|Pyritized ammonite. From Saratov Russia. Upper Callovian (around 162 million years). |
Photo: Leah Luten
Pyrite is sometimes called Fools Gold because of its similarity in color and shape to Gold. In the old mining days, Pyrite was sometimes mistaken for Gold, as they frequently occur together.
Pyrite occurs in numerous shapes and habits. The smaller crystal aggregates may give off a beautiful glistening effect in light, and the larger crystals may be perfectly formed, including fascinating cubes, penetration twins, and other interesting crystal forms.
Pyrite has the same chemical formula as the rarer mineral Marcasite, but it crystallizes in a different crystal system, thereby classifying it as a separate mineral species.
Despite being nicknamed fool's gold, pyrite is sometimes found in association with small quantities of gold.
Pyrite is quite easy to distinguish from gold: pyrite is much lighter, but harder than gold and cannot be scratched with a fingernail or pocket knife.
Pyritization: Organisms may become pyritized when they are in marine sediments saturated with iron sulfides. As organic matter decays it releases sulfide which reacts with dissolved iron in the surrounding waters. Pyrite replaces carbonate shell material due to an undersaturation of carbonate in the surrounding waters.
|This is an excellent example of two intergrown cubes of pyrite. from Navajún, La Rioja, Spain|
Photo Mardani Fine Minerals
|Large Size Natural Pyritized Ammonite Fossils from Russia. |
Their Chambers are filled with druzy Pyrite!!
Photo credit: Daniel Virgadaula
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