pyrite

pyritic /puy rit"ik, peuh-/, pyritical, pyritous /peuh ruy"teuhs, puy-/, adj.
/puy"ruyt/, n.
a very common brass-yellow mineral, iron disulfide, FeS2, with a metallic luster, burned to sulfur dioxide in the manufacture of sulfuric acid: chemically similar to marcasite, but crystallizing in the isometric system.
Also, pyrites. Also called iron pyrites.
[1560-70; < L pyrites < Gk pyrítes, n. use of adj.: of fire, so called because it produces sparks when struck. See PYR-, -ITE1]

* * *

or iron pyrite or fool's gold

Naturally occurring, gold-coloured iron disulfide mineral.

Pyrite has frequently fooled prospectors into thinking they had discovered gold. Pure pyrite (FeS2) contains 47% iron and 53% sulfur, by weight. Pyrite is used commercially as a source of sulfur, particularly for the production of sulfuric acid. Because there are much better sources of iron, it is not generally used as an iron ore. For many years Spain was the largest producer; other countries include Japan, the U.S., Canada, Italy, Norway, Portugal, and Slovakia.

* * *

also called  iron pyrite , or  fool's gold 
 a naturally occurring iron disulfide mineral. The name comes from the Greek word pyr, “fire,” because pyrite emits sparks when struck by steel. Pyrite is called fool's gold because its colour may deceive the novice into thinking he has discovered a gold nugget. Nodules of pyrite have been found in prehistoric burial mounds, which suggests their use as a means of producing fire. Wheel-lock guns, in which a spring-driven, serrated wheel rotated against a piece of pyrite, were used before development of the flintlock. Pure pyrite (FeS2) contains 46.67 percent iron and 53.33 percent sulfur; its crystals display isometric symmetry. For detailed physical properties, see sulfide mineral.

      Pyrite is widely distributed and forms under extremely varied conditions. For example, it can be produced by magmatic (molten rock) segregation, by hydrothermal solutions, and as stalactitic growth. It occurs as an accessory mineral in igneous rocks, in vein deposits with quartz and sulfide minerals, and in sedimentary rocks, such as shale, coal, and limestone.

      Pyrite occurs in large deposits in contact metamorphic rocks. Deposits of copper-bearing pyrite are widely distributed and often of great size. They usually occur in or near the contact of eruptive rocks with schists or slates. Pyrite weathers rapidly to hydrated iron oxide, goethite, or limonite; pseudomorphs of goethite after pyrite are common. This weathering produces a characteristic yellow-brown stain or coating, such as on rusty quartz.

      Pyrite is used commercially as a source of sulfur, particularly for the production of sulfuric acid. Because of the availability of much better sources of iron, pyrite is not generally used as an iron ore.

      For many years Spain was the largest producer, the large deposits located on the Tinto River being important also for copper. Other important producers are Japan, the United States (Tennessee, Virginia, California), Canada, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Russia, and Peru.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pyrite — Catégorie II : sulfures et sulfosels[1] Pyrite Octaèdre Mines de Huaron, Pérou (8×8 cm) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • pyrite — [ pirit ] n. f. • XIIe; gr. puritês ♦ Sulfure naturel de fer (FeS2) qui sert à la fabrication de l acide sulfurique. ♢ Sulfure métallique. Pyrite de cuivre. ⇒ chalcopyrite. « la pyrite de cuivre qui a trompé tant de prospecteurs, et qu on appelle …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Pyrite — Pyr ite, n.; pl. {Pyrites}. [Cf. F. pyrite. See {Pyrites}.] (Min.) A common mineral of a pale brass yellow color and brilliant metallic luster, crystallizing in the isometric system; iron pyrites; iron disulphide. [1913 Webster] Hence sable coal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pyrite — metallic iron disulfide, 1550s, from O.Fr. pyrite (12c.), from L. pyrites, from Gk. pyrites lithos stone of fire, flint (so called because it glitters), from pyr (gen. pyros) fire (see FIRE (Cf. fire) (n.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • pyrite — [pī′rīt΄] n. pl. pyrites [pi rīt′ēz΄, pīrīt′ēz΄; pī′rīts΄] [L pyrites < Gr pyritēs, flint or millstone < pyritēs ( lithos), fire (stone) < pyr, FIRE] a hard, brittle, yellow mineral, FeS2, dimorphic with marcasite and occurring… …   English World dictionary

  • Pyrite — Infobox mineral name = Pyrite category = Sulfide mineral boxwidth = boxbgcolor = imagesize = caption = A mass of intergrown, striated pyrite crystals formula = iron disulfide (FeS2) molweight = color = Pale brass yellow, dull gold habit = Cubic,… …   Wikipedia

  • pyrite — (pi ri t ) s. f. Nom donné à quelques sulfures métalliques natifs qui jouissent de la propriété de s enflammer dans des circonstances particulières. •   La pyrite ne peut être mise au nombre des mines de fer, dont les plus pauvres donnent plus de …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • PYRITE — s. f. T. de Chimie. Combinaison de soufre avec le fer ou le cuivre. Pyrite de fer. Pyrite de cuivre. Veine de pyrite …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • PYRITE — n. f. T. de Chimie Nom donné à divers sulfures naturels. Pyrite de fer. Pyrite de cuivre, d’étain. Veine de pyrite …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • pyrite —    Iron sulfide mineral (FeS2) also known as iron pyrites and fool’s gold. Pyrite occurs in trace amounts in many sedimentary rocks. It may be locally common in dark carbonaceous limestone and in thin non carbonate beds such as shales, coals and… …   Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.