Mindat Logo
bannerbannerbannerbanner
Welcome!

Fake pyrite concretion?

Posted by Reiner Mielke  
Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 01:49PM
    
[www.mindat.org] I can't see how this could have developed into a round sphere without some human assistance!
avatar Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 03:30PM
    
there are a lot about, from big to small
avatar Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 03:30PM
    
If the Chinese manufactured it, it will fall apart soon.
avatar Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 03:32PM
    
Hi Reiner,

I've examined these at the 2010 Tucson Show and they appear completely legitimate to me. I saw several examples that were of poor quality and doubt that one would take the time to manufacture ho-hum specimens. Several major US dealers had examples and I haven't heard of any suspicious commentary. Still, with the increasing propensity to enhance or manufacture specimens one really has to be on alert.


Happy Holidays!
Dana
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 03:39PM
    
Hi Reiner. There are a million of these Chinese spherical pyrite concretions on the market, I've seen some as large as bowling balls. Most likely too many to fabricate. In any case, pyrite forms round concretions from many many places. Many form in sedimentary rock that was still soft enough for crystallizing pyrite to form a sphere. In China alone there are numerous locations for spherical crystallized pyrite. Al
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 04:15PM
    
From what I have seen pyrite crystallizes either radially in a concretion or in concentric layers. These crosscut the the concretion! Since the vast majority of Chinese are poor, it is probably worth their while to make these. I would like to see a photo of one in situ.
avatar Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 04:17PM
I've seen these by the flat at the warehouse of a very well-known and very legitimate importer/dealer. I assume they are natural, and judging from the prices, reasonably abundant.
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 04:27PM
    
As any person who has tried the lapidary arts with pyrite knows it is an extremely messy material to work with. Even though many Chinese are poor I would assume that they would want to get maximum return for their efforts and you surely are not going to get that with pyrite specimens ( and that comment coming from a pyrite collector!),
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 04:49PM
    
Most Chinese earn less than $500US per year. I don't know what these fetch in China but here is one for sale on e-bay for $135US. [cgi.ebay.com] Seems to me at that price it would be well worth the effort no matter how dirty a job.
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 04:59PM
    
I believe there is no correlation between the price on e-bay and what a person making them in China would get. I'm interested in your ideas on just how these are manufactured.
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 05:10PM
    
Looks to me like it is made from a rock with pyrite layers. You simply cut the rock into squares and round the corners on a grinding wheel. Assuming the matrix is softer than the pyrite you would then remove some of the matrix with a wire wheel. No polishing necessary so it would be very easy to do.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2010 05:14PM by Reiner Mielke.
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 05:15PM
    
How do you take into consideration the three dimensional surface of the sphere with pyrite xls. sticking out?
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 05:27PM
    
Since the matrix is softer than the pyrite the wire would remove the matrix leaving the pyrite sticking out.
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 05:30PM
    
Either that or you could get that effect by sandblasting, which is probably the way they would do it considering how much of it is being produced. This would also make then appear more natural since a wire wheel would leave scratches in the matrix.
Not knowing what the matrix is but if it were calcareous you could also accomplish this with acid.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2010 05:32PM by Reiner Mielke.
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 05:34PM
    
The ones I have seen are solid pyrite, that is not soft matrix between the layers on pyrite xls. Interest where these poor Chinese obtained sand blasting equipment.
avatar Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 05:42PM
I have one which has no abrasion damage to the pyrite, there are sharp pyrite crystals appearing in bands poking out around the sides of the "egg".

No idea whether it's natural or faked. But some of the suggestions being made here are plainly wrong.
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 05:53PM
    
I'm having flashbacks to the hollow Galena thread! >:D<



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2010 06:03PM by Reiner Mielke.
Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 06:02PM
    
Has anyone seen one in matrix? If these are coming out by the hundreds then there must be a centralized source. I bought a made in China compressor for $99 and a sandblaster for $15, I imagine they are even cheaper in China so it is not unreasonable to assume they can afford a sandblaster. Nevertheless I think it is important to establish if these are natural considering how much is being asked for them and how many there are.
avatar Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 06:32PM
    
In my humble opinion they are natural.
There are too many, too cheap for me to believe they are fabricated.
I have worked as a jeweler for about fourteen years, and details are my work.
I saw absolutly no "refinishing" anywhere on any of these.
Adam K
avatar Re: Fake pyrite concretion?
December 12, 2010 06:34PM
If these are being made or enhanced, I don't think the Chinese need much in the way of equipment to make or enhance them. All that would be needed to make the pyrite stick out in a prominent fashion is a stiff wire brush which would remove the black shale and it would not hurt the pyrite. If they were not oval or round concretions to start with, I think a hammer could break them down to what ever size was desired. I suspect they be mostly natural concretions based on the variety of sizes that are available. If they were hammered down from larger blocks of interbeded material I suspect the urge to make other shapes than balls and egg shapes would cause a variety of other shapes to show up on the market.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2010 06:35PM by Rock Currier.
Author:

Your Email:


Subject:


Attachments:
  • Valid attachments: jpg, gif, png, pdf
  • No file can be larger than 1000 KB
  • 3 more file(s) can be attached to this message

Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically. If the code is hard to read, then just try to guess it right. If you enter the wrong code, a new image is created and you get another chance to enter it right.
CAPTCHA
Message:
Mineral and/or Locality  
Search Google  
Copyright © Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau 1993-2014. Site Map. Locality, mineral & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. Site hosted & developed by Jolyon Ralph. Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all. Mindat relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters. Mindat does not offer minerals for sale. If you would like to add information to improve the quality of our database, then click here to register.
Current server date and time: November 24, 2014 12:31:41
Mineral and Locality Search
Mineral:
and/or Locality:
Options
Fade toolbar when not in focusFix toolbar to bottom of page
Hide Social Media Links
Slideshow frame delay seconds