Fire Rocks – Our new Ask-a-Geologist Question

Pyrite

Question: Which rocks have the name that means fire?

Answer: The mineral name pyrite is derived from the Greek word for fire.  It is believed that pyrite got its name because it will spark when it is struck against steel.  Pyrite is a mineral that is most often known as “fool’s gold” due to its resemblance to the real thing.

Pyrite is silvery yellow in color and forms in cubes which have a shiny, metallic appearance.  One of the best ways to tell pyrite from real gold is hardness.  Gold is soft, while pyrite can not be scratched with a knife.

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