Arsenopyrite Facts

Arsenopyrite Facts
Arsenopyrite is one of the important ores containing arsenic and is most often found in metamorphic rocks. In old literature the name of arsenopyrite is mispickel which has a German origin. The ore is very hard and has a measurement of 6.1 on the specific gravity scale. The color of the ore ranges from a silvery white to a darkish grey. The crystals of arsenopyrite form in acute angle which is unlike other sulfides which form obtuse angles. When deposits of arsenopyrite are exposed to atmospheric elements, it slowly oxidizes and changes into oxides. Since oxides are more soluble in water this will often lead to acid mine drainage. Arsenopyrite is made up of about 46% arsenic and is mined for that reason. Other than the value of arsenic, the ore is often used for poison, pigment, and preservatives.
Interesting Arsenopyrite Facts:
Since arsenopyrite has been found to contain traces of gold it is used to identify reefs that are bearing gold.
The Arsenopyrite gold is found in some parts of the United States, in Bolivia, Germany, England, and Sweden.
Many arsenopyrite gold ores are refractory and the gold is hard to extract from the mineral. There is a process to extract the gold, however it is complicated and only produces small traces of gold.
When arsenopyrite is heated it gives off toxic fumes and becomes magnetic.
When arsenopyrite is dissolved in nitric acid it releases sulfur.
Arsenopyrite is highly toxic in nature and is also extremely flammable. If it is burning, it releases poisonous sulfur and arsenic fumes which if the fumes are inhaled, the results can become fatal.
Because of the flammable hazard, the ore should be stored in an area that has a very low temperature and stored dry.
There are two main varieties of Arsenopyrite: Danaite and Gudmundite. Danaite is rich in cobalt and replaces 12% of iron. And Gudmundite is almost identical to Arsenopyrite although it contains Antimony instead of Arsenic.
Arsenopyrite is often used in homeopathy treatment of patients suffering from problems such as food poisoning, psoriasis, headaches, insomnia, and menstrual pains.
In China the ore is used as a medicine for the treatment of asthma and certain skin diseases.
When arsenopyrite is struck by an object it gives off a garlic odor.
The ore is commonly found in high temperature hydrothermal veins in Mexico, Sweden, England, Peru and in some areas of the United States.
Arsenopyrite is known to form extremely large and beautiful crystals. When the crystals become well-formed, they are very important collector specimens.
Arsenopyrite will at times tarnish forming a colorful indescent layer.
Although Arsenopyrite can be found world-wide, high quality crystals are more limited and have only been found in China, Asia, and Japan.

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