Pyrite

PyritePyrite is also known as “fool’s gold.” Pyrite’s name derives from the Greek word pyr, meaning “fire,” due to the sparks it emits when struck by iron. It is also called iron pyrite or simply pyrites. Pyrite is hard, brittle and often crystalline. Pyrite occurs in igneous rocks, and is found in hydrothermal veins associated with sphalerite, galena, quartz, copper sulphides and gold; the last two sometimes commercially extracted from pyrite-rich ores.

 Pyrite usually forms in cubes, but octahedral and pyritohedra are also common. It can also be massive, granular, nodular, or botryoidal. It is often found in large deposits, and could be a great source of iron. It has been used as a source of sulfur for the manufacture of sulfuric acid, although today the acid is mostly made from the hydrogen-sulfide gas recovered from natural gas.
When used in jewelry it is very hard to cut because of its brittleness. Ancient Greeks used pyrite to adorn earrings and pins. It was also very popular for jewelry during the Victorian period. Ancient Incas used pyrite tablets as mirrors.

Deposits of pyrite can be found in The Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Romania, and Sweden; in the United States in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Colorado.

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