Iron Pyrite Mineral from Africa
A great piece of iron pyrite carefully chosen by one of the team at Stone Mania. This brassy coloured mineral is also known as fools gold but despite what you may have read particularly online about the origins of the name, the truth is that it didn't come about because the mineral pyrite was confused for gold during the great American gold rush. Unfortunately so much of what you read online lacks accuracy and as far as we're aware there is nothing written in the history of this event that indicates that pyrite was ever confused for gold. Furthermore the likelihood of this mistake being made is pretty unlikely because although pyrite has a similar appearance to gold, when the two minerals are side by side it's easy to tell one from the other and should further confirmation still be needed, a couple of very straight forward tests will quickly clear the matter up once and for all.
One of the main differences between the two is that pyrite is considerably harder and grades 6 - 6½ on Mohs scale of mineral hardness but is also brittle so if banged with a hammer it would shatter into many pieces. Gold on the other hand is a soft metal which grades 2 - 2½ on Mohs scale and its ductile which means it has the ability to be drawn out or stretched without losing strength or becoming damaged. If a small piece weighing just one gram was continually pounded it could be transformed into a flat sheet measuring approximately one metre in diameter. Gold is also considerably heavier than pyrite and because of its density is even heavier than lead.
When choosing iron pyrite for our collection we often get drawn towards distinctive clusters and cubes which are a constant source of fascination but this relatively nondescript piece really captured our attention. Sadly it's not always possible to capture the magic of rocks and minerals in a photograph and that's definitely the case with this piece. As it catches the light its colour becomes more golden and its minute crystals sparkle beautifully.
Weight (grams) : 134.6
Size (cms) : 7.3 x 5 x 1.7