Iron Pyrite Nugget
The front section of this iron pyrite nugget sparkles beautifully as it catches the light which it does at almost every angle. Iron pyrite which is also known as Fool's Gold caused huge amounts of excitement as prospectors during the great American gold rush of the mid 1800's found pieces of this yellow coloured mineral as it glistened beneath the water.
A popular and well known natural mineral with a metallic lustre and brassy yellow hue, iron pyrite can be found in many different geological environments and comes in several different forms. Although quite hard and grading 6 to 6½ on Mohs scale of mineral hardness, it is brittle so will shatter or chip quite easily.
Iron pyrite which is also known simply as pyrite, is particularly popular with younger rock and mineral collectors because of its similarity to gold. When compared side by side, the yellow colouration of gold is much richer than iron pyrite and gold is also heavier. Pyrite originates from the Greek word for fire and in Ancient Rome the word was used for many different types of stone all of which created sparks when struck against steel.
Iron pyrite is a chemical compound of iron and sulphur so is correctly described as an iron sulphide mineral. Despite containing iron it's not used as an ore because the iron is too difficult to extract.
Weight (grams) : 160
Size (cms) : 5.7 x 4.9