Background of Orpiment
Orpiment is a monoclinic arsenic sulfide mineral. Its name is from the latin auripigmentum (gold pigment). Back in the earlier Roman period, it was used as an important trade item. In China, it was also used as a medicine despite it is a toxic quality. Because its beautiful gold color, it was also used by the alchemists in searching of ways to make gold. It was also made into pigment for painting before the 19th Century.
Its color range from orange to yellow. It occurs as a sublimation product in volcanic fumaroles, lower temperature hydrothermal veins, hot springs and as a byproduct of the decay of another arsenic mineral, realgar.
The specimen is about 1.5 x 1.2 inches. It weights 0.6 oz. The color is bright orange with gold trims. The small crystals cover the surface of barite matrix, and give the specimen a bright shimmer under the light.