Realgar, also termed ruby of arsenic or ruby sulphur is a lightweight, soft, and sectile arsenic sulphide mineral with the chemical formula of α-As4S4. Realgar has a vibrant and eye-catching red-orange color. This gem is obtained in its natural monoclinic crystal form, compact, powdery, or granular forms. When burnt, realgar produces a blueish flam, producing toxic sulphur and arsenic fumes.
In a historic context, realgar was discovered in the early 1390s but was not utilized until the 16th century when it was used to poison rats by the ancient English and Spanish. Aware of its poisonous properties, it was then called sandarac. The ancient Greek apothecaries developed a medicine called bull’s blood that has similar effects to arsenic poisoning.
For the same poisoning reasons, many cultures around the world like the Chinese culture used this crystal as a snake and insect repellent. Its bright red hue also acted as red paint pigment for some other cultures such as the central Asian and Egyptian cultures.
What is Realgar?
Realgar, in its truer self, is one of the strongest deep cleansing crystals that helps one find their ultimate destination by diving deep into the subconscious. Hidden memories and acceptance of one’s hidden self for better self-analysis and decision-making are made easier with the company of this stone.
How to Identify a Realgar?
- The easiest way to identify Realgar is by its vibrant red-orange color when obtained.
- It also contains chemical and toxic particles of both sulphur and arsenic and should be carefully handled.
- This gemstone can be extracted in the form of powder, crystal, granular, and even as compacts.
- Realgar is a relatively brittle and sectile gemstone.
- Realgar can also be identified through its resinous to greasy luster.
- Moh’s hardness of realgar ranges between 1.5 to 2, making it a comparatively weak and fragile gem.
- It has a specific gravity of 3.56.
- Although transparent, its color creates a gorgeous red or orange streak.
- Another great way to identify realgar is due to the fact that it is carcinogenic in nature and harmful in some aspects. It is specifically toxic to insects and rodents and prevents their presence in and around places where the stone is placed.
- Upon continual exposure to sunlight, realgar can transform into a powdery matter known as pararealgar.
- Other times, upon exposure to light, realgar can also transform into another bright yellow-ochre crystal named orpiment which is also rich in sulphate.
- Realgar is most often obtained from volcanic grounds or near hot spring deposits.
Owing to its fragile structure and sectile density, realgar can be quite easily cut into any desired shape but is most often seen in its natural crystal-like natural shape. Its density of 3.56 g/cm3 allows it to be safely stored in one’s home in any desired shape and form. Although quite fragile, realgar can be carved into fine jewelry that not only makes a beautiful piece but also acts upon its metaphysical features.
Due to its flexible nature, Realgar can be cut and carved into any shape while it retains its classic gem-lie red or cherry-red hue. Its rectangle cut and naturally mined cut are the most commonly seen forms.
Where is Realgar Found?
- Realgar minerals are most often obtained from hydrothermal veins in several low-temperature locations around the world, similar to other arsenic minerals.
- Realgar is often also extracted along with certain other gemstones like calcite, orpiment, arsenolite, and barite.
- Realgar is also obtained from gold, silver, and lead ores in European countries such as Hungary, Saxony, and Bohemia.
- Yellowstone National Park is one of the richest mines to obtain realgar, an amount of several other such gems.
- In the US, locations like Mercur, Manhattan, Nevada, and Utah have some of the finest realgar.
- Peru is another place where Realgar, along with quartz, galena, and chalcopyrite can be obtained in a cherry-red, almost pinkish shade.
- It is believed that in ancient times, some other parts of the world like Egypt, China, India, and more central Asian regions may have had realgar mines due to their previous practice of using it as red paint pigment and other domestic uses.
- European fine-art paintings during the 18t century Renaissance era have traces of realgar for a bright and widely appreciated red paint. It has also been used as a useful fabric dye.
- Realgar has also been obtained from clay sedimentary deposits and carbonate deposits.
- Present-day realgar is obtained from only a few protected places in Germany, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, Macedonia, China, and the US.
- Since this gem is associated with volcanic and hydrothermal activities, it can also be obtained near volcanic vents and hot springs.
Realgar Meaning in Ancient Lore and History
Realgar has been identified and utilized for its endless properties since the 16th century in ancient Greek, England, and Spain where its toxicity was put to good use for poisoning rats and other rodents. The ancient Greek medicine known as bull’s blood has the same properties as present-day arsenic poisoning and was used as a mode of suicide by Themistocles and Midas.
The Chinese society also sprinkled realgar particles around their houses to prevent snakes, rats, and other insects from entering the premises. This gem was also powdered and combined with huangjiu to make realgar wine. It was accepted that consuming this wine during the Dragon Boat Festival would repel all evil energies. But the practice was soon discontinued after the people came to learn about the presence of arsenic in it and its harmful effects on the human body.
Finally, Realgar was widely used as a paint pigment throughout the Roman Empire. It was utilized also in India, Egypt, China, and Central Asia as cloth dye. It has also been used in the manufacture of lead shots among other traditional use. It is used in the current day as photoconductors and semiconductors. Due to its toxicity and carcinogenicity, its use has become rarer but many parts of the world still make good use of it as an external insect repellent.
Realgar Healing Properties
Like most other cleansing stones, Realgar too helps in healing and having a clearer mind to serve better purposes. This gem is also helpful in recreating the lost connection between the mind and the heart to provide a balance between their functionings and in turn balance all other aspects of life.
Due to its strong control over the subconscious, this stone helps understand hidden messages from the mind that would stir one’s life into its meaningful direction by reasoning and thoughtfulness. Realgar can also be combined with some other gemstones to gain more specific results.
Realgar Metaphysical Properties
Along with its several physical properties and usefulness, Realgar also has a strong spiritual connection that allows individuals to experience metaphysical changes in life when using the gem in the proper ways. Here’s how it works:
Memory: Realgar is believed to have a strong connection with the mind and the functioning of the brain. It helps one revive lost memories, creating new and stronger memories and also forgetting regretful memories that may be clouding present thoughts.
Thoughts: Realgar is great for relieving past traumas and bringing clarity to present thoughts. It helps any barrier that may be creating hazy thoughts by clearing those barriers and providing a distinct path toward one’s destination.
Harmony: This bright red stone creates a strong harmony between the intellect and the heart. This helps in better analytic thinking, and better focus on both short-term and long-term goals.
Sexual Manifestation: As is the case with most other vibrant red crystals, realgar is also believed to aid in fertility, evoke passionate feelings, and increase sexual drive.
- Realgar is a cleansing stone that cleanses the path between the mind and the heart by erasing all unwanted barriers between the two.
- It provides a clear view of reasonable thoughts and helps in achieving the dreams of the person as they could have imagined without the presence of any doubts.
- Focusing on goals is another one of its greatest benefits that come along with its lively red hue.
- An increase in passion for one’s loved ones and an increase in the sexual drive are some of its best-appreciated physical benefits.
- This gemstone is especially helpful for those who experience stress and burn-out frequently by helping them clear out intruding thoughts to think and feel better.
- It throws light on the essential subconscious thoughts by letting the individual take conscious actions on those thoughts.
Realgar Benefits Spirituality
- As a healing stone, realgar helps erase traumas of the past years and also past lives that may still be interfering with the present life.
- It evokes positive actions by promoting compassion, and optimism, and boosts all the energies surrounding the individual.
- Although realgar is not advisable to be used as an elixir, its mere presence can help one focus more on priorities without getting swayed away by not-so-important activities.
- By making one aware of their subconscious thoughts that speak more of their hidden self, one understands their value and how to provide the best for themselves and their loved ones.
- It strengthens the mind to allow lucidity and clarity of thoughts.
- Realgar strengthens one’s belief in themselves and helps one achieve their dreams with the help of intuitive analysis and self-dependence.
- It also relieves one of traumas and barriers from past lives by re-evaluating their decisions to be done with them once and for all.
Realgar & Feng Shui
In case you are a follower of the Feng Shui way of life, this stone will be of immense benefit to you and your household. Unlike other stones that are preferred in their crystal forms, realgar should be powdered and placed in cool and dry areas of the house. Only one-fourth of a tablespoon is often considered enough to cleanse the entire home of any negative or repulsive energies that may be acting as a barrier to peaceful living.
It should be kept in mind that upon overexposure to light, the red-orange powder would start changing to a deep yellow hue and should therefore be not exposed to direct sunlight.
The birthstones of Realgar are Libra and Gemini.
Realgar is responsible for the three lower chakras, those responsible for the most intimate and intuitive thought processes and actions. They are the Solar Plexus Chakra, the Sacral Chakra, and the Root Chakra.
Solar Plexus Chakra: The Solar Plexus Chakra is located between the breastbone and the navel and is represented by the yellow color. It is the storehouse of emotions and it is here that all emotional regulations and intuitive thoughts are processed. It is in this chakra that all emotions are assimilated and digested, in the form of physical food or intellectual decisions. This chakra also deals with self-esteem and self-dependence that help one maintain healthy boundaries and balance their own and others’ emotions.
Sacral Chakra: The Sacral Chakra is located below the waist and very close to the navel and is represented by the color orange. It is an essential core chakra that most often manifests into sexual desires and also financial and societal relations. This chakra encourages the individual to be self-dependent and make sensible decisions after analyzing the environment and internal thoughts. As the controller of physical sensations, this chakra can help control the internal systems and external reactions.
Root Chakra: The Root Chakra, also called the Base Chakra is located at the base of the spine and is represented by the color red. It is another one of the core chakras that creates a connection between the body and nature, helping the individual stay grounded. With its connection to the Earth, this chakra creates a connection between all the other chakras positioned above the spine by relating to one’s career choice and home. It helps the individual establish themself as a truly responsible and dependable human.
What are the Uses of Realgar?
- Realgar has since ancient centuries been established as a Chinese medicinal gemstone that helps keep away rats, insects, and other rodents.
- Along with rodents, this stone is also believed to repel negative energies and protect those who keep even a small sprinkle around themselves.
- By preventing negative energies, realgar helps create a connection between the heart and the mind to assure they coordinate in one’s life.
- This stone also makes sure the individual remains grounded by creating a connection between the soul and the Earth.
- Realgar promotes compassion, and optimistic energies, enhances the creation of memories and promotes better analysis.
- It will likewise assist you with recollecting your fantasies and backing you in a wide range of changes.
- Realgar will diminish or eliminate your negative contemplations and associate your awareness with the all-inclusive source.
- This gemstone also has a strong connection with the core and enables sexual compassion.
- Not only does it promote better sexual drive but also aids in infertility.
- Realgar also causes an increase in inspiration, creativity, and memories in students and working individuals.
- Due to its bright color, this stone is often considered to e a mirror of the passion and life energy within the individual.
- Being a mirror of the soul, this stone, once established can retain its effects for a very long time.
- Other functions of the stone are to remind the individual of their true potential and motivate them to act on them.
- It motivates one to trust their instincts and go with the flow of the soul.
- Being connected with the three basal chakras, realgar also helps one have better intuition and make one’s self a sacred presence.
- It will direct you in moving out of your dim mental cave and advancing toward the light.
Caring for Realgar
Realgar, when extracted can be in the form of long and deep-cleavaged crystals or the form of powdered elements along with other sulphur-based stones. Hence, it has different ways to be cared for. The powdered realgar should be kept inside the house or in one’s office in a cool and dry area, away from direct sunlight. The crystal form can also be kept at home or office and should be more careful with as it changes from its vibrant red to a duller deep yellow when exposed to the sun.
Since the crystal itself is poisonous in nature, one must wash their hands thoroughly after touching it. It should not be consumed or swallowed as it is fatal. It is best handled with disposable gloves. This element should also not be exposed to fumes or vapor as it would cause toxic arsenic fumes to originate.
When to Cleanse Realgar?
In case of sediment collection over your crystal over time, it is best to identify it before taking any other action that may cause the crystal to have an unwanted chemical reaction. Realgar should also not be handled with bare hands due to its carcinogenic nature. If you simply want to cleanse out the crystal of its energies, allowing it to remain under the moonlight for a few hours does the trick. Be careful that it does not remain under sunlight.
How to Recharge Your Realgar?
It is accepted by Realgar users worldwide that this crystal does not require to be recharged too often. However, once the crystals turn deep yellow, it is advised to allow them to remain close to known recharging stones like Quartz or Amethyst. Usually, 24 hours is enough to entirely recharge the crystal of all the negative energies it may have attracted towards itself. It may take less than 24 hours in the case of smaller-sized crystals.
What is Realgar Activation Process?
Realgar does not require any external mode to be activated. Crystals and powdered Realgar can be kept at home or in office areas. One thing to be careful of is that it should not be touched with bare hands as it has a high arsenic concentration that is harmful to the naked skin. If touched, be sure to thoroughly cleanse your hands.
How much is Realgar worth? What determines Realgar’s price and value?
This bright red gemstone is priced per pound. Its price can be anywhere between US $20 to US $50. However, the worth of realgar jewelry or pendant would be higher than this owing to the base element used to make the jewelry.
- Realgar Impact During Typical Dealing
Realgar is one of the most sulphur-rich arsenic gemstones that should always be handled with utmost care as continual exposure would cause more harm than metaphysical benefits. One should either wear disposable gloves or make sure to wash hands after touching them. It should not be cleaned by putting it under running water or steam as they activate the arsenic reaction releasing harmful fumes.
- Realgar Impact While Cutting
When manually cutting Realgar, special precautions like face masks and gloves should be prepared to avoid any chemical fume from entering the body. Ingestion of even a small amount of this stone can cause immense health problems and even cancer in some rare cases.
Does Realgar make a good Jewelry stone?
Being a fragile and lightweight gemstone, Realgar does not support the jewelry-making process that other harder and stronger crystals can survive. With a moh’s hardness between 1.5 -2 only, it cannot be cut and compressed into many desired shapes, making it unfit for jewelry.
However, small crystals can be gathered together to make an encased pendant that one can wear, without the element coming in direct contact with the skin.
Realgar Real vs Fake
The easiest way to identify real Realgar is through its transparent effect and right red-orange color. It can also be seen as a deep orange hue that gradually changes to an ochre yellow sade after prolonged use. It is also most often extracted from near hot springs and volcanic sediment lands.
Some other of its specific variables and mineral information is listed below:
- Color: Red, orange, cherry red, bright orange, dark pink, dark yellow, pale yellow.
- Melting point: 320 °C
- Crystal system: Monoclinic
- Crystal class: Prismatic
- Cleavage: Good
- Tenacity: Sectile, slightly brittle.
- Mohs scale hardness: 1.5 – 2
- Luster: Resinous to greasy
- Streak: Red-orange to red
- Diaphaneity: Transparent
- Specific gravity: 3.56
- Optical properties: Biaxial
- Pleochroism: Colorless to pale golden yellow
- Dispersion: Very strong
Realgar is highly carcinogenic and arsenic in nature and can cause severe harm if handled without precautions. It transforms into certain other minerals such as pararealgar or arsenolite and orpiment upon continuous exposure to sunlight.
What is Realgar used for?
Realgar has several physical and metaphysical uses such as its sulphur-rich properties that make it a rodent and insect repellent and can also motivator in all aspects of life. Focusing on goals is another one of its greatest benefits that come along with its lively red hue. As a healing stone, realgar helps erase traumas of the past years and also past lives that may still be interfering with the present life.
This gemstone also has a strong connection with the core and enables sexual compassion. By preventing negative energies, realgar helps create a connection between the heart and the mind to assure they coordinate in one’s life. Realgar also causes an increase in inspiration, creativity, and memories in students and working individuals. Being a mirror of the soul, this stone, once established can retain its effects for a very long time.
How is Realgar formed?
Realgar is formed as an arsenic sulphide mineral. It is obtained from arsenic and antimony-rich locations like low-temperature hydrothermal veins near volcanic regions and hot springs.
Where should I put Realgar?
Realgar is a multipurpose gemstone that can be placed within one’s house and can also be encased into a protected pendant. Powdered Realgar should be placed in a dry and cool corner in the house, study area, or even in one’s office. When wearing or carrying it with oneself, one should be mindful that the crystal does not come in direct contact with the skin as it has harmful features. It should be well protected by other strong matter before one decides to wear it as jewelry or carry it with them.
How do you cleanse Realgar?
Simply placing the crystal or powder under direct moonlight for a few hours is the best way to cleanse your crystals of all of their negative energies gathered over time. It can also be placed close to cleansing minerals like amethyst and quartz.
Is Realgar rare?
Realgar in the form of cut-gem crystals is extremely rare in the world today, even though such arsenic sulphide minerals can be obtained worldwide.
How strong is Realgar?
Realgar has a Mohs hardness value of 1.5 – 2, making it a relatively weak gemstone.
How much is Realgar worth?
Pure Realgar crystals are worth anywhere between US $20 to US $50. The cost increases when bought as a piece of jewelry that includes the crystal and an external case made usually with gold or silver and sometimes even diamonds.
How do you identify Realgar?
Realgar can be identified through its vibrant color, melting point, crystal class, light tenacity, cleavage, luster, and streak.