Orpiment and Barite
Elbrusskiy Arsenic Mine, Elbrus Mt
9.4 x 6.8 x 3.8 CM (cabinet)
Late Summer 2021
Rich color and sparkling luster from red-orange Orpiment crystals that form a mound on this cabinet sized specimen. There are several white to clear Barite crystals scattered on the Orpiments adding a nice contrast. These are mostly rather small but reach up to 1 CM. With magnification the Orpiment crystals are very gemmy sharp prisms but by naked eye it is just a glittering carpet of tiny red crystals. The specimen is sawn on the bottom from when it was removed from the host rock but that is not visible. As a result it sits well for display on its own. The outer edges of the Orpiment are a yellow to orange color and several radiating fans or bursts of the crystals form the outer edges of the more red core of this piece. This find was quite important and was made in 2002, The intense color of these Orpiment was unusually vivid and it seems these are color stable as well so they are still vibrant. Not often available now, this discovery seems to have been unique in its character.