Pyrite (Fools Gold)



Beautiful pyrite clusters priced way below the normal mineral show prices.

Here is a specimen with GOLDEN PYRITE SUN on a BLACK SLATE MATRIX

It is from Sparta, in Randolph Co., Illinois. (Pyrite is also known as FOOL’S GOLD.) The disc is shaped like a SUN, a flat, round form of pyrite that is named for its resemblance to the sun. The discs are found in narrow seams of SLATE(about 320 MILLION YEARS OLD), between seams of coal in the mines near Sparta, IL. There are several theories about the origin of these formations. One is that they are pyritized REPLACEMENTS of an earlier FOSSIL CREATURE. Another is that they are the flattened result of a PYRITE CRYSTAL spread out under HEAT AND PRESSURE in the seams of slate.

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.

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.

Pyrite’s structure is analogous to galena’s structure with a formula of PbS. Galena though has a higher symmetry. The difference between the two structures is that the single sulfur of galena is replaced by a pair of sulfurs in pyrite. The sulfur pair are covalently bonded together in essentially an elemental bond. This pair disrupts the four fold symmetry that a single atom of sulfur would have preserved and thus gives pyrite a lower symmetry than galena.

Although pyrite is common and contains a high percentage of iron, it has never been used as a significant source of iron. Iron oxides such as hematite and magnetite, are the primary iron ores. Pyrite is not as ecomonical as these ores possibly due to their tendency to form larger concentrations of more easily mined material. Pyrite would be a potential source of iron if these ores should become scarce.

Pyrite has been mined for its sulfur content though. During WWII, sulfur was in demand as a strategic chemical and North American native sulfur mines were drying up. A sulfide deposit near Ducktown Tenn. was found to be able to mine pyrite and other sulfides such as pyrrhotite and pentlandite and produce the needed sulfur as well as iron and other metals. The sulfur was used in the production of sulfuric acid, an important chemical for industrial purposes. Now most sulfur production comes from H2S gas recovered from natural gas wells.

71.5 gram Pyrite Cluster
Cost $37.00

Large 57.2 gram Natural Pyrire Cubes
Cost $45.00

Large 56.2 gram Pyrite cubes in matrix
Cost $35.00

Pyrite cubes in matrix weight 63.2 gram

Cost $40.00

Pyrite cube in matrix weight 61 gram

Cost $38.00

Huge Pyrite cluster Apx. 14.1 Oz.

Cost $124.00

Stuning larger pyrite cluster Apx. 9.8 Oz

Cost $92.00

Pyrite cube cluster  Apx. 11oz

Cost $80.00

Pyrite cluster   Apx. 12.9 Oz

Cost $93.00

Pyrite cube in matrix weight 48 gram

Cost $29.00