The History and Uses of Pyrite
“Pyrite” comes from the name “pyrite lithos”, which in Greek translates to “stone which strikes fire.” It will send out a shower of sparks when struck with steel. It was popular in Roman times to create sparkes, and later in 1500-1600 AD pyrite was used as a source of ignition for firearms.
Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Incas used pyrite for ornamental jewelry, and the Incas in South America used large polished slabs of pyrite for mirrors.
North American Indians also used Pyrite as amulets.
During the early years of the 20th century, pyrite was used as a mineral detector in radio receivers, and is still used by radio hobbyists today.
In the 20th century, pyrite was used in Energizer brand lithium batteries.
Pyrite has been used in the aggregate used to make concrete, but unsuccessfully, as severe deterioration occurs as the pyrite oxidizes. In early 2009, Chinese drywall imported into the United States after Hurricane Katrina had numerous problems attributed to oxidation of pyrite. Modern tests for aggregate materials now require certification that the materials as free of pyrite.
Pyrite is a metallic mineral that is composed of iron and sulfur atoms bound together in a ratio of one iron to two sulfur, and it is one of the most abundant sulfide minerals on the earth. It is found worldwide, but important deposits are found in Italy, Spain, and Peru.
Pyrite has a natural crystal patterns that are cubic, pyritohedral, or octahedral. The ancient Chinese symbol, a golden cube, is said to be derived from pyrite’s natural cubic shape.
Pyrite’s metallic luster gives it a superficial resemblance to gold, hence the well-known nickname of “fool’s gold.”
Pyrite is a stone of intellect and protection. It enhances intelligence, mental stability, logic, analysis, creativity, memory, and psychic development. Cubic pyrite is particularly good for enhancing mental capacity, intuition, and creativity. Pyrite is also a stone that brings energies of good luck or good fortune, especially in business. It is an excellent mineral to keep on your desk at work to tap into your own potential and keep ideas flowing.
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