4" Quartz Crystals with Orpiment & Galena - Peru

This fantastic specimen contains beautiful orange orpiment that likely formed after realgar. The orpiment formed in association with galena and quartz crystals, collected from the Palomo Mine in Perú. There are small amounts of pyrite throughout the specimen as well as what appears to be aggregations of sphalerite.

Orpiment is a bright orange to yellow arsenic sulfide mineral. Its name is derived from the latin phrase auripigmentum, meaning “gold pigment”. It is frequently found as a decay byproduct and in association with another arsenic mineral, realgar. Orpiment crystals are commonly found in dense groupings containing small, prismatic crystals, often with chisel-shaped or triangular pyramidal terminations.

Orpiment contains a significant amount of the poisonous mineral arsenic. While it’s not going to pose a health hazard sitting on a shelf, it’s recommended that you wash your hands after handling it.

Galena is a lead-based mineral and the primary ore of lead, and has been used for its lead content for thousands of years. Galena typically displays a gray metallic luster and forms cubes or octahedral crystals. The chemical composition of galena is PbS.

While galena will not pose a health hazard by sitting on the shelf or even from casual handling, we suggest washing hands following handling due to the mineral's lead content.

Quartz is the name given to silicon dioxide (SiO2) and is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust. Quartz crystals generally grow in silica-rich environments--usually igneous rocks or hydrothermal environments like geothermal waters--at temperatures between 100°C and 450°C, and usually under very high pressure. In either case, crystals will precipitate as temperatures cool, just as ice gradually forms when water freezes. Quartz veins are formed when open fissures are filled with hot water during the closing stages of mountain formation: these veins can be hundreds of millions of years old.
Quartz, Orpiment & Galena
Palomo Mine, Perú
4 x 2.6"