This is an example of the mineral pyrite.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Corel
Find out how to identify minerals (...and learn what shape, luster, color, streak, hardness, cleavage and fracture are all about!)
Meet some other nonsilicate minerals!
Like real gold, pyrite is a brassy yellow color. But unlike gold, pyrite is not worth large amounts of money. That's because it is a very common mineral. It is found in all three rocks types: sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic.
Pyrite is made up of the elements iron (Fe) and sulfur (S). Although pyrite is common and contains a high percentage of iron, it has never been mined for its iron content. During World War II, pyrite was mined for its sulfur to produce sulfuric acid, an industrial chemical.
- Shape: Cubic ((Crystals usually look like cubes, octahedrons or dodecahedrons.)
- Luster: Metallic
- Color: Yellow gold
- Streak: Greenish black
- Hardness: 6 to 6.5 on Mohs Hardness Scale
- Cleavage: Poor
- Fracture: Conchoidal
Last modified April 15, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.
You might also be interested in:
Spotting minerals is fun! There are many different types of minerals, each with a different name and a special set of characteristics. So, if you find a mineral that you do not recognize, you can use...more
Quartz is one of the most common mineral in Earth’s crust! Silica (Si) and Oxygen (O) are the only elements within pure quartz. If a cooling magma has silica leftover after feldspars form, quartz is likely...more
Mica minerals make some rocks sparkle! They are often found in igneous rocks such as granite and metamorphic rocks such as schist. They sparkle because light is reflected on their flat surfaces, which...more
Feldspar is the most common mineral in the Earth’s crust, so you are very likely to find it in the rocks you collect! It is found it all of the three rock types, but is most common in intrusive igneous...more
Olivine looks like little green crystals. It is typically found in some igneous and metamorphic rocks. Often the crystals are so small that you need to use your hand lens or magnifying glass to see them...more
So far, over 2000 minerals have been found, and every year new ones are discovered. That's a lot of minerals! Don't worry! You don't need to know them all to be a rock hound. In fact, only a few dozen...more
Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. They are non-living, solid, and, like all matter, are made of atoms of elements. There are many different types of minerals and each type is made of particular...more