Pyrite is a brass-yellow mineral with a bright metallic luster. It has a chemical composition of iron sulfide and is the most common sulfide mineral. It forms at high and low temperatures and occurs, usually in small quantities, in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks worldwide. Pyrite has a nickname that has become famous - "Fool's Gold." The mineral's gold color, metallic luster, and high specific gravity often cause it to be mistaken for gold by inexperienced prospectors.
The name "pyrite" is after the Greek "pyr" meaning "fire." This name was given because pyrite can be used to create the sparks needed for starting a fire if it is struck against metal or another hard material. Pieces of pyrite have also been used as a spark-producing material in flintlock firearms.
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