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Iron pyrites

Iron pyrites

E425/0778

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Credit

SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Iron pyrites. Macrophotograph of crystals of iron pyrites, a crystalline form of iron sulphide (FeS2). It is pale brass-yellow in colour with a metallic lustre, which explains its common name of fool's gold. The crystals are often cubic or octahedral in shape. It is the most abundant sulphide in the Earth's crust and can be found in most environments. It is used as a source of sulphur and sulphuric acid for industry, and is made into jewellery under the name 'marcasite'.

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