From Therese Ghembaza
The Orichalc was Pyropus
PLINY the Elder, Natural History, Book 34, Chapter 20
Nunc revertemur ad differentias aeris et mixturas. In Cyprio coronarium tenuatur in laminas tauro
rumque felle tinctum, speciem auri in coronis histrionum praebet. Idemque in uncias additis auri scrupulis senis, praetenui pyropi bractea ignescit.
In Cyprian copper we have the kind known as “coronarium,” and that called “regulare,” both of them ductile. The former is made into
thin leaves, and, after being coloured with ox-gall, is used for what has all the appearance of gilding on the coronets worn upon the stage. The same substance, if mixed with gold, in the proportion of six scruples of gold to the ounce, and reduced into thin plates, acquires a fiery red colour, and is termed “pyropus.“
purôpos, “sparkling like fire.”
PLINY THE ELDER,
Natural History, Book 34, chapter 2 :
In Cyprus, where copper was first discovered, it is also procured from another stone, which is called “chalcitis.” This, however, was afterwards considered of little value, a better kind having been found in other regions, especially that called “aurichalcum,” which was long in high request, on account of [p. 6149] its excellent quality; but none of it has been found for this long time, the earth having been quite exhausted.
Metamorphoses : 2, 1
Regia Solis erat sublimibus alta columnis,
clara micante auro flammasque imitante pyropo
“The palace of the Sun towered up with raised columns, bright with glittering gold, and gleaming pyrope like fire ;”
Wikipedia : A metallurgical process for the “the colouration [chrôsis] of gold” is described in the 15th recipe in Leiden Papyrus X, from Thebes in Egypt, dated to the 4th century AD.
Auricupride is a natural alloy that combines copper and gold with formula: Cu3Au. It is extremely malleable. A variant called Tetra-auricupride exists.
It is most often found in Chile, Russia and South Africa.
The semi-mythical metal known as Orichalcum may be connected to this alloy.
Auricupride is presently found in small amunts in Soimon Valley, Karabash (Karabasch), Chelyabinsk Oblast’, Urals Region, Russia
Coincidence ? : Meroe in North Sudan is in province of Butana, district of Keraba.