Tips for stone care

What is the name of a stone that looks like gold?

Pyrite stone gets its name from the Greek word “pyros” – “fire”, which was associated with its ability to create sparks when struck. In addition, the mineral is called sulfur, vitriol or iron pyrite, as well as fool’s gold. And that’s not all: synonyms such as iron liver ore, goldblende, cat’s gold, health stone, alpine diamond and Inca stone are also used. The mineral received the name “fool’s gold” because in pre-Columbian America the Spaniards took it from local residents, mistaking it for a precious metal. This term is simply a description of the Spanish conquistadors, whose greed and stupidity were abundant enough to deceive themselves, remaining fools. However, the same stone became a symbol of civic valor and generosity for French women of the Napoleonic era, who received jewelry with pyrite from the state for their services to the army, for which they donated their jewelry.

Composition and Properties

Pyrite stone is the most widespread iron sulfide, the formula of which is written as FeS2, the hardness on the Mohs scale is from 6,0 to 6,5 units, the density is 5,0-5,2 g/cm³, the system is isometric, and the luster is metallic. Its color can be either light golden or brass. The mineral is paramagnetic and weakly conducts electricity. Completely insoluble in hydrochloric acid and slightly soluble in nitric acid. Pyrite crystals are opaque, their cleavage is imperfect, and their fracture is uneven. Possible impurities of gold and silver, as well as cobalt, vanadium, copper, selenium, zinc and arsenic. In rocks and ores, the mineral is found in the form of inclusions of small crystals or grains, sometimes with a very beautiful rainbow color. There are also large druses, in which the crystals usually look like cubes, octahedrons or pentagonal dodecahedrons. Russian rainbow pyrite currently costs about $90 for an oval crystal weighing 30,2 carats and measuring 28,3 x 19,1 mm. There are magnificent large collection specimens in the form of intergrowths of pyrite with marcasite, galena, arsenopyrite, etc. Some minerals, similar in appearance to pyrite, differ from it in the following features:

  1. Gold is characterized by a yellow streak, while pyrite has a dark green or dark brown streak. In addition, it has a hardness of only 2,5-3,0 on the Mohs scale.
  2. Chalcopyrite is characterized by a more intense yellow color and lower hardness. On the Mohs scale, the hardness of chalcopyrite ranges from 3,5 to 4,0.
  3. Cobaltine is distinguished by the absence of yellow color and lower hardness, equal to 3,5 units on the Mohs scale.
  4. Pyrrhotite is characterized by a darker color shade and lower hardness, equal to 3,5 to 4,5 units on the Mohs scale.

Applications of pyrite

The largest deposit of pyrite in the world is located in Spain and is called Rio Tinto; beautiful collectible crystals are brought from the Spanish town of Logroño. There are large deposits in Congo, Azerbaijan and throughout Russia: in the Urals, near Irkutsk, near Tula, etc. Pyrite-containing ores are the main source for the production of sulfuric acid, sulfur and iron sulfate. Associated metals such as gold, cobalt, copper and zinc are obtained as by-products. The iron cinders that remain from the roasting of ore are used to make paint or are used to obtain iron. One of the main sources of selenium are products from the processing of pyrite ore.

In addition, beautiful pyrite crystals are used to make inserts for jewelry, for example, from Ural stones from the Berezovsky deposit. Moreover, they are cut mainly in the form of cabochons and made into pendants, rings and pendants. Nevertheless, in jewelry, stones are used much less frequently than in the field of mineralogy as collection specimens. Not so long ago, the mineral was still used in the form of flint to strike a spark, filling flint tools, including lighters.

Medicinal properties

The healers of the ancient world considered the stone’s spark-producing properties to be a manifestation of the soul of fire, so they used it to treat depression, nervous disorders and exhaustion, assuming that the fiery nature of the mineral would restore the patient’s vitality, replenish energy reserves, lift mood and increase performance.

However, it is better for cheerful, positive people with a lot of vitality not to wear jewelry with pyrite, since its fiery nature can make them irritable and hot-tempered.

Modern healers recommend wearing jewelry with pyrite to protect against infections, and in the chest area to stimulate the cardiovascular system and improve blood circulation. In addition, the mineral here will stimulate the functioning of the lungs and bronchi, which in turn will eliminate bronchial asthma syndrome or prevent it. The fiery nature of the stone has a positive effect on the sex glands, restoring the possibility of conception to previously infertile women. In villages, a piece of mineral is still tied to the leg of a woman in labor to facilitate and speed up the process of childbirth.

Magical influence

The magical properties of pyrite have been known since ancient times. Even medieval alchemists believed that this mineral could be turned into gold. Modern esotericists use the stone as a protective talisman for people in dangerous professions associated with risk, for example, firefighters, military personnel, blacksmiths and builders. Sorcerers often use the magical properties of pyrite to restore their vitality after performing magical rituals and witchcraft rites.

The fiery nature of the mineral makes its owners more attractive in the eyes of the opposite sex, enhancing their sexual energy. At the same time, men become more courageous and passionate, and women become more confident in themselves and their sexuality. No exact correspondence with astrological signs has yet been identified, however, it can be assumed that it is better not to wear jewelry with such a stone for Aries who are hot-tempered and hot-tempered by nature. This assumption will also be true for those people who, not being Aries according to the horoscope, have a stellium of planets in this sign.

Many encyclopedias of minerals and stones have been compiled. But I have my own selection of the most amazing, albeit simple, ornamental ones, less valuable for jewelers, as well as expensive, precious ones. It’s difficult to describe everything, it will take a lot of time. I will tell you about the most unusual ones for me.
ZHEMCHUZHNIKOVITE is a very rare mineral of the oxalate class, not related to pearls.
Oxalates are salts and esters of oxalic acid.(1)
The mineral was found by geologist P.I. Glushinsky in 1956 in the core* of wells (to a depth of 230 m) in the Chai-Tumus coal deposit, 200 km away. above the mouth of the river Lena, Bulunsky district, Yakutia. Forms thin veins in brown coal impregnated with natural acetic acid in the permafrost zone. (2)
* Core is a sample of a substance, which is a cylindrical column, taken during drilling for the purpose of further study. Serves as a material for various laboratory tests.
The mineral is named in honor of Yuri Apollonovich Zhemchuzhnikov, a specialist in the field of geology and petrography of coals.(3)
Petrography, from the words “stone” and “write”, is a descriptive part of petrology (the science of rocks), it examines structural, mineralogical and chemical features.
Petrography studies rocks (mineral aggregates that form the earth’s crust) as geologically independent components.
Zhemchuzhnikovite forms smoky green crystals, sometimes violet with a glassy sheen.
“The one who embodies darkness cannot forgive the one who is full of brilliance!”
(“Pearls of Thought”)
But these minerals have been known to us since school, from chemistry lessons: IRON pyrite, vitriol pyrite, sulfur pyrite. It turns out that this is the same as IRON LIVER ORE and PYRITE.
According to the chemical classification, pyrite is iron disulfide and is designated by the formula FeS2. It contains 46,6% iron and 53,4% ​​sulfur. Sometimes there are impurities of cobalt, nickel, arsenic, selenium, gold and copper. Pyrite is found in the earth’s crust much more often than other sulfides.
During the gold rushes, due to its external resemblance to gold, pyrite received the nickname “lion’s gold”, “cat’s gold”, “Fool’s Gold” or “golden blende”.
Pyrite is a mineral that is really very similar to gold. It has a pronounced metallic luster and yellow color, which is why it is confused with a noble metal.
“If all that glitters were gold, gold would cost a lot less.”
(Miguel de Cervantes)
Pyrite has been known to mankind since ancient times. Mentions of this mineral can be found in the works of the Greek fabulist poet Aesop. (4)
One of the names of pyrite is Inca stone. The phraseology “fool’s gold” appeared later, during the time of the Spanish conquistadors. They robbed and violently exterminated the Indians in order to obtain pyrite products, considering them to be gold. The indigenous people considered this mineral sacred and revered it. The delighted knights brought the “trophies” home, where their smarter friends and relatives laughed at them.
In fact, it is very easy to distinguish the mineral pyrite from gold: you just need to taste it. If it is a noble metal, a dent will form on it.
If you weigh a piece of gold and a piece of pyrite of equal volume, the gold will be much heavier. You can also draw a line on a porcelain plate – pyrite will leave a bright black mark.
The glitter of gold in pyrite. so light
its radiance, sunny, mirror-like!
. sometimes it can be so fatal to find out
that all this is worth nothing.
(Vitaly Melnik)
However, this beautiful mineral is not as harmless as it wants to seem at first glance. It got its name from the Greek word “pyros” – “fire”. So pyrite is literally “a stone that strikes fire.” Which was due to its ability to create sparks upon impact. Therefore, pyrite was often used in the locks of flintlocks and pistols.
After heating, pyrite acquires magnetic ability. Pyrite does not react with lemon juice.
The mineral does not dissolve in water; it contains air. (5)
During the Middle Ages, pyrite was known as the “Alpine diamond.” Rich people valued him. Even in those days, jewelers worked with it, offering it as jewelry in combination with watches, bracelets, and buckles. There was still a downside: if even small drops of water got on them, the stone changed color to dark, subsequently turning into limonite. In other words, the effect of corrosion of the product appeared. (6)
Limonite – (from the ancient Greek meadow for location in damp places) is a collective name for natural mineral aggregates, which are a mixture of iron(III) oxide hydrates. The composition is usually dominated by cryptocrystalline forms of the mineral goethite. Accumulations of limonite form deposits of “brown iron ore” and the so-called “swamp ores”.
Lime, marl, iron ores, peat, and marl* are mined in swamps.
*Marl is a sedimentary stone-like rock of mixed clayey-carbonate composition: 50-75% carbonate, 25-50% insoluble residue. Depending on the composition of rock-forming carbonate minerals, marls are divided into calcareous and dolomite.
In the sediments of ancient swamps, peat is replaced by brown and hard coal.
In the Middle Ages, pyrite was the most popular material for conducting alchemical experiments – scientists of that time were firmly convinced that pyrite was the very “philosopher’s stone”, which, according to legend, is capable of giving its owner wealth, happiness and eternal life.
But the philosopher’s stone beckons
On the long road again
My dream is to get that secret
Become a mighty alchemist,
And be fate your master
(Irina Artyukhina)
Pyrite can replace other minerals or organic remains buried in the rock, forming pseudomorphs.
We already know that pseudomorphosis is a crystal or mineral aggregate that is in a form that is not characteristic of a given mineral, repeating the shape of another mineral or biological body.
Here is one example – a fossilized dead mouse. The body of the mouse is completely replaced by mineral substances – chalcanthite and atacamite.
Chalcanthite (ancient Greek copper and flower) is a mineral, pentahydrate copper sulfate with the composition CuSO4;5H2O. Natural material usually contains an admixture of melanterite.
Melantherite is a mineral, iron sulfate with water. Known since ancient times. The origin of the name is shoe polish/black paint, for which the mineral was probably used.
Synonym: cyanosite. The mineral was first described by the German mineralogist F. von Kobell in 1853, based on samples found at the Chuquicamata deposit in Chile
Crystals of copper sulfates have also grown on the back. Officially, this is called mouse pseudomorphosis.(7)
And not just the mouse. This happens to people too. A well-known pseudomorphosis is the so-called Falun phenomenon. In the 13th century, in the Falun iron mines, miners found the remains of a dead miner, completely replaced by pyrite.
Pyrite occurs next to copper ores, resulting in the replacement of organic tissues with the mineral.
Just imagine – the stone repeated the features of a person so much that at the time of its discovery he was able to be identified by the woman to whom he was once engaged, although more than forty years had passed since that day!
According to the historian of that time, this find was kept in the mine management, and then fell apart.
;The story was quite gloomy – the body was either grounded, then removed and exhibited in a museum. In addition, it began to collapse. And yet, in the 1930s, a final burial was made in a local cemetery, and an exact wax copy of the “Falun Man” was exhibited in the museum, which can still be seen today.
And although such a case is amazing, since it happened to a person, the replacement of tissues of various organisms with pyrite is a common occurrence, an example of this is ammonites. And it is thanks to such finds that today it is possible to recognize the internal structure of prehistoric inhabitants.(8)
Ammonites, or ammonoids (lat. Ammonoidea), are a subclass of extinct cephalopods that existed from the Devonian period to the Paleogene.(9)
Let earthly life be fleeting,
Death is only a dream while you exist.
(Sergey Pomerantsev)
Ammonites received their name in honor of the ancient Egyptian deity Amon, who was sometimes depicted with the horns of a ram.

The route is behind us, we are sorting out the trophies,
A gift from fate or a fairy fairy –
Luckily, it was mined from the middle of a quartz vein
A beautiful druse of pyrite crystals.

Such discoveries are always like the first time:
The tops of the golden cubes sparkle,
There are shading on the edges, steps of growth,
Order and chaos – everything is complex and simple.

And, just a little, on the edges of pyrite
The rainbow is full of tarnish. Retinue
It is surrounded by quartz, calcite,
Covered with chalcopyrite powders.
(Victor Slyotov)
In Russia, large deposits of pyrite are found in the Urals, the Caucasus, Altai, and near the city of Voronezh.
Deposits of this rock are mined in Central Kazakhstan and Spain. Pyrite stone is extracted from pyrite ores, where it is associated with more valuable minerals.(10)
At the beginning of the 20th century, humanity actively used the semiconductor feature and magnetic properties of this fossil.
In the modern world, pyrite mining is an important activity in many areas. From these raw materials sulfur, sulfuric acid and iron sulfate are obtained. Pyrite is also used for the production of cement, as a corrective additive.
However, recently, pyrite processing has proven to be uneconomical and is rarely used. Waste from pyrite processing is one of the main sources of selenium.
In some deposits, impurities of gold, silver, copper, nickel and cobalt and other elements are extracted from pyrite.
A number of patents have been registered for the use of pyrite in the preparation of mastics, expanded clay, cements, concretes, and asphalt concretes; and also as part of the charge during shaft smelting.
If there is a need to purify gaseous vapors from the presence of chlorine, pyrite can also be used for this.
In agriculture, pyrite is useful as a fertilizer additive.
Today, pyrite is widely used as a collection mineral and ornamental stone. (11) Pyrite requires careful handling. Therefore, jewelers do not use cutting on it, preferring to mount it in special inserts, while maintaining its natural shape. If cutting is carried out, then, as a rule, the result is a rose shape or a cabochon. Places where pyrite is used: rings, earrings, bracelets, buttons.
Traditional healers recommend carrying pyrite or jewelry made from it with you. It normalizes all internal processes, is able to influence the nervous system, and helps with nervous exhaustion.
The ancient treatises of Pliny the Elder indicate that dry crushed pyrite was used “for the treatment of goiters and ulcers.” It was not for nothing that it was called the Stone of Health.
Do you think that pyrite harmonizes all processes in the body, both on the physical and mental levels.
Pyrite is a powerful magical tool. In the Middle Ages it was often used by alchemists, and now it is used by practicing magicians.
Pyrite gives great emotional strength, can improve mood, raise overall tone and increase performance. This stone helps to gain self-confidence, get rid of fear, and become a leader.
In the Middle Ages, pyrite was considered a masculine stone.
Indoors, it is recommended to place a golden pyrite crystal on the money sector. It will help activate it.
Pyrite according to the Zodiac sign is suitable for Aries, Leo, Sagittarius and Capricorn

It was named in Ancient Greece – “fire”.
Mysterious and unusual stone.
How “fools’ gold” was valued
Only after many years did the exam take place.

Pyrite has a unique shine
And the color yellow. He is like gold.
That’s why I was in Rome for tombstones,
And in churches there is often a cross made of pyrite.

Has always been a mascot for firefighters,
There is no equal in strength and energy.
Pyrite has become fashionable among jewelers.

Still, they don’t wear it for more than three days,
The neighborhood of other stones will be thrown away.
Democritus himself preferred it;
(Svetlana Demeeva)

(1) Oxalates are widely distributed in nature, for example, in sorrel, sorrel. The roots and/or leaves of rhubarb and buckwheat contain oxalic acid. The accumulation of oxalic acid occurs due to incomplete oxidation of carbohydrates during the biosynthesis process.
The following edible plants contain oxalates in order of decreasing concentration: black pepper, parsley, poppy seeds, spinach, chard, sugar beets, cocoa, beans, and most nuts and berries.
The leaves of the tea bush contain a high relative amount of oxalates relative to other plants. Typically, its extracts contain low to medium concentrations of oxalates due to the low mass of leaves used.
(2) Zhemchuzhnikovit
(3) Yuri Apollonovich Zhemchuzhnikov (26.04. [8.05.] 1885 – 9.01.1957) – Russian and Soviet geologist, specialist in the field of geology and petrography of coal, corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1946). He proposed and developed principles for classifying coal seams according to the type of spores present in them.
He developed his own genetic classification of coals.
(4) Aesop (c. 620 BC – Luke 564 BC) – the legendary ancient Greek poet and fabulist. Aesop’s original works have not survived. The most ancient “Aesop’s fables” have come to us in later poetic adaptations – (Latin) Phaedrus (XNUMXst century), (Greek) Babrius (XNUMXnd century) and (Latin) Avian (beginning of the XNUMXth century).
(5) Pyrite and its properties
(6) Pyrite © ProfiMiner
(7) source: Mineralogical Museum named after. A.E. Fersman of the Russian Academy of Sciences
(8) “Pseudomorphoses, pyrite and the “Falun phenomenon” Zen 101 Bead
December 21 2022
(9) Devonian period (Devonian) is the fourth geological period of the Paleozoic era. Began 419,2 ± 3,2 million years ago, ended 358,9 ± 0,4 million years ago. Along with the following Carboniferous period, it was the longest in the Paleozoic (both lasted 60 million years).
The Paleogene period (Paleogene) is the first geological period of the Cenozoic. Began 66,0 million years ago, ended 23,03 million years ago. Thus it continued for about 43 million years.
(10) Pyrite or Fool’s Gold
Gold Information
(11) Pyrite, properties and description

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