Fool’s gold – the structure of Pyrite

What does it look like?

Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

What is it?

Image of a collection of pyrite crystals from Ampliación a Victoria Mine, Navajún, La Rioja, Spain, by JJ Harison

Image of a collection of pyrite crystals from Ampliación a Victoria Mine, Navajún, La Rioja, Spain, by JJ Harison

Pyrite is a mineral formed of Iron Sulfide (FeS2) and forms into beautiful cubic crystals with a very metallic and brassy look.   This look (and the fact that pyrite forms in similar places to where you find gold) has fooled many over the years that this material was worth more than it is (hence it’s nickname Fool’s gold).  Despite this deception, pyrite is a pretty useful material itself and is currently used within some batteries and has been suggested as cheap component for photovoltaic (solar) cells.

Where did the structure come from?

 This is structure #5000115 from the open crystallography database.

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3 thoughts on “Fool’s gold – the structure of Pyrite

  1. Hi, I would like to how if it possible to use your two photos from pyrite “Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software” and “Image of a collection of pyrite crystals from Ampliación a Victoria Mine, Navajún, La Rioja, Spain, by JJ Harison” in another places. Thanks.

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