Arsenic, in its well-known and beautiful forms, orpiment and realgar, is found in New South Wales and Victoria.
Many substances were employed in ancient medicine: galena was the basis of a valuable Egyptian cosmetic and drug; the arsenic sulphides, realgar and orpiment, litharge, alum, saltpetre, iron rust were also used.
Cinnabar, realgar, orpiment and coal form the rest of the mineral products of Kwei-chow.
ORPIMENT (auripigmentum), arsenic trisulphide, As2S3, or yellow realgar, occurring in small quantities as a mineral crystallizing in the rhombic system and of a brilliant goldenyellow colour in Bohemia, Peru, &c. For industrial purposes an artificial orpiment is manufactured by subliming one part of sulphur with two of arsenic trioxide.
Arsenic is a constituent of the minerals arsenical iron, arsenical pyrites or mispickel, tin-white cobalt or smaltite, arsenical nickel, realgar, orpiment, pharmacolite and cobalt bloom, whilst it is also met with in small quantities in nearly all specimens of iron pyrites.
There are three known compounds of arsenic and sulphur, namely, realgar As2S2, orpiment As2S3, and arsenic pentasulphide As2S5.
Realgar occurs native in orange prisms of specific gravity 3.5; it is prepared artificially by fusing together arsenic and sulphur, but the resulting products vary somewhat in composition; it is readily fusible and sublimes unchanged, and burns on heating in a current of oxygen, forming arsenic trioxide and sulphur dioxide.