Donate now to keep alive!Help|Log In|Register|
Home PageMindat NewsThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusManagement TeamContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatSponsor a PageSponsored PagesTop Available PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
What is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthMineral PhotographyThe Elements and their MineralsGeological TimeMineral Evolution
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsMember ListBooks & MagazinesMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

"fake" stalactitic realgar from china

Jolyon & Katya Ralph June 29, 2010 02:00PM
Now, I can't be certain this is fake, but it looks unnaturally unnatural, like a lump of molten gunk. It does look to be realgar, but I wonder if it's possible to melt realgar and let it solidify as this sort of stuff?

Unless, of course, this really is natural.

From China, of course. size approx 10cm across.

Anyone seen it before?
open | download - realgar.jpg (375.4 KB)
Alfredo Petrov June 29, 2010 03:57PM
Does look suspicious, I agree. Melted realgar does occur naturally, in small specimens, often labelled "jeromite". Sulphur and arsenic sulphide glasses are miscible in any proportion, i think, and that has given rise to several amorphous mineraloid names, like jeromite, arsensulfurite, etc. These occur both as mine fire products and natural volcanic products.

This particular Chinese piece looks more like melted sulphur than melted realgar.
Jolyon & Katya Ralph June 29, 2010 04:03PM
The piece was relatively heavy, and had the right metallic sheen (especially on the broken surfaces) that I was reasonably confident that it was arsenic sulphide.
Rob Woodside June 29, 2010 04:40PM
Does it have the concoidal fracture of glass? It looks like an As glass.
Luís Martins June 29, 2010 04:54PM
I've bought a sample like the one you pictured here, and it's hollow, so I think it's natural... Can't see any indication that it's a fake...
Jolyon & Katya Ralph June 29, 2010 05:00PM

I don't remember it being so. I'll see if I can get a picture of the end


I don't understand how being hollow makes it more likely to be natural?
Rob Woodside June 29, 2010 05:20PM
Even if it is a glass there is the question of its geologic origin. Without matrix, I'm not sure you can tell.
Luís Martins June 29, 2010 09:13PM
Jolyon, it doesn't :) But, looking at the specimen closely, I can't see any indication of it being faked, like any strange, non natural looking material, or any marks of a matrix that was later removed, just to provide a place for the specimen to grow on... When I first saw those specimens, which were common 2 years ago in the very few shows that we have here in Portugal, I taught the specimens were strange looking, almost unnatural, but since I didn´t saw anything that could indicate that they were fake, I believed the dealers... Also, those specimens were very cheap, about 20€ a 15cm piece, so even they were fake it didn't make them an expensive mistake (:D
Jolyon & Katya Ralph June 30, 2010 11:52AM
Here's the base (thanks Ida for the photo)

Doesn't look like S/As glass to me!

open | download - realgarbase.JPG (115 KB)
Alfredo Petrov June 30, 2010 02:11PM
At Tucson, did you see Jaroslav Hyrsl's melted-looking orpiments from Peru? Greenish yellow, but weird stuff, like this.
Rob Woodside June 30, 2010 06:02PM
As you say that's not an As glass. What is it? Is the black Duranusite?

I gave a piece of Jaroslav Hyrsl's orpiment to RRUFF and they posted it as realgar!!! See:
I don't even remember if there were insignificant red xls on it. Most of the piece was botryoidal green with concoidal fracture. I'm pretty sure it is an As glass and had seen similar from Baia Mare.
Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 07, 2010 02:26PM
So. noone seems to want to commit to whether this is genuine or not. Needs further work I think!

Alfredo Petrov July 07, 2010 02:35PM
Well, knowing the chemical composition would certainly help. And an XRD to find out whether it's crystalline or a glass.
TREILLARD Michel July 07, 2010 02:59PM
Do not it'll be a metamorphosis? Regard's. Michel
Noah Horwitz July 09, 2010 01:32PM
Maybe also check for arsenolite on the surface, which could indicate that the specimen was heated (by people, mine fire, geological processes...). The little glints of light from the unbroken surface make it look microcrystalline.
Rémi BORNET March 20, 2011 09:28PM
Hello !

In France we have specimens that look like your Chinese sample... (La Ricamarie Mine, Saint-Etienne, Loire, Rhône-Alpes, France) These realgars come from a burning coal mine that explain the stalactitic morphology.
9 x 5 x 5 cm

Best regards,


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2011 09:30PM by Rémi BORNET.
Rob Woodside March 21, 2011 06:31PM
Thanks Rémi. That looks like what I was calling a sulfide glass. It turns out that the "orpiment" from Palomo is not a sulfide glass, but a new mineral. You may have found more, though the Palomo material was more green.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2018, except where stated. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: January 18, 2018 11:43:35
Go to top of page