Only One Available: This is a great specimen of iron pyrite also known as fool's gold.
Pyrite enjoyed brief popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries as a source of ignition in early firearms, most notably the wheel lock, where a sample of pyrite was placed against a circular file to strike the sparks needed to fire the gun.
Pyrite has been used since classical times to manufacture copperas. Iron pyrite was heaped up and allowed to weather (an example of an early form of heap leaching). The acidic runoff from the heap was then boiled with iron to produce iron sulfate. In the 15th century, new methods of such leaching began to replace the burning of sulfur as a source of sulfuric acid. By the 19th century, it had become the dominant method.
Pyrite remains in commercial use for the production of sulfur dioxide, for use in such applications as the paper industry, and in the manufacture of sulfuric acid.
This specimen weighs 182 grams. It would make a great addition to any rock & mineral collection!
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