Mineral description : Pyrite

Pyrite banded rock from Horsmanaho talc quarry, Finland.
Pyrite crystal in pyrrhotite and magnetite from Riddarhyttan.
Crystal showing cubic {100} and octaedric {111} faces.
Pyrite, aggregate of octahedron crystals. Unknown locality.

Mineral class Sulphides : Pyrite-marcasite group
Chemical formula FeS2
Crystal system Cubic
Habitus Crystals common as cubes, octahedrons and dodekahedrons with sometimes striated crystal faces. Also as massive grainy aggregates.
Cleavage None, brittle conchoidal fracture.
Hardness 6
Density 5.0-5.2
Color Light yellow, brass like. Sometimes with brown or rusty tarnish.
Streak Black to greenish black.
Luster metallic
Description Pyrite is the most common sulphide mineral and is used as an ore for sulphur and iron.
Occurance Pyrite is common in many rocks. It occurs in sedimentary rocks, in magmatic rocks and in metamorphic rocks.
Associates Other sulphides, gold.
Notes When heated, pyrite turns magnetic
Locations A very common mineral with a number of localities with good crystals.
  • Dannemora mines, Uppland. Up to 2 cm crystals in helleflinta.
  • Riddarhytte mining field, Västmanland. Up to 2 cm octahedrons in pyrrhotite, chalkopyrite and magnetite.
  • Persberg, Värmland. Up to 4 cm crystals in jugs in magnetite and scarn.
  • Långban and Nordmark, Värmland. Small but nice crystals of various forms.
  • Bäsinge copper mine, Dalarna. Up to 5 cm octahedrons in pyrrhotite.
  • Kleva mine, Alseda. Up to 10 cm octahedrons in pyrrhotite.
  • Insjön mine, Dalarna. Cubic crystals in great quantities.
  • Sala silver mine, Västmanland. Common as cubic crystals in limestone.

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Last changed : 1999-01-07