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pyrite (fool’s gold)

Pyrite
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Pyrite

All that glitters is definitely not gold. The mineral pyrite has a bright metallic luster, but it's iron and sulfur. It can spark fires, but its other uses are limited.

What’s its attraction? Pyrite’s famous nickname is fool’s gold because its shine and color mislead many prospectors. Although its properties differ greatly from gold, the two often form together.

Geology.com
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Fool’s Gold Catches Eye of Solar Energy Researchers

Fool’s Gold Catches Eye of Solar Energy Researchers

When it comes to making solar energy panels, pyrite may not be a fool’s material. Explore how this abundant mineral could be “gold” for this industry. More...

Profile
Los Angeles Times
Fool’s Gold Delivers Perfect Fossils

Fool’s Gold Delivers Perfect Fossils

Troves of fool’s gold in China revealed fossils of the soft parts of animals. Examine how pyrite has preserved a very rare window into life existing more than half a billion years ago. More...

Article
ABC
Pyrite

Pyrite

Pyrite has fooled those who thought it was gold, but its crystals take on different shapes and structures. Take a look at the many forms of fool’s gold, including jewelry. More...

Images
Rocksforkids.com
Pyrite “Disease”

Pyrite “Disease”

You would think an organism preserved as a fossil would last indefinitely. Explore how in an attack of high humidity, fossils fall prey to pyrite disease. More...

Article
AMNH
Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine

Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine

A Virginia mine rich in pyrite became a very profitable enterprise after the Civil War. Discover why the mineral proved much more valuable than gold. More...

Article
National Park Service
Fool’s Gold Fertilizes Ocean

Fool’s Gold Fertilizes Ocean

Thar's gold in them thar ocean vents! Well, not real gold, but what's known as fool's gold. While it may not be worth much to us, it's very valuable to the ocean life around the vents. More...

Video
NOAA
GeoGallery: Pyrite

GeoGallery: Pyrite

Always made of iron and sulfur atoms linked in the same pattern, pyrite crystals growing under different conditions create cubes and other geometric shapes. See what nature can do. More...

Images
Smithsonian
Panning for Gold

Panning for Gold

No chemical tests are necessary to figure out the difference between real and fool’s gold. Learn how to look at pyrite’s physical properties. More...

Article
Newton/Department of Energy
The Periodic Table of Videos: Fool’s Gold

The Periodic Table of Videos: Fool’s Gold

Is it gold or fool’s gold? Pyrite’s crystals look like gold, but they hold only a fraction of the value. Watch the professor explain it all. More...

Video
University of Nottingham
What Is Fool’s Gold?

What Is Fool’s Gold?

Not an element or a metal, fool’s gold is the mineral pyrite with a long history related to sulfur. See the connection between the shiny and the smelly. More...

Article
National Park Service

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