Healing Crystals Co.

Pyrite: Complete Guide (Updated 2021)

raw pyrite rock placed on a concrete surface close up view

In this post, we reveal everything you need to know about pyrite, including its meaning, properties, and benefits. Let's dive in!

Introduction

Pyrite holds a special place in our heart, and likely will in your own come the end of this guide. These dynamic, character-filled stones offer a refreshing take on conventional energetic healing, as they have since the dawn of time.

In this article we discuss the following:

  • What is Pyrite?
    • Pyrite Meaning
    • Is Pyrite Magnetic?
    • Is Pyrite a Metal?
    • Is Pyrite a Mineral?
    • What Does Pyrite Look Like?
    • When Was Pyrite Discovered?
    • Where is Pyrite Found in the World?
      • Spanish Pyrite
  • Pyrite Properties
    • Pyrite Healing Properties
      • Pyrite Energy
    • Pyrite Metaphysical Properties
      • Pyrite Chakra
    • Pyrite Crystal Structure
  • Pyrite Benefits
    • Pyrite Uses
    • Pyrite Cube
      • Where to Find Pyrite Cubes
  • Pyrite vs Gold
    • Difference Between Gold and Pyrite
    • Can Gold and Pyrite Be Found Together
  • Marcasite and Pyrite
  • Pyrite and Chalcopyrite
  • Types of Pyrite
    • Pyrite in Quartz
    • Raw Pyrite
    • Silver Pyrite
    • Pyrite Sun
    • Gold Pyrite
    • Natural Pyrite
  • Pyrite Color
    • Black Pyrite
    • Rainbow Pyrite
    • Blue Pyrite
    • White Pyrite
    • Iridescent Pyrite
    • Green Pyrite
  • Pyrite Jewelry
    • Pyrite Beads
    • Pyrite Necklace
    • Pyrite Ring
    • Pyrite Bracelet
      • Pyrite Bracelet Benefits
    • Pyrite Earrings
  • How to Clean Pyrite
  • Pyrite for Sale
    • Pyrite Price
    • Where to Buy Pyrite
    • Fake Pyrite 25

What is Pyrite?

Also known as fools gold rock, pyrite is a crystalline mineral that occurs naturally to Planet Earth. Some may refer to it as iron pyrite, owing to the fact that it is made out of iron disulphide. 

The dictionary’s pyrite definition is “a shiny yellow mineral consisting of iron disulphide and typically occurring as intersecting cubic crystals”. Yellow, to us, is too bland a description for what pyrite truly encompasses; this stone is far more on par with shades of gold and metallic equivalents. 

Pyrite rock is a common mineral, and would not be considered rare or hard to come by within the crystal collectors community. 

pyrite pebbles placed on a white surface close up top view

Pyrite Meaning 

Perhaps the true pyrite stone meaning can be traced back to Ancient Greece, when the name of this crystal was initially coined. It comes from the Greek word ‘pyr’, which directly means fire. 

It is believed that this pyrite crystal meaning was offered on account of the fact that pyrite emits strong sparks when struck by iron. Thus, it was a fire offering crystal with immensely powerful potential in the eyes of the gods. 

More than this, pyrite stone has been used throughout history as a fire starting mineral, dating back to prehistoric times, possibly when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth.

Is Pyrite Magnetic? 

The force that makes a stone or rock magnetic in ability is simply the iron content present within the crystalline structure. Pyrite crystal has an extremely high iron content, which means it is naturally magnetic and would indeed stick to a magnet within close proximity. 

There is always the possibility of encountering weaker forms of pyrite that did not form with enough iron inclusions to offer magnetic ability, however this is extremely rare. 

Is Pyrite a Metal? 

Technically speaking, pyrite is not a metal despite how it may look and behave. As mentioned, pyrite is a composition of iron and sulphur atoms bound into one another. The ratio of this bind is one iron atom to two sulphur atoms, making it more mineral than it is metal. 

This considered, there are instances where pyrite behaves uncannily like a metal. For instance, due to the high iron content present within these stones, pyrite should not get wet. Contact with water can cause pyrite to rust and discolor, which in turn will lower the energetic frequencies embedded within the stone.

Is Pyrite a Mineral? 

Yes, pyrite is classified as a mineral due to that two to one iron/sulphur ratio we touched on above, which also answers the question of what fool's gold is made of.

Interestingly, the pyrite mineral is actually the most abundant sulfide mineral on the planet, with no sign of shortage despite these stones having been mined for use since the prehistoric era. This is likely due to the fact that this mineral can form in both high and low temperatures, so there are no Earthly conditions that restrict formation. 

What Does Pyrite Look Like?

And, more importantly, why is pyrite called fool's gold?

To the untrained eye, pyrite looks like gold. It holds a brassy-yellow hue that is very similar to what raw, unrefined gold looks like. It is believed that there have been many instances throughout history where pyrite has been used in place of real gold to dupe unknowing buyers into thinking they were investing in the real thing. 

This is likely where the fool's gold meaning originated, suggesting that people in the past have been fools to believe what they had paid for was real gold. The catchy name stuck, and it remains a fond way of referring to these stones whilst navigating the crystal market. 

When Was Pyrite Discovered? 

Historians have been unable to trace back the earliest discoveries of pyrite throughout history. Some suggest that these stones were of extreme value to prehistoric civilizations who first discovered the different ways of producing fire. 

There is much reference to pyrite within Ancient Greek texts, which tells us this mineral was very much valued and in use during these times. Ancient Egyptian texts also make reference to pyrite: the wearing of gold jewelry during these times was considered extremely fashionable, however not all could afford the luxury.

Where is Pyrite Found in the World? 

As it stands, there are believed to be tens of thousands of existing pyrite deposits scattered in destinations all over the globe. Mining pyrite is relatively easy and inexpensive, so, once  a new deposit is located, teams can be sent in to easily pull out the resources. 

At present, pyrite ores are being mined in places like Italy, Kazakhstan, Spain, and all through the United States. As mentioned, pyrite clusters can form no matter the temperature of the location; all they need is the correct mineral composition and they’re good to go. 

Spanish Pyrite 

As you navigate the pyrite market, you may notice what is being referred to as ‘Spain pyrite’. Pyrite gems that originate in Spain have a unique structure in that they seem to have manifested themselves in pristine cube-shaped specimens. 

It is not uncommon for pyrite to form in structured cubes, however the stunning perfection of the facets and edges of these particular deposits is not something that had been discovered prior. 

pyrite stone yellowish tint with a cube shape on top

These minerals are unique to the Mina Ampliación a Vitoria in Spain, which directly translates to the Victoria Mine. 

Pyrite Properties

Pyrite Healing Properties 

The most significant thing that pyrite does for the human body is protect it from environmental pollution and certain free radicals. In this way, the human body is less susceptible to disease or imbalance due to external influences, and the body is able to remain in a harmony of health and wellbeing. 

In a sense, one could see pyrite as a preventative measure as opposed to a healer of already manifested states of illness. 

Pyrite Energy 

It goes without saying that pyrite is an immensely protective stone, with an energetic field that shields and protects against negative entities and vibrations. It works on the etheric, physical and emotional planes, so there is really no stone left unturned, per se, when you’re working with a pyrite mineral. 

This energy can be easily directed, amplified or embodied, depending on the unique needs of the individual in question. We’ll dive deeper into this later on in the piece. 

Pyrite Metaphysical Properties 

In addition to physical properties, the pyrite spiritual meaning is also to be considered. The Ancient Inca people made use of pyrite on a daily basis: not for the purpose of making fire, but rather for attaining more enhanced states of meditation and divination. 

In the process, pyrite works to stimulate both intellect and memory. One will find themselves able to recall very specific and precise information as and when it is needed, never battling to find the right words or pull up the correct memory. 

If there are areas in your life in which a lack of control is perceived, pyrite will dive in and rectify the imbalance so that your physical experience will start to become one of free will. 

Pyrite Chakra 

Pyrite correlates to the third chakra, also known as the solar plexus. For this energy center, these stones are incredibly stimulating and gently cleansing. 

The solar plexus chakra is responsible for the ways in which we experience relationships with all other beings, and it is also an integral energetic distribution hub. You’ll find your solar plexus between your belly button and rib cage, which is why it is also responsible for a lot of human digestive needs and immune control. 

Work with pyrite directly over this area to attain the full range of benefits in the shortest amount of time. 

Pyrite Crystal Structure 

The composition of a pyrite is described as being that of a ‘cubic crystal system’. This is the true pyrite composition, which is why it becomes extremely difficult to replicate or create counterfeit forms of these stones as raw, unpolished entities. 

What’s more, there is also a measuring system that is called the “pyrite streak”. This is a technique that was used during the fool’s gold era, and it entails scratching the stone on a surface with intent to observe the streak that is left behind. Gold leaves a strong yellow streak, while pyrite’s streak is more anchored toward a brownish black hue. 

Pyrite Benefits

One of the most notable benefits of pyrite throughout history was in fact this notion of pyrite fool’s gold. These stones gave the average Joe a chance to own something of golden substance, irrespective of whether it was  the real thing or not. Aesthetically, it did the job, and this was good enough for many.  

More than this, pyrite gemstones bring a lot of energetic benefit into the daily life of even the most unaware users. The ways in which these crystals work toward shielding harmful frequencies from their owners is quite remarkable, and not something human beings can ever truly grasp the benefit of due to the invisible nature of the work. 

Pyrite Uses 

Other than its ability to make fire and shield against environmental elements, pyrite has a myriad of alternate uses that range from its use in solid form to even dust form. 

Scratching pyrite as flint caused what is today known as pyrite dust to come off of the stone. We should mention that pyrite is an incredibly brittle mineral and it is relatively easy to flake or break it apart. 

During World War II, pyrite was mined for the purpose of producing sulphuric acid, which is an important industrial chemical still used today. We find it in all car batteries, household appliances and industrial machinery. 

Jewelry is another one of the important uses for pyrite, as it offered the world a gold-like alternative that wouldn’t break the bank. In this way, one also has the opportunity of coming into daily contact with the healing properties of the stone, without having to do too much targeted work on one’s own. 

Pyrite crystals can also be used for the purpose of Feng Shui by simply placing the stone in the leftist corner of your home as you come through the front door. 

Pyrite Cube 

If you’re lucky, you’ll encounter a piece of large pyrite that has been left in its original cube-like formation, and not broken down into smaller, more accessible pieces. 

pyrite rock gold color on white background close up view

For the purpose of good Feng Shui as mentioned above, these cubes are best for display in the home. They are generally heavy and not ideal for work directly on the human body; they are much better left somewhere in your house where they can perform energetic work without interruption. 

Where to Find Pyrite Cubes 

The most perfect formation of pyrite cubes are those found in Navajun, Spain. From there, the cubes are mined and shipped around the world for resale or restructuring. 

You can find these cubes online across a number of different platforms. If you’re traveling the Iberian regions, it is not uncommon to find pyrite cubes for sale at markets and in independent esoteric stores. 

Pyrite vs Gold

We’ve answered the question “what is fool's gold?”, however we’ve yet to take a more direct look at the relationship between actual gold and pyrite stones. 

Difference Between Gold and Pyrite 

Even though they look incredibly similar at first glance, gold and pyrite actually exhibit very different shades of yellow when closely examined. Gold tends to be either golden or silvery in hue, while pyrite is more brassy and prone to tarnish even at its time of excavation. 

Pyrite hardness, in comparison to gold, is nothing short of weak and brittle. Gold needs to be melted down in order to shape it, although it may have the potential to bend in certain instances, whereas fool’s gold will simply break upon impact, or offer up pyrite flakes due to repetitive abrasions. 

Gold forms in nuggets, and never in the cube-like structures, which is the shape in which we enjoy pyrite. Even pyrite that is not in a perfect cube form will have sharp edges, while gold is more gently shaped and ball-like. 

Can Gold and Pyrite Be Found Together 

Albeit very similar in appearance, we now know that pyrite and gold are vastly different minerals. That being said, under very rare and strict conditions, there have been instances where gold and pyrite have somehow formed alongside one another within the exact same rock. 

In even more rare instances, certain formations of pyrite have shown to have had inclusions of gold within the pyrite formation. Some pyrites have shown to have up to 0.25% of gold within their structure. 

Marcasite and Pyrite

Marcasite is another iron based mineral that has distinct similarities with pyrite. They look very similar, and have similar chemical compositions, but have very different crystal structural formations that hold them together.

Marcasite and pyrite are both brittle, brassy and lustrous in appearance. If you look closely, marcasite is slightly more pale than pyrite, which caused the stone to be called “white iron pyrite” by some crystal enthusiasts. 

Marcasite is also more rare than pyrite, which has caused it to be perceived as more valuable within the crystal jewelry market.

Pyrite and Chalcopyrite

Chalcopyrite is another crystal that is very similar looking to pyrite. This is where the hardness of pyrite comes in to clear the air; genuine pyrite, though brittle, is not able to be scratched by a nail. Chalcopyrite, however, is an extremely soft mineral and will be easily scratched upon forced nail contact. 

Chalcopyrite has for centuries been the primary ore of copper, which lent it the name “fools copper” in some parts of the world. Five thousand years ago, smelting began and chalcopyrite became the sought after mineral for the purpose of copper retrieval. 

Types of Pyrite

Pyrite in Quartz

It’s not uncommon for pyrite to be found to have formed alongside other sulfides or oxides. These may be in actual quartz veins, or in sedimentary or metamorphic rock where quartz tends to form in abundance. 

Pyrite in quartz is a wonder to behold, as the golden nature of the stone is perfectly complemented by the glowing, white hue of the quartz crystal. 

Raw Pyrite

Pyrite is one of few crystals to be considered more visually appealing when left in its most raw, natural form. 

Raw pyrite is a mineral collector's dream, as the intricate nature of the structural formation can be clearly viewed by simply inspecting the stone with the naked eye. It’s a point of great marvel, and raw pyrite makes for a striking display piece as well as a collector’s item. 

raw pyrite rock placed on a concrete surface close up view

Silver Pyrite

Depending on the mineral composition of the stone, pyrite can sometimes display itself in silver ray energy, as opposed to golden ray energy. Pyrite silver is no less effective in energetic properties compared to that of yellow ray energy, and still serves all of the aforementioned primary functions. 

Some people actually prefer silver hued pyrite when making jewelry, as yellow or gold is not preferable to all people. Take note that silver pyrite is not merely another name for iron pyrite. What is iron pyrite? This is simply an alternative name for pyrite stones in general. 

Pyrite Sun

Pyrite suns are sometimes referred to as “miner’s dollars”. They are wonderful disk-shaped formations of pyrite that look a lot like fossilized plants or sea creatures. 

A pyrite sun looks as though dozens of straight lines have been etched from the center of the pyrite outward, almost like the rays of the sun are emitted from the center of the glowing ball of fire. 

These are considered extremely lucky finds by miners worldwide. 

Gold Pyrite

Gold pyrite is a redundant term used to refer to pyrite in yellow ray energy. The same name may be used to refer to any forms of pyrite that have small inclusions of real gold embedded within, though these are rare and usually the gold is immediately extracted from the rocks shortly after discovery. 

Natural Pyrite

Natural pyrite, or pyrite rough, is merely pyrite that formed under specific conditions beneath the surface of the Earth, and was mined to be brought up into the physical world. 

The phrase ‘natural pyrite’ is sometimes used in the description of these stones during sale to indicate that they are authentic and not man made replicas. 

Pyrite Color

Black Pyrite

Many people ask “what color is pyrite?”, and the answer is actually a lot more complex than one might think. 

Yes, pyrite can be black, and this occurs when the pyrite stone forms in the sediment of anoxic black shales. It’s not an uncommon occurrence, and black pyrite has seen much popularity worldwide, particularly amongst crystal jewelry makers who find darker stones more visually appealing. 

Rainbow Pyrite

In certain parts of Russia, pyrite stones form as cabochon, with natural crystal surfaces surrounding them. The result is what is known as iridescent pyrite, or rainbow pyrite. 

These crystals look like regular pyrite with the entire rainbow spectrum showcased throughout the crystalline body. They glow and refract light, as rainbows do, and are some of the most mesmerizing forms of pyrite known to humankind. 

Naturally, they are considered rare as they are only mined in one part of the world. Rainbow pyrite retails significantly higher than regular pyrite. 

Blue Pyrite

Blue pyrite is an uncommon and vastly fascinating mineral. Sometimes, within a pyrite mine, there are incisions of minerals that are not in line with the standard sulphuric iron compounds, which leads to pyrite taking on the hue of any other ray energies available to it. 

The presence of certain minerals may cause pyrite to exhibit itself in a brilliant blue hue, similar to that of cobalt.

White Pyrite

Some pyrite stones have an undeniable portion of white rock embedded deep within their crystalline structure. This may look like small white flakes, or be more abundant in that there appears to be equal parts gold and white. 

White pyrite is merely the result of rock debris inclusions at the time of formation. This debris was likely void of any significant mineral compound of its own, owing to the snow-like color. 

Iridescent Pyrite

As mentioned, iridescent pyrite is the more formal name for rainbow pyrite. It is found only in Russia, and it is 100% natural, never manmade. 

Green Pyrite

The same mineral inclusions that may turn regular pyrite blue possess the ability to turn the stone a rich shade of moss green, too. 

Green pyrite is not the same as pyrite in limestone, which is when pyrite forms in different types of sedimentary rocks. 

Pyrite Jewelry

Pyrite Beads

One of the best ways to reap the rewards of healing crystals is to wear them as jewelry. Pyrite beads are easy to find, and easy to make into bracelet form if so desired. 

Crystal beads tend to be tumbled out of the offcuts of retail crystals, and are generally quite an affordable alternative to investing in already made jewelry or full sized stones. 

two small pyrite rocks placed on a palm

Pyrite Necklace

Pyrite makes for a striking neck piece, particularly when raw stones are suspended from a rope or a chain. They look very much like genuine gold nuggets that may have come directly out of the Earth on that very day. 

Pyrite necklaces are commonly marketed as “fool’s gold necklaces”. They make for wonderful place holder gifts for anyone who intends to own gold eventually, but may not yet have the means to invest just yet. 

Pyrite Ring

Many ancient communities made use of pyrite for the purpose of meditation and mystical contact. Wearing these stones on one’s fingers during mediation is a great way of tapping into these frequencies in modern times. 

Pyrite rings are extremely gentle in nature, and will never be overwhelming to the aura even when worn for long periods of time. They may be raw or polished, depending on the intention of the ring maker and, if the different colors of pyrite are desired, one is more likely to find them in ring form, as opposed to pendant or bracelet form. 

Pyrite Bracelet

If you are ever seeking the physical healing benefits from a crystal, it is recommended that you wear it as close to the wrist area as possible. The wrists mark the most direct point of entry into the bloodstream, thus they are able to deliver the healing properties of the stone through to the rest of the body most efficiently. 

Pyrite Bracelet Benefits

Pyrite heals the body by protecting and shielding it from contaminant energies. In this way, it is still highly beneficial to have on your person as often and as consistently as possible. 

You’ll be shielded throughout your day from any environmental frequencies that seek to affect your physical body. Pyrite also has the ability to balance the solar plexus chakra quite well when worn on the wrist area, as it is easy to hold up to this energetic hub when you feel any imbalance settling in. 

Pyrite Earrings

Similar to how pyrite works with the wrists, this is a beneficial stone to wear on either side of the head for the purpose of protecting the headspace from energetic contaminants. 

Pyrite earrings will absorb all forms of psychic attack and generally negative forces that seek to affect your mental state. If you suspect you may have fallen victim to some form of black magic, these earrings will keep you protected. 

Pyrite earrings are also great for people who suffer from night terrors or psychic attacks of the subconscious. 

How to Clean Pyrite

Because pyrite has a high metal content, these stones have the tendency to acquire dust-like build up that can look like chalk. 

This needs to be cleaned and polished, or it will simply get thicker and thicker until the stone is rendered useless. To clean pyrite, first run the stone under water for a few seconds. Yes, pyrite can rust when exposed to water, but for this purpose it is necessary to rinse it for just a few seconds; this will not create potential for rust. 

The first rinsing will not remove all of the chalk-like build up, but it will prepare the stone for the polish to follow. Take an old toothbrush and dip the bristles into some laundry detergent mixed with a few drops of warm water. 

small pyrite rock gold color on a black and white background

Gently scrub the pyrite stone with the brush, being sure to get into all possible nooks and crannies. Don’t be alarmed if black dust starts to appear; this is healthy shedding from the stone. 

To get the soap off, run the crystal under warm water one more time, for just a few seconds. Use a towel to wipe the stones dry and then leave them out to air off properly. Leave them for up to 4 hours at a minimum to ensure that there is no water lingering in any of the cracks. 

Alternatively, you can also submerge pyrite stones in a mixture of distilled water and vinegar. Leave the stone submerged for just 5 minutes, and all of the chalk-like residue should be dissolved. 

Pyrite for Sale

Pyrite Price 

Finally, how much is pyrite worth? Generally, pyrite value is determined by the origin of the stone, and the logistical costs of getting it from one side of the world to the other. 

Let us start with this: pyrite is an inexpensive and common crystal. You should never be breaking the bank to become the proud owner of a piece of fool’s gold, no matter how cleverly the stone is marketed or inlaid into jewelry. 

In general, pyrite costs roughly $8 for a palm-sized nugget, give or take. This is likely to be low quality pyrite, with not very distinct crystalline structures to be observed with the naked eye. Usually, this affordable form of pyrite looks a lot like a gold dusted rock with bubbling holes across the surface.

More structured, cubic-adhering pyrite, such as the type found in Spain, is thought to be more visually appealing, and can retail at over $50 for a palm-sized piece. The shine of the pyrite is a factor that also tends to affect the price, with paler pieces selling for a lot less than those that seem to glow. 

Where to Buy Pyrite 

Is there pyrite for sale near me? This depends on where in the world you find yourself. Your best bet is likely going to be using e-commerce platforms such as Etsy or Ebay to source quality, authentic pyrite that is sized and suited to your needs. 

Local esoteric shops generally always stock pyrite, and they will have some on hand to buy in person. This is generally not the same for pyrite jewelry, which is better purchased online from independent jewelers or creative platforms such as Etsy, as mentioned above. 

You can also always find some form of affordable pyrite at flea markets or spiritual gatherings where goods are traded. 

Fake Pyrite 

Like most genuine crystals of the Earth, there is always the problem of counterfeit, fake stones being sold off as the real thing to people who have no way of knowing any better. 

Fake pyrite is made by compressing different kinds of sparkling glues together until they harden. Fake pyrite is always dull, and has very obvious chunks that are irregular to normal stones of this nature. 

Unfortunately, unless you’re a seasoned crystal expert, these fakes can be very difficult to spot before it's too late. There aren’t many retailers who will take responsibility for an inauthentic transaction, and, if you don’t read the exchange policy prior to paying for the piece, you’ll likely be stuck with it forever. 

Always purchase pyrite from a reputable source: ideally one with a public track record from previous, satisfied customers. When in doubt, do some research on the brand in question, and move on if things simply don’t feel right. 

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this article! If you are interested in incorporating crystals into your life to help combat anxiety, you should consider a mindful breathing necklace made of a crystal that resonates with you. Mindful breathing jewelry made of crystals not only help provide the benefits of the crystal you choose to wear, but they can also be used to help slow your breath, leading to a greater sense of calm and serenity. Also, if you are interested in reading more about anxiety and crystals, check out our comprehensive blog post on the 15 Best Crystals for Anxiety!

Did You Enjoy This Article?

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, you might also like the following articles: Pink Amethyst: Complete Guide and White Jade Crystals: Complete Guide

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