2.1" Realgar With Quartz & Pyrite - Peru

This fantastic specimen contains beautiful red realgar crystals clinging to a pyrite and quartz matrix, collected from the Palomo Mine in Perú. Small aggregations of orpiment can be found scattered along what could be considered the underside of the specimen.

Realgar is an arsenic sulfide mineral with the chemical formula of AsS. Realgar is known for its lustrous red hue, with the most pristine specimens being transparent with sharp crystals. The crystal structure is typically stubby and prismatic, with botryoidal and earthy clumps known to be possible formations as well.

Following prolonged/repeated periods of time under light, realgar will alter to pararealgar. If further left exposed, the pararealgar will crumble to a yellow dust. This mineral instability has especially been experienced in museums where consistent light exposure has caused specimens to crumble over time. However, periodic exposure to light shouldn't alter realgar specimens.

Realgar contains a significant amount of poisonous arsenic, making it somewhat toxic. Therefore, washing hands following handling of realgar specimens, is recommended.

The mineral pyrite or iron pyrite is commonly referred to as Fool's Gold because its metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue give it a superficial resemblance to gold. In the old mining days, pyrite was sometimes mistaken for gold. Pyrite is the most common of the sulfide minerals with the chemical formula FeS2. Pyrite crystals occur in many shapes and habits, including cubes of all sizes, penetration twin cubes, pyritohedral clusters and as small druzy crystals that can exhibit a beautiful glistening effect.

Silicon Dioxide, also know as SiO2 or Quartz, is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust. Quartz crystals generally grow in silica-rich, hot watery solutions called hydrothermal environments, at temperatures between 100°C and 450°C, and usually under very high pressure. Quartz veins are formed when open fissures are filled with hot water during the closing stages of mountains forming, and can be hundreds of millions of years old.
Realgar, Quartz & Pyrite
Palomo Mine, Perú
2.1" long, 1.3" wide