Pyrite (Iron Pyrite) "Fools Gold"

Pyrite

Pyrite is the classic "Fool's Gold". There are other shiny brassy yellow minerals, but pyrite is by far the most common and the most often mistaken for gold. Whether it is the golden look or something else, pyrite is a favorite among rock collectors. It can have a beautiful luster and interesting crystals. It is so common in the earth's crust that it is found in almost every possible environment, hence it has a vast number of forms and varieties.

Unlike gold, which is prized because of its color, brightness, workability, and rareness, Pyrite is not a metal, but rather, a sulfide made up of iron and sulfur. Pyrite is much harder and more brittle, and it tarnishes to a dark brown. Fool's Gold is very common, and this has led to many people thinking they had discovered real gold over the years. Pyrite forms when hydrogen sulfide combines with iron. These common elements often fuse and are carried by heated fluids to cracks in native rocks where pyrite is deposited. It is attractive, and many museums keep specimens of Pyrite for display or educational purposes.

Bravoite is the name given to a nickel-rich iron sulfide. It is closely related to pyrite but contains up to 20% nickel. Some mineral books treat it as a variety of pyrite. Pyrite is a polymorph of Marcasite, which means that it has the same chemistry, FeS2, as Marcasite; but a different structure and therefore different symmetry and crystal shapes. Pyrite is difficult to distinguish from Marcasite when a lack of clear indicators exists.

Common Shapes of Pyrite

Pyrite Sun from Sparta, Illinois. Pure Pyrite crystallization with no matrix featuring radiating golden crystals that sparkle in the light. These are also known as Pyrite Dollars and Sun Dollars. Collected in a coal mine hundreds of feet below the earth's surface, this sun formed over 300 million years ago! Fanned crystal structure is due to compressed growth between sheets of slate.

Go to Pyrite Sun Page

Item # 2PYR11079993

Pyritohedral Pyrite with Drusy Quartz with Pyrite inclusions from Brazil

$59.00

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Pyritohedral Pyrite with Drusy Quartz with Pyrite inclusions from Brazil

Very nice specimen of Pyritohedral pyrite covered partially with a drusy quartz layer that has fine pyrite inclusions giving a "pyrite sprinkled" look to the quartz.

This piece weighs 0.28 lb (128g) and measures 2.4 x 1.4 x 1.1 inches (61 x 36 x 29mm).

Item # 21PYR06171551

Pyrite Cubes in Talc from the Pyrophyllite Mine

$35.00

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Here's beautiful rare specimen of Pyrite Cubes in Talc from the Pyrophyllite Mine in Glendon, North Carolina. We procured this from a minerals dealer in Hendersonville, NC. We were one of the first customers on the first day and were able to hand select the most unique specimens they had. This piece has cubic Pyrite crystals up to 0.21" (5.4mm) on a slippery Talc matrix. This is a rare old stock Moore County specimen. The Pyrophyllite Mine has been closed for decades.

This specimen weighs 2.7 oz or 0.17 lbs (79g) and measures 3.5 x 2.39 x 0.43 inches (8.8 x 6 x 1.1 cm)

Item # 17PYR06130001

Pyrite Crystals on a pyrite base from Peru

$10.00

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Nice small crystals of Pyrohedral Pyrite from Peru. Click photos to enlarge.

weighs 1.36 oz (38g) and measures 1.4 x 0.98 x 0.85 inches (37 x 25 x 21mm)

Item # 18PYR06130001

Pyrite Crystals on a pyrite base from Peru

$10.00

Nice small crystals of Pyrohedral Pyrite from Peru. Click photos to enlarge.

weighs 1.36 oz (38g) and measures 1.4 x 0.98 x 0.85 inches (37 x 25 x 21mm)

Item # 20PYR06130001

Pyrite Crystals on a pyrite base from Peru

$10.00

Nice small crystals of Pyrohedral Pyrite from Peru. Click photos to enlarge.

weighs 1.44 oz (40g) and measures 1.5 x 1 x 0.92 inches (38 x 26 x 23mm)

Item # 25PYR06130001

Pyrite Crystals on a pyrite base from Peru

$10.00

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Nice small crystals of Pyrohedral Pyrite from Peru. Click photos to enlarge.

weighs 1.32 oz (38g) and measures 1.6 x 0.85 x 0.74 inches (42 x 21 x 19mm)

Item # 1PYR08140503

Intergrown Pyrite cubes on Magnesite XLs from Hunting Hill Quarry, Rockville, MD

VERY RARE!

$59.00

Intergrown Pyrite cubes on Magnesite XLs from Hunting Hill Quarry, Rockville, MD

Very rare specimen of crystalized Magnesite especially with the intergrown Pyrite. An excellent speciman from this locale

This specimen weighs 11.4 oz or 0.71 lb (325g) and measures 3.2 x 2.5 x 1.3 inches (8.2 x 6.5 x 3.4 cm)

Item # 1PYR03203594

Very Rare Pyrite, Chalcopyrite, Garnet, Epidote and Calcite piece from Mina Vieja De Payande

$119.00

Very rare Pyrite, Chalcopyrite, Garnet, Epidote and Calcite specimen from the Mina Vieja De Payande Mine which is near Ibague, in the Tolima Province, Colombia. It is located about 120km Southwest of Bogota. The site was first discovered in 1550. The Mina Vieja De Payande Mine is closed, as of last reports in 1975, with no known plans to re-open. Mine operations consist of underground workings.

There is one known shaft. The mining method is overhand. Overhand cut and fill mining involves excavating a horizontal slice of an orebody, then filling the void with a backfill material - typically mine waste or rejects from the processing plant . After backfilling, another slide is taken on top of the previous one; with the process proceeding until the orebody extraction is complete.

Mine capacity in 1975 was 5 metric tons of ore per day with a production unit cost of $10 a metric ton of ore. As of 1978 there was one documented tabular shaped ore body extending 120 meters (393 feet) long and 30 meters (98 feet) wide.

Minerals or other materials present in the mine include Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Epidote, Garnet and Pyrite. The wallrock is carbonate silicate with pyritization (The hydrothermal process whereby a rock is transformed into a pyrite)...and bleaching (color change). The wallrock Alteration is recorded as intense.

This is an excellent specimen from this long closed locale. It was collected during the 1940's during a geological study by S.R. Steinhauser (a geologist who in later years worked for the Atomic Energy Commission).

This specimen weighs 25.2 oz or 1.58 lb (715g) and measures 4.4 x 3.3 x 1.4 inches (11.3 x 8.4 x 3.6 cm)

https://thediggings.com/mines/usgs10279938 Information hosted on The Diggings™ is based on publicly available data through the Bureau of Land Management.