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Actually Pyrite comes from a Greek word, Pyrite meaning Fire. Pyrite is the classic Fool's Gold. There are other shiny brassy yellow minerals, but pyrite is by far the most common and the most mistaken for gold. Due to its natural golden colour look, Pyrite is a favourite among rock collectors. It has beautiful luster and interesting crystals. It is so common in the earth's crust that is is found in almost every possible environment., hence it has a vast number of forms and varieties. Pyrite is harder, less dense, and more brittle than gold. It leaves a greenish black streak while gold leaves a golden yellow one. However, Pyrite is often associated with the presence of gold and copper.

Pyrite is a polymorph of marcasit, which means that is has the same chemistry, FeS2, as marcaiste: but a different structure and therefore different symmetry and crystal shapes. Pyrite is difficult to distinguish from marcasite when a lack of clear indicators exists. Pyrite is common and contains a high percentage of Iron, it has never been used as a significant source of Iron. Iron oxides such as hematite and magnetite, are the primary Iron ores. Pyrite is not as economical as these ores possibly due to their tendenchy to form larger concentrations of more easily mined material. Pyrite could be a potential source of Iron if these ores should become scarce.

Pyrite is the most common of the sulfide minerals and can be found worldwide. It's the most important source of sulfur after native sulfur, Though Pyrite has been mined for its sulfur content though. During World War II, Sulfur was in demand as a strategic chemical and North American native sulfur mines were drying up. A sulfide deposit was found closer to Ducktown, Tennessae USA.,this deposits didnt only produce Pyrite but they did also produce other sulfides such as Pyrrhotite and Pentlandite and produce the needed sulfur as well as Iron and other metals.The sulfur is used in the production of Sulfuric acid, an important chemical for industrial purposes. Now most sulfur production comes from H2S gas recovered from natural gas wells.

The mineral has a brassy yellow colour, it tends to form in cubes. The crystal faces are striated ( lined with fine ridges). Striking it with steel produces a spark. Characteristics - Brittle, striations on cubic faces caused by crossing of pyritohedron with cube. (note - striations on cube faces also demonstrate pyrite's lower symmetry). Pyrite unlike is not malleable. Associated Minerals are quartz, calcite, gold, sphalerite, galena, fluorite and many other minerals.


Variety Quartz , SiO 2 , Silicon Dioxide.
Crystalline Systeme Trigonal
Colour Pure is Colourless
Uses Gemstone and ornamental stone
Refractive Index 1.544-1.553
Specific Gravity 2.65
Hardness 7
Class Tectosilicate
Cleavage None
Fracture Conchoidal
Luster vitreous
Streak None
Pleochroism White to Distinct
Specific Gravity 2.65
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Here in Tanzania Pyrite is found in Mererani - Where Tanzanite is being Mined. Infact for any Experienced Tanzanite Miner when they have reached the Pyrite and very very greasy Graphite within the Tanzanite Gems Vein ,They are certainly sure within few metres of Mining they will find packeted Tanzanite Gemstones. Pyrite is also found in Tanga Region plus other few regions in Tanzania, In Tanga its Mining Deposits are not yet full Explored.

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