The front aspect of this pyrite mineral is full of cube-shaped crystals and there's many more on the back, sides and underneath. On the larger cubes distinctive striations can be seen which is a typical characteristic of pyrite. They're also one of several features that help distinguish pyrite from gold. Cube-shaped crystals are one of the most common and simplest shapes found in rocks and minerals.
Despite the initial resemblance caused by the similarity in colour, pyrite is not as yellow as gold and is lighter in weight. Gold also has more density so is about one and a half times heavier.
The name pyrite originates from the words pyritēs lithos which loosely translated means stone or mineral which strikes fire. When struck against a hard stone or steel, tiny pieces of pyrite break away and react with oxygen to produce sparks. From these sparks ancient man was able to produce fire.