May 2024 - Pyrite

May 2024 - Pyrite

  • Locality: Ojuela Mining District, Mexico
  • Chemical Formula: FeS2
  • Moh's Hardness Scale: 6 to 6.5

Pyrite has built up a bit of a bad reputation over the years. Because it looks similar to one of the most valuable metals, the isometric (equal-sided) crystal made from iron and sulfur is often referred to as “fool’s gold.”

But the thing is, pyrite has a lot more uses than you’d think.

For instance, we can use the sulfur in pyrite for everything from fertilizer to car batteries. It’s also used to help extract copper from its sister mineral, chalcopyrite. And as it turns out, we can even use fool’s gold to extract real gold, after all.

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