Realgar mineral. Realgar is an orange-red, arsenic sulphide mineral, from which a large proportion of the world's arsenic is derived. Realgar is highly poisonous and has been used throughout history as both a pigment and a medicine. In China realgar was used to make household ornaments, and charms to ward of disease. Other traditional uses include printing and dyeing calico, and tanning hides. Here, the realgar is in a spongy form, where the mineral contains numerous air gaps, giving it a sponge-like appearance and lower density.
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