Mineral Of The Day #126: Realgar
Mohs Hardness Scale: 1.5-2
Category: sulfide mineral
Formula: As4S4 or AsS
Realgar has been a “star” in many of our past MOTD holiday celebration illustrations such as on Valentine’s Day, Veterans Day, and Mardi Gras!
- Realgar gets its name from the Arabic rahj al gar, which means “powder of the mine.”
- It is also known as “ruby sulfur” or “ruby of arsenic.”
- Realgar, along with orpiment and arsenopyrite, provide nearly all of the world’s supply of arsenic.
- It was used by firework manufacturers to create the color white in fireworks!
- Historically, realgar was used as a pigment and a medicine in the Roman Empire.
- Realgar is one of the few sulfides that is not metallic, opaque, or blandly-colored!
- Realgar specimens should be stored in dark, enclosed containers and only exposed to light for brief encounters because they will break down and eventually become a powder over time.