The Mineral Pyrite

pyrite mineral picture

Iron Pyrite or Pyrite is a mineral of Iron Sulfide and has a chemical formula FeS2, and a   luster like a metal.  Its color is brassy yellow that makes it look like gold, which brought in its name, “fools gold.” It is quite easy to differentiate Pyrite from gold because of its higher hardness and the fact that it appears lighter than gold.  However, you cannot scratch Pyrite with a finger nail.

Chemical Formula  

Derivation of Name  
Pyrite derives its name   from Pyritēs, a Greek word for “in fire", or “of fire".    

Pyrite is generally found coupled with other oxides or sulfides in the veins of quartz, metamorphic rock, and sedimentary rock, and   in coal beds, besides as a substitute fossil mineral. Notwithstanding its nickname, “fool's gold,” the mineral pyrite is occasionally found along with minute amounts of arsenic and gold found together as a replacement in the structure of pyrite. Gold deposits of Carlin–type contain Arsenian Pyrite of about 0.37 % gold by weight.              

It demonstrates crystal properties, forming wonderful block crystals. Though the crystals are not the kind of ornamental jewelry, pyrite itself is a pet of mineral collectors and gemologists.

Famous occurrences are Illinois and Missouri, USA; Germany; Russia; Peru; South Africa and Spain and many others.

pyrite picture


Pyrite is the traditional "Fool's Gold". Even though there are additional glittery brassy minerals in yellow, pyrite is definitely the most common and most often flawed for gold. It may be its golden look or anything else that makes it a favorite of rock collectors. It may have a striking gleam and appealing crystals. It is so widespread on the earth's crust that it can be found in nearly every possible environment. It occurs in large number of appearances and varieties. Pyrite is a polymorph of Marcasite, meaning it has the same chemistry, FeS2, as Marcasite; yet its structure is different and its crystals have different symmetry and shapes. It is tricky to discriminate Pyritev  from Marcasite in the absence of clear indicators.

Its color has caused it to earn nicknames like Brazzle, brass and Brazil, mainly used for referring to pyrite found in coal.              

4.8–5 g/cm3

Mohs scale hardness

Mineral Pyrite Pyrite Mineral Pyrite Picture
Pyrite Mineral Picture Pyrite Picture Picture of Pyrite
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