It is sometimes a bit sad that this beautiful and fascination mineral has a nickname like “Fool’s Gold”. As it does resemble gold in it’s physical appearance, that is where the similarities end. Pyrite can not be bent or shaped like gold, it is much too brittle. Striking it with steel can even cause the sulfur in it to spark!
Pyrite is actually disulfide of iron, and the metallic crystal grows in cubes, nodules, masses of tiny crystals, and can even be found as flat discs.
Some have been known to confuse pyrite with marcasite, but as marcasite is also an iron sulfide, but crystallized in a completely different manner, so marcasite it unstable and often crumbles during attempts to carve it.
Pyrite is quite easy to find, it is minded all over the US, in Arizona, Colorado, New York, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee to name a few. Specimens are also found in Spain, South Africa, Russia, Portugal, Germany and Peru, as well as hundreds of other locations around the world.