A mass of interwoven pyrite crystals,|
11 cm (4.0 in) long
Pyrite is the commonest of the sulfide minerals, and is found world-wide. It is found associated with other sulfides, or with oxides, in quartz veins, in sedimentary rock and metamorphic rock, in coal beds, and as the replacement mineral in fossils. Pyrites, interestingly, can show negative resistance, acting as radio detectors and have been used in oscillator circuits.
Pyrite is used in the production of sulphur dioxide for the paper industry and in the manufacture of sulphuric acid, though not as much as it used to be. The name pyrite is from the Greek word meaning fire. because of the sparks that result when pyrite is struck with steel.
See also: List of minerals