What does Fool’s Gold look like?

What is a Fool’s Gold? What is it known as Scientifically? Why is it named Pyrite? What are its Characteristics? Where is it found? How can it be used? What is the worth of Fool’s Gold?
what does fool's gold look like
Image by Florian Pircher from Pixabay

Gold is a metal famous for its value and luster. But have you ever heard about the fool’s gold? Yes, I guessed it right that you are hearing it for the first time. Therefore, today I will tell you about what does fool’s gold look like and what is fools gold worth in the market. You will also get to know about what is the scientific name for fool’s gold.

1. What is Fool’s Gold and What is the Scientific Name for Fool’s Gold?

A product having iron sulfide with the chemical formula FeS2 (iron (II) disulfide) is the fool’s gold. The scientific name of this mineral is Pyrite or iron pyrite. The name pyrite is derived from the Greek word pyrites lithos which means stone or mineral that strikes fire. In ancient times, various other stones were addressed by this name because they produce spark when rubbed against iron. (See What are Physical Resources?)

2. What is the Reason behind naming it Pyrite?

Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder) was a Roman naturalist, author, and natural philosopher mentioned in his works regarding a mineral that was brassy. He was describing the present-day pyrite. According to Georgius Agricola, a German metallurgist, scholar, and mineralogist, the term pyrite had become a common term being given to all the sulfide minerals. Also, check out what are Rubies made of?

3. What does Fool’s Gold look like?

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Image by stephwalther from Pixabay

Pyrite is among the most abundantly available sulfide minerals.

  • It has a metallic luster.
  • It has a pale brass-yellow hue.
  • It has a resemblance similar to that of gold.
  • Other names given to this mineral are brazzle, brazil, and brass because of the color it possesses, and the pyrite found inside coal. Must read what are the properties of mixtures?

4. What are other Types of Pyrite?

Pyrite differs in place and composition therefore; it is of two types, Arsenopyrite (FeAsS) and Chalcopyrite (CuFeS2). The former is silver-white, and it does not get more yellow when wet. The latter is bright yellow with a greenish tint, and it gets soft when it is wet. (See Why do people love gold?)

5. Where is it found?

6. Where can it be used?

  • During World War II, it was used to produce sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid can be used in making ink, water treatment, moss killer, and various chemical processes.
  • Nowadays, it is used to make jewelry, appliances, car batteries, and machinery.
  • It creates a spark when it is hit with steel. It can therefore be used to create fire. Also, check out what are examples of elements in everyday life?

7. What is Fools Gold worth if it has real Gold?

what does fool's gold look like 1
Image by PollyDot from Pixabay

While we are on the topic of what does fool’s gold look like, take a look at its worth. According to the researchers, a significant amount of gold is incorporated in the pyrite. They termed it invisible gold. Some pyrites can have about 0.25% or more gold by weight. However, due to the presence of some tiny amounts of gold ore, mining pyrite would be worthwhile. (See 14 Factors That Affect the Price of Gold)

8. Does Pyrite have any market value?

Nowadays, the market for pyrite is on the rise because of its capability to produce sulfuric acid and sulfur dioxide. These chemicals are highly in demand in the paper industry which ultimately brings up the market value of pyrite. 

9. Can Gold be extracted from Pyrite?

According to the scientist, selective leaching is the process to remove the nano-threads of gold from the pyrite effectively. In this process, the fluid added to the pyrite will melt the gold without damaging the pyrite. Scientists consider it an effective method because the tiny nooks in which the gold is trapped, the same nooks become the pathway for it to flow out. (See What is Metal Made of?)

10. How to identify the Fool’s Gold?

Though pyrite may have similar appearances to gold, it sure has some flaws which can be noticed easily. If you want to identify the metal, then draw a streak with it. Further in what does fool’s gold look like, understand Pyrite and chalcopyrite will leave a dark green to black streak while actual gold will leave behind a golden yellow streak when it is scraped on a piece of unglazed porcelain. Also, check out what is the opposite of natural?

11. What are the Differences between Pyrite and Gold?

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Photo by Calvin Chai on Unsplash

Take a look at the points below to understand the basic differences between these two metals.

  • The cracks in the pyrite are very uneven and sometimes conchoidal because it does not have any formed manner of deforming. While on the other hand gold nuggets or gold glitters do not break, but they get deformed in a ductile way.
  • Pyrite is brittle and weak while gold is malleable and does not break when beaten into thin sheets.
  • Natural gold is found mostly in irregular shapes and without well-defined faces. Pyrite is found in cubes or multifaceted crystals. These crystals have sharp and well-developed faces. (Also read Where is Obsidian Found?)

So, today you got to know what does fool’s gold look like, what is the scientific name for fool’s gold, and what is fools gold worth. (Also read What is Production Concept in Marketing?)

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