About Pyrite

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Keep reading to discover more about pyrite

  • Mineralogy and geology*
  • Metaphysical, Spiritual and Healing** Properties***
  • Common Associations

Mineralogy and Geology of Pyrite

Also known as 'Fool's gold'. Pyrite is quite easy to distinguish from gold: pyrite is much lighter, but harder than gold and cannot be scratched with a fingernail or pocket knife. 

Mineral formula: FeS2 

Note marcasite is also FeS2; it crystallizes in the orthorhombic system.

Mineral group: member of the Pyrite group

Crystal system: isometric

Crystal habit: Typically cubic or pyritohedral (pentagonal dodecahedral), sometimes octahedral and combinations are common, resulting in striated faces. Most commonly pyrite is massive, granular, and sometimes radiating, reniform, discoidal or globular.

Cleavage: poor to indistinct on {001}.

Fracture: irregular / uneven, conchoidal

Color: pale brass-yellow

Luster: metallic

Diaphaneity: opaque

Moh’s scale hardness: 6 – 6 ½    

Streak: greenish-black

Specific gravity: 4.8 - 5

Named after: the Greek "pyr" for "fire", because sparks flew from it when struck with another mineral or metal. Known to Dioscorides (~50 CE) under the name "περι υληζ ιατρικηζ" which included both pyrite and chalcopyrite.

Geological occurrence: Common in many rock types, igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary.

Spiritual, Metaphysical and Healing Properties

Pyrite is a stone of protection and of self-confidence. It is held to shield one from negative energy and has been used to protect from physical danger – of course, common sense is necessary too! Pyrite is also associated with enhancing one’s state of overall health, including emotional and intellectual. Working with the solar plexus, it also assists with all areas of memory and the mind.

Common Associations

  • Chakra – solar plexus
  • Numerology - vibrates to the number 3
  • Zodiac – Leo
  • Birthstone – variable, depends on the type of chalcedony
  • Wedding Anniversary – variable, depends on the type of chalcedony


* Mineralogical information is from mindat.org

** Always consult with your medical professional for any physical or long-term healing issues.

*** Metaphysical properties come from: 

Love Is in the Earth (1995) Melody, Earth-Love Publishing House, 726 pp.

The Crystal Bible, A Definitive Guide to Crystals (2003) Judy Hall, Walking Stick Press, 399 pp.

Crystal Muse (2017) Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro, Hay House, 285 pp.

Crystal Gridwork (2018) Kiera Fogg, Weiser Books, 128 pp.