ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pyrite. Macrophotograph of a sample of pyrite (iron sulphide). This is the most abundant sulphide in the Earth's lithosphere. It forms large cubic crystals, with a golden yellow colour. The crystals are hard and heavy but very brittle. It was once important for the formation of sulphuric acid in the lead chamber process, but this method is now obsolete. Apart from the small gold, cobalt and other metals it contains, pyrite has no commercial value above that to collectors and museums. This sample came from Pasto Bueno, Peru.
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