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Mineral Properties and Uses

What is Arsenopyrite?

Arsenopyrite is an iron arsenic sulfide. It is the most common arsenic mineral and the primary ore of arsenic metal. Arsenopyrite is most often found as a hydrothermal vein mineral and sometimes as a mineral of contact metamorphism. It is sometimes referred to in old texts as "mispickel".

Physical Properties of Arsenopyrite

Chemical Classification sulfide
Color silver white to steel gray
Streak dark grayish black
Luster metallic
Diaphaneity opaque
Cleavage poor
Mohs Hardness 5.5 to 6
Specific Gravity 5.9 to 6.2
Diagnostic Properties smells like garlic when crushed, crystal form
Chemical Composition iron arsenic sulfide, FeAsS
Crystal System monoclinic
Uses poison, preservative, pigment

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Arsenopyrite from Gold Hill, Utah. Specimen is approximately 4 inches (10 centimeters) across.

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