Crystals and haven't taken the time to use them. Is there ever a time I shouldn't use a Life Crystal right away?

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Do you mean Life Crystals? I don't believe you can gather (i.e move) a Crystal Heart. – Atav32 Aug 10 '12 at 20:18

Besides the reason BBz points out (you're already at max life) the only reason I can think of not to use a heart is if you already have 9 and you don't feel prepared to face the first real "boss" monster - the Eye of Cthulhu. Among other triggers, the Eye only spawns after you've got 10 hearts (200 life) total.

Dying to this boss isn't a big deal, and dying once to it causes it to leave. However, once it starts spawning it has a chance (1 in 3) of arriving each night until you've defeated it.

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Oh, yeah, I forgot about the Eye's spawn trigger. Haven't played in a while, since I got full Hallowed armor/weapons and re-logic quite updating it :( – SaintWacko Aug 10 '12 at 22:24
Can they be given to other players? – Sadly Not Aug 11 '12 at 0:27
@SadlyNot Life Crystals can be given to other players. Crystal Hearts are kind of like a natural chest that each contain a Life Crystal. A Crystal Heart can be broken with a hammer or explosives =D – Atav32 Aug 11 '12 at 4:34
+1 Great point on the Eye of Cthulhu trigger – Atav32 Aug 11 '12 at 4:36
There's also one more trigger that relies on you having the same amount of health (200): if you have at least 200 health and have broken a shadow orb, the goblin army will start occasionally invading. – Jesse M Aug 16 '12 at 13:13

If you have the maximum health, 400 hp, then using more Life Crystals gathered from Crystal Hearts will have no effect.

If used at maximum [health], a Life Crystal will not have any effect, though the same animation will commence. Doing this won't consume the Life Crystal, nor will it restore any health.

If you're in need of money, you can sell them for 1 gold and 50 silver.

Otherwise, save them for your friends who are starting out!

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As of update, Life Crystals can now be crafted into Heart Lanterns with 4 Chains. In addition to being a light source, a Heart Lantern will provide a health regeneration buff to any characters standing within about 48 tiles of it. This regen effect stacks with that from the Campfire. Multiple Heart Lanterns won't increase the effect, but can cover a larger area, and are useful in the construction of boss arenas.

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No, you will be best off using it immediately, as it increases your maximum health, and has no other use in the game.

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The other answers give some excellent alternative uses for life crystals. – Kevin Mar 3 at 19:01
Notice that that answer was posted three and a half years after mine... – SaintWacko Mar 5 at 3:38

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