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Pyrite – A Natural History of Fool's Gold - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Pyrite: A Natural History of Fool's Gold

David Rickard


Most people have heard of pyrite, the brassy yellow mineral sometimes known as fool's gold. Pyrite behaves like stone and shines like metal, and its dual nature makes it a source of both metals and sulfur. Despite being the most common sulfide mineral on the earth's surface, pyrite's bright crystals have attracted the attention of many different cultures, and its nearly identical visual appearance to gold has led to tales of fraud, trickery, and claims of alchemy. Pyrite occupies a unique place in human history: it became an integral part of mining culture in America during the 19th century, a ... More

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780190203672
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190203672.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Rickard, author