Fool's gold, pyrite - formula and application of the mysterious stone, similar in its physical and chemical properties to gold

With the gold rush, European ships carried tons of precious metal from Alaska. What a surprise it was when it turned out not to be gold. The prospectors were declared crooks and punished. In fact, it was pyrite. gold of fools, the stone we propose to talk about today.

Pyrite is: chemical formula, properties of a false precious metal, applications. History of discovery. Fool's gold and many other names of the mineral

Few people know that pyrite is a stone whose history dates back to ancient times. The ancient Inca tribes used it as a firebrand, which could be used to strike a spark. This explains its name, which means "fire" in Greek (compare it to the word "pyrotechnics"). This rock was discovered during the massive gold rush, when gold diggers brought so-called "gold" to Europe, but jewelers were quick to expose fake.

By the way, according to scientists, so often described in fairy tales caves and grottos filled with gold are more likely to be pyrite deposits.

Pyrite is a ornamental stone, but a substitute for gold.

Because of its deceptive properties, pyrite has been called the gold of fools, Incan gold, cat/dog gold, the stone of madmen, and the stone of fire.

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Chemical properties and composition of pyrite: structure, oxidation degree, production

Briefly speaking, pyrite is an iron or sulfuric pyrites, a mineral stone. In chemistry, the formula for pyrite is FeS2. According to the formula, we can see the structure of the rock. It consists mostly of iron and sulfur, with small admixtures of cobalt, copper, and sometimes gold.

Equation of the reaction in which the rock is formed:

2FeS2 + (5.5)O2 = Fe2O3 + 4SO2

Virtually no MagnetizedIt reacts poorly with acids, weakly soluble in nitric acid. The mineral is hydrophobic, i.e. it is afraid of water, so it rusts quickly and crumbles in humid conditions. After a few years in sedimentary rocks it becomes similar to organic tissues.

Physical properties of pyrite: color, melting point, perfect shapes, flammable characteristics

Outwardly, pyrite is a mineral that resembles gold. It can come in all shades yellow gold, there is no transparency. Distinguished by металлическим блеском.  Форма кристаллическая. Довольно твердый: по шкале Мооса 6-6,5, осколком минерала можно нанести царапину на любом твердом покрытии. Но при этом хрупкий. Плотность камня: 5,0–5,2 г/см3. Электропроводимость слабая. Плавится при температуре свыше 1100 градусов по Цельсию.

It is in the form of grainy crystals weighing several grams. It can be found in pieces of a kilogram or more.

Pyrite collection stone
Pieces of pyrite

Close relatives of pyrite in physical and chemical properties. What minerals can be confused with pyrite

By chemicalphysical propertiespyrite, as well as pyrite's external characteristics, has so-called brothers, who are related minerals. They can easily be confused with each other.

Chalcopyrite. This, too, is a mineral, but it has a darker, more intense yellow hue, giving the appearance of red. This is due to the high proportion of copper in the stone. Its hardness is lower: 3.5-4 on the Mohs scale.

Cobaltine. A mineral containing cobalt and iron. Softer than pyrite: its hardness is 3.5. Its color varies from white to dark gray.

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Pyrrhotite. Compared to pyrite, this mineral is also soft: its hardness is 3.5 to 4.5. It has a more intense yellow, almost bronze color. Brown veins are visible on the surface.

Gold. It is a noble metal whose companion is pyrite; they are mined in the same ores. Gold is very soft: you can touch it with your finger, pierce it with a sharp object, try it on the teeth, cut it.

The following minerals can also be noted: ironstone, arsenopyrite, auripigment, and biotite. They are similar to pyrite in their characteristics and structural elements.

Where pyrite is mined. Russian deposits

It is important that there are no purely pyrite deposits. Fool's gold is not that expensive and valuable, so it is mined only together with other rocks and metals. Often pyrite is present in ores next to gold. It occurs together with nickel, cobalt, and copper. Russia's largest deposits:

  • Ural: Kalatinskoye, Berezovskoye, Degtyarskoye gold deposits;
  • Magadan region, the city of Susuman;
  • Altai, Caucasus mountains.

In addition, pyrite is found in deposits of marine clays and lignite, which are found in Central Russia. Numerous plants, for example in Yekaterinburg and Rostov, are engaged in processing the mineral rock.

Pyrite stone mining
Mineral extraction

Metals and substances incidental to mining

Ores containing pyrite yield sulfur, sulfuric acid, and iron sulfate. These ores produce copper, zinc, cobalt, gold, and iron. It depends on the location of the ores. For example, iron oxides, mineral aggregate, and limonite may form near pyrite in oxidation zones.

Methods of pyrite formation in nature

The origin of the mineral is explained in several ways.

During crystallization of magma during cooling

Volcanic magma, as it cools, crystallizes. The hot vapors disappear, and the remaining oxides form pyrite.

As a result of the interaction of hydrogen sulfide vapor, sulfide and iron compounds

Pyrite can be formed by pneumalite, that is, with the participation of gaseous substances. For example, hydrogen sulfide, iron-containing substances combining with sulfurous substances, emit hot vapors. They interact and form mineral rock.

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As a result of reduction of sulfuric acid salts by carbon

In the surface areas, organic matter dies off and is naturally recycled. Organic matter, in turn, releases carbon, which reduces sulfuric acid salts of iron. From these, Inca gold is formed.

Pyrite in quartz
Pyrite mineral

Formed at the bottom of water bodies in the process of decomposition of organic matter without access to oxygen

There are some bodies of water, such as the Black Sea, in which there is little oxygen. Organic matter dies off and crystallizes after a while for this reason.

Outcome of reaction of magmatic melts with sedimentary rocks

If the magma is in the same zone as sedimentary rocks such as clays, limestone, and marls, these substances will interact. As a result of the reaction, a mineral is formed.

Applications for pyrite

Area of application cat's gold is quite wide. This is due to its extensive useful properties.

Sulfuric pyrite Kolchedan
Fools gold mineral pyrite

Mineralogy and collectors: exhibition specimens

Pyrite is a popular stone with rock collectors. This is due to how unusual the mineral can look. The unusual shine and the amazing shapes of the crystals are the reason why the cat's stone exhibits occupy places of honor not only in amateur collections, but also on the shelves of mineral museums.

Industry: iron ore and sulfur, pyrite impurities, concrete production

Pyrite is used in industrial production. For example, it is used to produce sulfuric acid. The roasting of the mineral produces sulfur oxide and iron oxide. Sulfur oxide forms sulfuric acid after oxidation. Iron oxide reacts with carbide and turns into metal.

It is used in the manufacture of silicon weapons because of its fire-causing ability. In microelectronics it is used to make detectors for radio receivers. The mineral rock is also used extensively in construction. Pyrite is used in concrete, cement, claydite, mastic, and asphalt concrete.

Jewelry: jewelry and accessories

Jewelry of cat gold have been made since antiquity. Pyrite jewelry looks just as spectacular as gold because of its shine and iridescence. Pyrite is also used to make many different accessories: mirror frames, hairpins, combs, caskets, statuettes, and cigar-cases.

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Pyrite jewelry
Pyrite bracelet and pendant

 Alternative medicine

From time immemorial, people have endowed pyrite with healing properties. The mineral has been used for the following symptoms:

  • joint pains;
  • stiffness of the knees;
  • tumors;
  • vision loss;
  • cataract;
  • fever;
  • fatigue;
  • hypertension;
  • bleeding;
  • diseases of the lungs and bronchi;
  • viral infections.

As can be seen from the description, the area of use of the breed for medicinal purposes is quite extensive.

Ancient and modern healers about the healing properties of stone

When studying the structure and properties of cat gold, it was found that its therapeutic capabilities are unique. Pyrite can be safely called a natural antidepressant. Specialists recommend its use as a talisman for people who have a nervous system or sleeping disorders. The stone relieves stress, restores strength, returns efficiency, removes insomnia.

The mineral also has contraindications for treatment. It is not recommended for people with a disturbed unstable psyche, psychoneurological diagnoses.

Esotericists about the magical effect of pyrite jewelry on the human body

Applications pyrite is possible for magical purposes, esotericists say. It is a favorite crystal of psychics and magicians. It is believed to be capable of storing and preserving life energy. Many psychics use this stone for recovery after practical séances, they get magical power through it.

Pyrite stone in esoterics
Pyrite nugget

It is important to use a perfect mineral without cracks and chips. It is desirable to use pyrite as a talisman in cases:

  • when a person is at risk or in danger, such as police officers, firefighters, rescue workers;
  • Suitable mineral for leaders, strong personalities;
  • The stone protects families.

Magicians say that pyrite is a masculine mineral. It has the power to make a man strong, fearless, and instill confidence in him. It is also said to warn of danger, misfortune, and death.

Crystal is useful to some extent for women as well. It helps to arrange her personal life, keeps a pregnant woman's child, facilitates childbirth, and treats infertility.

A stone can also be very important for a child. If a child was restless, a piece of colchendan was placed as a pendant around his neck. The stone not only gave balance and tranquility, it also improved sleep, protecting against nightmares.

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For all its peculiar qualities, iron sorcery is highly bioactive. If you wear it for too long, you can become irritable, unbalanced and even go crazy. It is recommended not to wear it for more than three days.

Pyrite for different zodiac signs

Astrologers believe that only certain zodiac signs can benefit from the stone. This powerful stone is close to the element of fire and is suitable for the corresponding signs: Leo, Sagittarius, and Aries. Representatives of these constellations can use the pyrite amulet to boost their energy, gain confidence and determination. The stone will help overcome obstacles to problem-solving.

The amulet can also be used by Taurus people. The amulet will help them recover from a loss of strength, will protect them on a long journey.

It is worth repeating that, according to the horoscope, the stone will give power only to the strong. It will take it away from weak people and exhaust them energetically. The cat stone is especially harmful to the water signs of the zodiac: Cancer, Pisces.

Pyrite amulet
Pyrite talisman

Cost of pyrite and pyrite products

Cat gold, as mentioned above, serves as a raw material in the jewelry industry. How much can I buy or sell a piece of this mineral for?

There is a common misconception that pyrite jewelry is cheap. This is not always the case, as there is a lot of expense associated with its production and processing. Moreover, one does not make jewelry out of pure minerals; more often, it is combined with precious metals and stones.

For example, in Moscow and St. Petersburg you can buy a silver ring for an average of 20 thousand rubles. A pyrite ring will be 2-3 thousand more expensive. Bracelets cost in the range of 2 thousand, prices for earrings - up to 30 thousand. Beads can be purchased for 4-5 thousand rubles.

Customer reviews of pyrite jewelry

As customers say, pyrite decorations - is good quality costume jewelry. Sometimes cost Their unreasonably overpriced, but if you do not go to the famous jewelry brands, it is quite possible to buy an inexpensive product. Cat gold jewelry is very beautiful and unusual. With proper care, they will last a long time.

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Lifetime and care of the mineral

The crystal structure is brittle, despite its high hardness. The stone is hydrophobic, so it is necessary to avoid humid storage conditions. The safest place to store your jewelry pieces is in a cellophane vacuum bag. Another useful tip is to varnish the jewelry piece immediately after purchase or boil it in liquid paraffin before wearing it.

Video: the mysterious metal pyrite

Jeweler's comment

Molokanov N.M.
Molokanov N.M.
Jeweler, experience in jewelry manufacturing 26 years.
The mineral is called fool's gold for a reason. Its deceptive luster makes it possible to make the most beautiful costume jewelry, stylized as gold. On the one hand, it is an opportunity to create budget versions of jewelry, on the other hand - the development of fraudulent schemes. And though the time when people unknowingly mistook placer gold for precious metal has passed, there are still unscrupulous masters of profiteering on fakes. And given that pure gold jewelers never use, but only alloys, it is easy to deceive an unscrupulous buyer. That is why always buy jewelry from well-verified sellers, demand necessary documentation, and study the composition of the piece. Getting the right information will keep you away from swindlers.

Astrologer's Opinion

Natalia Krasnova
Natalia Krasnova
Ask a question
Any stone that has certain magical properties can be both useful and harmful or even dangerous to its owner. What is the right way to wear pyrite? First, you need to study the information on the subject in authoritative sources. You can consult an astrologer, you can read the relevant literature. The more sources, the better. Secondly, it is important to have faith in the magic of the stone. If one does not believe that pyrite will bring him good luck, the mineral will be absolutely useless and in some cases even harmful. And, thirdly, it is senseless and stupid to rely only on the power of the stone. The talisman is only a helper, but not a magician.
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