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Pyrite has got the chemical formula FeS2. The name comes from the Greek word pyr (fire). Different minerals which produced sparks when they beat iron were called pyrite. In history sometimes pyrite was mistaken for gold, but it is easy to prove that it cannot be gold. it has got a much higher hardness than gold, it has got a much lower density than gold and it reacts with different substances, because it is not as precious as gold. Pyrit crystallizes in huge cubical crystals, but other crystal forms (for example octahedron) are also possible. Circular pyrites with radial strips look very interesting. They are called pyrite suns. Pyrite has got a typical metal gloss and it is not transparent. Pyrite can be found in Italy (Elba), in Greece, in Sweden and in the USA.

Data about Pyrite
Chemical formula FeS2
Mineral class sulfides
Crystal system cubical
Hardness 6 to 6.5
Density 5 g/cm3
Color yellow
Line color black
Gloss metal gloss
Break shell
Fissileness none

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Last Update: 03.11.2004