Pyrite Crystals & Mineral Specimen


Pyrite, otherwise known as fool’s gold,is an iron sulfide and one of the most common sulfide minerals.  These crystals usually form in cuboid crystals and sometimes can form in framboids due to the close association.  Also, in the right circumstances, pyrite can form amazing anastomosing filaments, or T-shaped crystals. Some can form to almost perfect dodecahedral shapes which is a polyhedron with 12 flat faces.  Pyrite has a metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue which is why is has such a resemblance to actual gold, and hence the nicknamefool’s gold.  Even though pyrite looks as if it’s real gold, it is very distinguishable from actual gold due to its hardness, brittleness, striations, and the way the crystals form.

Pyrite can be found in noteworthy localities such as Peru, Spain, and some parts of the United States.  Pyrite has many uses in different industries and some more notable ones are for the production of sulfur dioxide in the paper industry, sulfuric acid, and being used as the cathode(electrode) material in batteries.  

Other notable information on Pyrite

  • Refractive index:  1.65-1.91

(refractive index or index of refraction of a material is a dimensionless number that describes how light propagates through that medium)

  • Specific gravity:  isn’t determined

(specific gravity is the ratio of the density of a substance to the density of a reference substance; equivalently, it is the ratio of the mass of a substance to the mass of a reference substance for the same given volume)

  • Moh’s scale: 6-6.5

(scale of hardness running from 1 to 10 using a series of reference minerals; position on scale depends on the ability to scratch minerals rated lower)