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Pyrite - Angola to Luxembourg

Posted by Rock Currier  
Rock Currier June 24, 2010 11:27AM
Click this link to view Pyrite from Mexico to Turkey and here for Pyrite from the United Kingdom to Zimbabwe. and here for Best Minerals P and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of all Best Minerals articles.

Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?

FeS2 Isometric

Pyrite, Huanzala, Peru 50mm wide

Pyrite, La Rioja, Navajún, Spain 9.5mm tall

Pyrite is the most abundant sulfide mineral, sometimes it occurs in masses of several thousand tons. It sometimes carries substantial values of gold and copper for which it is mined. Sometimes it is mined exclusively to produce sulfuric acid to which it is converted by “burning”. Mindat currently (2010) has listed more than 26,500 localities for Pyrite and more than 2,100 images of pyrite specimens. Almost certainly fewer than half the localities for pyrite are in our database. Below we will show pictures of several hundred of the best ones from just over 40 countries. The Hand Book of Mineralogy say crystals are up to about 25 cm and that’s about as big as any I have seen. This mineral has been know since ancient times and is also known as fools gold because at a glance it is sometimes mistaken for gold from which it can easily be distinguished by using a few simple tests, like hardness. You can't scratch it with a knife blade and gold is three times heaver by volume than pyrite. Crush some of it up on a can lid and heat it and it will give off SO2 and at least some of the resulting fragments will become magnetic. It has the property of giving off sparks if struck against something hard like quartz, iron or steel. Pliny in 77 AD said "there was much fire in it" and the Romans thought that perhaps it was "alive"? The name Pyrite was derived from the Greek word for fire. The crystals form in a variety of isometric crystal forms, but the most common are cubes and the ever popular hemi-tetrahexahedrons (pentagonal dodecahedrons but more commonly called pyritohedrons. The less common octahedral forms are perhaps the most cherished by collectors and the classical iron cross twins, though they don’t get very large and a bit too esoteric for most collectors. Some pyrite specimens have sold at auction for tens of thousands of dollars, which to old seasoned collectors seems ridiculous, but those are the facts.

Probably the best current locality for Pyrite would have to Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Department, Peru. It has produced probably the finest and largest crystals and crystal specimens as well as literally tons of specimens of pyrite crystals. At one time so many specimens were produced that crystal specimens were used as bases for pewter figurines, typically depicting miners and mining activities. One other springs immediately to mind and that is the locality of Navajún, La Rioja, Spain. This locality has produced tens of thousands of perfect cubic shaped crystals that often present in a fine grained light colored matrix and make striking specimens. These locality has been active for at least the last forty years and shows no sign of slowing its production. This locality is mined exclusively for its pyrite specimens where as Huanzala and most other prolific specimen producers are mined primarily for other minerals and frequently the pyrite ends up out on the dump. Historically the Island of Elba of the coast of Italy was the champion for producing specimens of pyrite, often associated with bladed hematite, but the 20th century came and went and the mines on are now mostly closed and good specimens from this locality are now not easy to find and are considered classics. The Spruce Claim in King County,Washington has also for many years been a favorite pyrite locality for serious collectors because of the sometimes stunning shiny cubic pyrite crystals growing with long white prismatic quartz crystals. These specimens are always very expensive if you can find a good one. Each season that the locality is worked produces only a few choice specimens, never enough to satisfy the demand. Undoubtedly in the years to come, many new localities will be found and mined that will produce fine pyrite specimen that will be added to those localities and specimens described below.

There is a type of pyrite that I like to think of as nodular or concretionary pyrite. It forms most commonly in fine grained sediments like shale or marlstone and is found frequently as balls or oblate spheroids (flattened balls) and disks, sometimes very flat like the pyrite "dollars" or "suns" from Illinois, USA. Sometimes they are elongated and worm like. The pyrite crystals that form these types of pyrite are usually not very distinct and sometimes one needs to look carefully with a microscope at the surface of these kinds of pyrites to see the isometric nature of their crystals. These kinds of pyrites are often not stable over long periods of time and are prone to decomposition caused by "pyrite disease" which has been attributed to a variety of causes. Some say that Marcasite is mixed in with the pyrite from some of these concretionary forms and that water and or bacteria act on the iron sulfide causing the generation of "acid" which then causes further decomposition of the specimen. I don't know of any authoritative paper on the subject and hope that someone reading this can point us to a really reliable source of information about this phenomenon. Sometimes the decomposition is so severe, that the specimen ends up in a pile of gray/white fragments and the "acid" generated by the composition eats up the box that the specimen has been kept in and on two of occasions I have seen where it has actually eaten its way through the bottom of metal drawers. As with many other minerals I believe that pyrite is best preserved by keeping it in a cool, relatively dry place with constant humidity and temperature.

Pyrite will oxidize and will loose its luster if you don't take care of it. If you place a specimen out in your garden it will loose its luster and become dull in a few years. On entering Quiruvilca, Peru, there is a concrete welcome monument whose concrete has been studded with surprisingly well formed pyrite crystals from the mine. When I saw it they were all dull and I realized after studying them closely that almost certainly when the monument was built, that the pyrites were almost certainly brilliant and shiny and this was confirmed by some of the miners in the camp. I have encountered pyrite specimens where finger prints have been plainly etched into what were at one time brilliant mirror like natural crystal faces. Is there any way to bring dull pyrites back to life and make them brilliant and shiny? Well, not that I know about, but if the specimen is not too far gone I have had success in cleaning them and making them a more shiny by the use of a commercial cleaning liquid called LimeAway which has phosphoric acid as its most active ingredient. Put the specimen you want to clean in water to fill up all its cracks with water and then dip a tooth brush in the Lime-Away (a 10% solution of phosphoric acid and water would probably work about as well) and brush it on the pyrite crystals and let it sit for a few minutes and then wash it off with water. Soak the specimen in fresh water and repeat the rinse cycle if necessary to make sure that all of the acid is gone from the specimen. The resulting shine, if any will be about as much as you can to to make your pyrite specimen look better. As crazy as it may sound, I would advise you to not handle your pyrite specimens with your bare hands, and if you do, to use a soft cloth or tissue to polish off any finger prints you or your friends may have left on the specimen. If you do take good care of your pyrite specimens, there is no reason that they won't last your lifetime and that of your children.

PyriteAngolaUíge Province, Mavoio Mine

Pyrite, 4cm wide

Usually I would not include a pyrite of this low quality, but it is the only image of a Pyrite from Angola in our database and it can act as a place holder till we can get a better one and find someone who can tell us about the locality.

PyriteArgentinaSan Luis, Coronel Pringles Department, Carolina, San Ramon mine

Pyrite, 4cm tall

PyriteAustraliaNew South Wales, Cumberland Co., Prospect (Prospect Hill), Prospect Quarry

Pyrite, 4.1cm tall

PyriteAustraliaNew South Wales, Westmoreland Co., Wollondilly, Yerranderie

Pyrite & Sphalerite, 2.7cm wide

Probably should have not included this one here, but the mine almost certainly produces better specimens than this one.

PyriteAustraliaNew South Wales, Yancowinna Co., Broken Hill

Pyrite on Calcite, 4cm tall

Broken Hill is famous old mine that began its life as a silver mine and then after the rich silver content of its minerals diminished it continued as a great producer of copper, lead and zinc. Even though it does not produce very good pyrite specimens, many collectors are interested in minerals from this classic locality that I thought it wise to include an example of pyrite from this locality.

PyriteAustraliaQueensland, Biggenden Shire, Biggenden Mine (Mount Biggenden Mine; Biggenden Gold And Bismuth Mine; Mount Biggenden Bismuth Mine; Mount Biggenden Magnetite Mine; Biggenden Quarry)

Pyrite, Calcite & Magnetite ~10cm wide

PyriteAustraliaSouth Australia, Olary Province, Mingary, Pine Creek - Mutooroo area, Mutooroo

Pyrite crystal, 3cm tall

PyriteAustraliaTasmania, Arthur River district

Pyrite, 12.5cm wide

PyriteAustraliaTasmania, Corinna-Savage River district, Savage River Mine

Pyrite ball (1cm) on Calcite, 5.5cm wide

PyriteAustraliaTasmania, Wilmot, HEC tunnel

Pyrite crystal cluster 2cm wide

PyriteAustraliaTasmania, Zeehan district, North Dundas, Renison Bell Mine

Pyrite on calcite 5.5 cm tall
Ball of Pyrite crystals, 3.8cm wide

PyriteAustraliaWestern Australia, Pilbara Region, Millstream Station

Pyrite ball (2.8cm wide) in shale
Pyrite ball 2.8cm wide

Pyrite balls in shale, 10.2 cm wide

PyriteAustriaCarinthia, Koralpe Mts, Waldenstein

Pyrite, 7cm wide

PyriteAustriaSalzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Gastein valley, Anlauf valley, Pletschen

Pyrite specimen 10.5 cm wide

PyriteAustriaSalzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Rauris valley, Hüttwinkl valley, Grieswies - Krumlkeeskopf Mt. area, Grieswies-Schwarzkopf Mt.

Pyrite on Arsenopyrite, 5.5cm wide

PyriteAustriaStyria, Bruck an der Mur, Laming valley, Oberdorf an der Laming

Pyrite crystal 4.7cm tall

PyriteAustriaStyria, Bruck an der Mur, Laming valley, Oberdorf an der Laming, Magnesite deposit

Pyrite on Talc 6cm tall
Pyrite crystal 7cm wide

PyriteAustriaStyria, Eisenerz, Styrian Erzberg

Pyrite specimen 5.9cm wide

PyriteAustriaStyria, Leoben, Galgenberg Mt., Railway tunnel

Pyrite on Calcite FOV 5mm

PyriteAustriaTyrol, East Tyrol, Tauem valley, Frosnitz valley

Pyrite on matrix 11cm wide

PyriteAustriaUpper Austria, Linz, St Georgen an der Gusen

Pyrite specimen 9.3cm wide
Pyrite, 5.2cm tall


Bolivia has not produced anywhere near as much pyrite as neighboring Peru, although pyrite is widespread in many of Bolivia's tin mines and tin-silver mines, less common in tungsten, bismuth or antimony mines. Most bolivian pyrites are cubes, octahedra, cubo-octahedra combinations, sometimes with diploid faces. Pyritohedra, so common elsewhere, are quite rare in Bolivia, whereas octahedra are relatively more common than in other countries.

PyriteBoliviaCochabamba Department, Ayopaya Province, Kami Mine

Pyrite 7cm wide

These distorted pyrite crystals with depressed faces or, in extreme cases, saddle-shaped edges, were first offered to visiting dealers at the Kami mine by campesino children in the early 1990s. They apparently don't come from the mine itself, but from the country rock, slightly metamorphosed shales or hornfels, at some distance from the mine.

PyriteBoliviaLa Paz Department, Inquisivi Province, Chicote Grande, Lapiani Mine

Pyrite ~8cm wide

The pyrites from the Lapiani tin mine occur as groups, and individual floater octahedra up to 7cm in size, in the vein gouge (clay filling), mostly extracted from the 1940s to 1970s. Although it is located in La Paz department, it is just across a narrow canyon from the Kami mine in Cochabamba department and is part of the same tungsten-tin mining district.

PyriteBoliviaPotosí Department
Pyrite on Siderite 5.3cm tall

This specimen is probably from the Canutillos mine, the Colavi mine, or one of the other mines in the Machacamarca-Colavi district, for which the curved faces and association with siderite is typical.

PyriteBoliviaPotosi Department, Antonio Quijarro Province, Tolopampa, Cerro Ubina

Pyrite & Sphalerite ~7cm wide

PyriteBoliviaPotosí Department, Antonio Quijarro Province, Tolopampa, Cerro Ubina, Mr. Pickering's mistress' mine

Pyrite 8.8cm wide

For those that know little or nothing about Bolivian specimen localities, the name of this locality "Mr. Pickering's mistress's mine sounds quite improbable. However, the comments of Tony Potucek:

I had a specimen of pyrite from Mr. Pickering's Mistress Mine that I acquired from Mark Bandy with his label. Les Presmyk also had a couple of them. While I have long since traded or sold it away, Mr. Bandy thought enough of the locality to actually attribute specimens from there. Being younger and still quite randy when I owned the piece, the mine name conjured up some great day dreams for me as I went about banging on outcrops and wondering what Mr. Pickering's mistress looked like, and .... Well, you get the picture.

Mark Bandy was a mining engineer who worked for Simon Patino (the King of Tin) at Llallagua and an avid mineral collector. The fact that he thought the locality valid, carries a lot of weight.

PyriteBoliviaPotosí Department, Cornelio Saavedra Province, Machacamarca District (Colavi District), Canutillos Mine

Pyrite ~7.5cm wide

PyriteBoliviaPotosí Department, Nor Chichas Province, Atocha-Quechisla District, Cerro Tazna, Tazna Mine (Tasna Mine; Tazna-Rosario Mine)

Pyrite, Siderite & Quartz 8cm wide

Tasna is better know for its specimens of Ferberite and Siderite, but it does produce the occasional good specimen of pyrite. Pyrite crystals from Tasna tend to be octahedral.

PyriteBoliviaPotosí Department, Rafael Bustillo Province (Bustillos Province), Llallagua

Pyrite & Wavellite? on Quartz 6cm tall
Pyrite on matrix ~10cm wide

Pyrite, 7.4cm wide

Llallagua is better know to collectors for its specimens of Paravauxite and Wavellite but it does produce decent Pyrite specimens occasionally. The first two are from the collection of Mark Bandy so we tend to believe their locality is accurate. Floater pyrite crystals from Llallagua, exclusively cubes, octahedra, cubo-octahedral combinations, and elongated cubes, came out in some abundance during the 1990s; they were embedded in soft scaly franckeite from the Dolores Atras adit, which was removed with wire brushes, leaving the floaters. They were mined by Roberto "Loco" Alarcon, the only one of Llallagua's thousands of miners who had an interest in sulphides. Roberto fell down his shaft due to a rotten ladder and broke multiple bones; he died during the bumpy 2.5 hour bus ride to the hospital in Oruro,.after which mining in this sulphide-rich vein stopped.

PyriteBoliviaPotosí Department, Sud Chichas Province, Atocha-Quechisla District, Chocaya mine

Pyrite ~9cm wide

PyriteBrazilSoutheast Region, Minas Gerais, Francisco Dumont municipality

Pyrite in Quartz ~11cm wide
Pyrite in Quartz ~8cm tall

Sometimes large well formed pyrites are found in clear quartz. For many years this locality was unique in this regard and is still considered the best locality for such items. It is an old locality that produced almost all of its specimens before World War II. Specimens were never common and are rarely offered for sale. The two pictured here are quite good, but I know of one better. There are many localities where small mm size pyrites are found in quartz.

PyriteBulgariaSmolyan Oblast, Rhodope Mts, Madan ore field

Pyrite 4.5cm tall
Pyrite 3.9cm wide

PyriteBulgariaSmolyan Oblast, Rhodope Mts, Madan ore field, Krushev dol mine, Krushev dol deposit

Pyrite on Quartz, 10.8cm wide
Pyrite on Quartz 8.4 cm wide

These specimens are amazingly similar to the pyrite and quartz specimens produced by the mine at Huaron mine in Peru.

PyriteBulgariaSmolyan Oblast, Rhodope Mts, Madan ore field, Septemvri mine (Deveti Septemvri mine)

Pyrite on Sphalerite, 9cm tall

PyriteBulgariaSmolyan Oblast, Zlatograd, Gyudyurska (Gjudurska) Mine

Pyrite 7.4cm tall
Pyrite and Calcite 7.4cm wide

PyriteCanadaManitoba, Stony Mountain

Pyrite, 6.7cm tall

PyriteCanadaNewfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland, Picadilly Beach

Pyrite 3.6cm tall
Pyrite 3cm wide

PyriteCanadaNewfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland, St. George's District, Port au Port Peninsula, Lead Cove

Pyrite 5.5cm wide

PyriteCanadaNunavut Territory, Baffin Island, Nanisivik, Nanisivik Mine

Pyrite 6 cm wide
Pyrite 4cm wide

Pyrite 6.5cm tall
Pyrite 11cm wide

This base metal mine whose main ore is sphalerite has produced many remarkable specimens of pyrite. Certainly some thousands of specimens due mostly to the efforts of Rod Tyson who for several years, with an arrangement with Strathconia Mineral Services Ltd, the operating entity for the mine, worked in the mine and collected many fine specimens. The mine operates in an area north of the Arctic Circle where the permafrost is about 500 meters deep and the average temperature of the underground mine is -15 degrees C. During the summer, humid air from the surface pumped through the mine causes everything to be coated with up to a half meter of ice, sometimes in fine crystals. Collecting during this time is almost impossible and is left to the winter months when the working are mostly ice free. I remember Rod telling me about how all the pockets containing pyrite were full of ice and that after he had hacked out his specimens, he had to transport them to the surface where he could let the ice melt off of them and see the quality of the specimens that he had collected. The mine is on an old Mississippi Valley Type deposit which hosted many fine Marcasite crystals as singles, twins, and fiveling twins with little if any pyrite. Then in a later episode the ores were reworked dissolving the Marcasite and redepositing it as Pyrite. Inintially the pyrite came in as an oriented overgrowth on the remaining Marcasite. This epitaxi shows the relation between the crystal structure of Marcasite and Pyrite. The disulfide lattice is continuous between the two minerals. As the reworking continued all the Marcasite was pseudomorphed by Pyrite and the Pyrite continued to deposit both on the Pyrite in epitaxi and separately as more normal looking Pyrite. So many of the pyrite crystals are actually pseudomorphs after Marcasite and in some of the articles I have read call them pyritized Marcasite. The mine can only be reached by sea during the summer months or by air, and there are no facilities available at the mine except those provided by the mining company, so it is not a place where you can go for a field trip without making arrangements with Strathconia Mineral Services Ltd. Sadly that was before 2002 when the mine was shut and decommissioned. A good article to read about the locality is in the Mineralogical Record 1990, V.21 #6 p515-534

Nunavut Territory, Baffin Island, Nanisivik, Nanisivik Mine, Main Level, Area 29 North

Pyrite after Marcasite 5.5 cm wide
Pyrite after Marcasite 7 cm wide

Pyrite 2.8cm wide
Pyrite, 6cm wide

Pyrite after Marcasite 10,5 cm wide
Pyrite after Marcasite 8cm wide

Pyrite after Marcasite 6cm tall
Pyrite 6 cm tall

PyriteCanadaOntario, Leeds Co., Shipman Mine

Pyrite octahedron 8cm tall

PyriteCanadaOntario, Peterborough Co., Harvey Township, Ormell Quarry

Pyrite 1.7cm wide

PyriteCanadaOntario, Renfrew Co., Greater Madawaska Township, Griffith, Khartum, Highway 41 Roadcut

Pyrite 7.5cm wide

PyriteCanadaQuébec, Montérégie, Rouville RCM, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Poudrette quarry (Demix quarry; Uni-Mix quarry; Desourdy quarry)

Pyrite after Pyrrhotite 13.4cm tall
Pyrite, 2.8cm tall

Pyrite 9.5cm wide

The quarry at Mont Saint-Hilaire seems like it has produced everything else, so why not a few decent pyrite specimens.

PyriteChileAtacama Region, Chañaral Province, El Salvador district, El Salvador Mine

Pyrite 8cm wide

PyriteChinaGuangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Hechi Prefecture, Nandan Co., Dachang Sn-polymetallic ore field

Pyrite 7.6cm tall
Pyrite 3.5cm wide

PyriteChinaGuangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Wuzhou Prefecture

Pyrite 7cm tall
Pyrite 6.5 cm wide

Pyrite 6.3cm wide

I call these types of pyrites concretionary pyrites and they are commonly found in shale and find grained sediments. Frequently these types of pyrite are not as stable as their more well crystalized cousins from base metal mines. These are no exception. These pyrite "suns" are found up to about 6 inches in diameter, but the larger ones are notoriously unstable and in all the large ones I have seen, have cracks and fall apart in a month or two. The smaller ones appear to be much more stable and I have some that have thus far shown no decomposition in the five or six years I have had them. About one in every thousand or two thousand is actually a pyrite "donut" with pyrite crystal faces covering all surfaces of the "donut". Ill take some pictures of these and post them in the Mindat gallery and here when I get the time.

PyriteChinaHubei Province, Huangshi Prefecture, Daye Co., Edong Mining District, Daye Iron mine

Pyrite on Calcite 5.5cm wide

PyriteChinaHubei Province, Huangshi Prefecture, Edong Mining District, Daye Co., Fengjiashan Mine (Daye Copper mine)

Pyrite & Quartz, 14.6cm tall
Pyrite & Quartz 7.5cm tall

Pyrite on Quartz 5.6cm tall
Pyrite and Quartz 15.1cm wide

Daye is a city in Hubei province and the seat of a 2000 year old bronze culture and is still a mining center with a big open pit copper mine on the edge of town. The Fengjiashan (Feng family mountain) mine is an underground mine, thought not a really big one and started life as a copper mine, but has recently taken to mining Sillimanite for refractory purposes. It is well known to collectors for many kinds of specimens including good pyrite specimens. Though the specimens from this mine may not rival the best of those from mines in Peru the best pyrites from here are avidly sought by collectors.

PyriteChinaHunan Province, Chenzhou Prefecture

Pyrite on Calcite 6.9cm tall
Pyrite on Calcite 9.8cm wide
Pyrite on Calcite 11.6cm wide

Pyrite on Calcite, 6.5cm tall
Pyrite on Calcite 10.1cm tall

Pyrite on Calcite 11.5cm wide

The pyrite and calcite specimens from this locality are fine examples of epitaxially oriented overgrowths of one mineral on another. For what ever reason, probably related to thermodynamic considerations, the pyrite found it congenial to grow on come faces of these calcite crystals but not others. This kind of mineral association, collectors have always found fascinating.

PyriteChinaHunan Province, Chenzhou Prefecture, Yizhang Co., Yaogangxian Mine

Pyrite on Quartz 6.5cm wide

PyriteChinaHunan Province, Hengyang Prefecture, Leiyang Co., Shangbao Pyrite mine

Pyrite & Quartz on Fluorite 7.5cm wide
Pyrite 4.6cm wide

Pyrite & Quartz 5cm wide
Pyrite 3.4cm wide

Pyrite 6.5cm tall
Pyrite 6.1cm wide

Pyrite 6.6cm wide
Pyrite & Quartz 5.4cm wide

The pyrite specimens from this mine have been surprisingly good, but you can see that from the pictures.

PyriteChinaJiangxi Province, Ganzhou Prefecture, Ruijin Co., Xiefang Mine

Pyrite on Fluorite 13.2cm tall
Pyrite on Fluorite 3.6cm tall

ChinaJiangxi Province, Jiujiang Prefecture, De'an Co., De'an Mine (Wushan Fluorite mine)

Pyrite on Quartz 6.5cm wide
Pyrite on Quartz 11.5cm wide

ChinaYunnan Province, Kunming Prefecture, Dongchuan District

Pyrite 6.2cm wide
Pyrite 6.4cm wide

Pyrite, 7.5cm wide
Pyrite 8.3cm wide

Some of these concretionary forms of Pyrite can be nearly the size of footballs. Many of these kinds of pyrite are not very stable over the long haul since thees have only been in the specimen market for a year or two it is too soon to know how stable they will prove to be.

PyriteColombiaCundinamarca Department, Zipaquira salt mine

Pyryte 2cm wide

PyriteCyprusPaphos District, Kinousa, Polis, Kinousa Mine

Pyrite 4.5cm wide

PyriteCzech RepublicBohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen), Central Bohemia Region, Příbram

Pyrite 6.4cm tall
Pyrite on Calcite 5cm wide
Pyrite on Calcite 9.5cm wide

PyriteCzech RepublicBohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen), Central Bohemia Region, Příbram, Vrančice, Alexander Mine

Pyrite & iron stained Quartz 6.5cm wide

PyriteCzech RepublicMoravia (Mähren; Maehren), Moravia-Silesia Region, Frýdek-Místek, Baška

Pyrite in shale 11cm wide

PyriteCzech RepublicMoravia (Mähren; Maehren), Moravia-Silesia Region, Štramberk (Stramberg)

Pyrite 5.5cm wide

PyriteCzech RepublicMoravia (Mähren; Maehren), Vysočina Region, Žďár nad Sázavou, Dolní Bory

Pyrite 4cm wide

PyriteFranceAuvergne, Puy-de-Dôme, Pontgibaud, Bromont-Lamothe, Pranal

Pyrite 7cm tall

PyriteFranceBurgundy, Saône-et-Loire, Lucenay-l'Evêque, Cordesse, Maine Mine

Pyrite 13cm wide

PyriteFranceLanguedoc-Roussillon, Aude, Carcassonne, Mas-Cabardès, Salsigne, Salsigne mine

Pyrite 10cm wide

PyriteFranceLanguedoc-Roussillon, Pyrénées-Orientales, Arles sur Tech, Corsavy, Batère mines

Pyrite & Hematite 6.5cm wide

PyriteFranceMidi-Pyrénées, Ariège, Tarascon-sur-Ariège, Bedeilhac et Aynat

Pyrite on Gypsum 2.5cm wide

PyriteFranceMidi-Pyrénées, Aveyron, Cornus, Le Clapier

Pyrite after ammonite ~3cm wide

PyriteFranceNord-Pas-de-Calais, Nord, Avesnes sur Helpe, Glageon Quarry (Le Cailloit Quarry)

Pyrite, tetrahexahedrons, largest xl~8mm
Pyrite in limestone

Pyrite tetrahexahedron ~6mm?

PyriteFranceNord-Pas-de-Calais, Pas-de-Calais, Cap Blanc-Nez (Escalles)

Pyrite 3cm wide
Pyrite after sponge 8cm tall

Pyrite 4cm wide
Pyrite 7cm wide

Pyrite 8cm wide

PyriteGermanyBaden-Württemberg, Wiesloch, Heidelberg

Pyrite 3.4cm tall
Pyrite xl balls, largest is 1.3cm wide

PyriteGermanyBaden-Württemberg, Schwäbische Alb Mts, Kirchheim unter Teck, Shale quarries

Pyrite after turitella shell FOV 1cm
Pyrite after snail shell FOV 1.7cm

PyriteGermanyBavaria, Franconia, Unterstürmig, Unterstürmig clay pit

Pyrite after ammonite ~4cm wide

PyriteGermanyHesse, Odenwald, Lindenfels, Erlenbach, Aorite quarry

Pyrite cluster 4.5mm wide

PyriteGermanyNorth Rhine-Westphalia, Eastern Westphalia, Lemgo

Pyrite twin, 7mm wide

PyriteGermanyNorth Rhine-Westphalia, Niederberg area, Wülfrath, Rohdenhaus, Rohdenhaus Quarry (incl. Krieger Quarry)

Pyrite & Marcasite? 15cm wide

PyriteGermanyNorth Rhine-Westphalia, Sauerland, Arnsberg, Holzen, Calcite quarry

Pyrite 6.2cm wide
Pyrite and Dolomite 8.2cm wide

PyriteGermanyNorth Rhine-Westphalia, Sauerland, Iserlohn, Menden, Becke-Oese quarry

Pyrite 13.5cm wide
Pyrite & Calcite 14cm wide

PyriteGermanyRhineland-Palatinate, Siegerland, Wissen, Niederhövels, Eupel Mine (incl. Glücksstern Mine; Rasselskaute Mine)

Pyrite on Dolomite 12cm wide

PyriteGermanySaxony, Erzgebirge, Freiberg District, Freiberg

Pyrite after pyrrhotite ~6cm tall

PyriteGermanySaxony, Erzgebirge, Schlema-Hartenstein District, Shaft 371

Pyrite & Calcite 7.5cm wide

PyriteGermanySaxony, Vogtland, Oelsnitz, Schönbrunn, Ludwig-Vereinigt Feld Mine

Pyrite 6cm wide
Pyrite 4cm wide

PyriteGreeceMacedonia Department, Chalkidiki Prefecture, Cassandra Mines, Stratoni operations, Madem-Lakko Mine (Madem-Lakkos Mine; Madem Laccos Mine)

Pyrite on Quartz 5.8cm wide

PyriteHungaryHeves Co., Mátra Mts., Gyöngyösoroszi, Károlytáró

Pyrite 8.9cm tall

PyriteIrelandCo. Kilkenny, Johnstown, Galmoy Mine

Pyrite 5.5cm wide
Pyrite 9cm wide

IrelandCo. Tipperary, Silvermines District, Mogul Mine (Garryard)

Pyrite and Sphalerite 4cm wide

PyriteItalyAosta Valley, La Thuile

Pyrite 16.9cm wide

PyriteItalyEmilia-Romagna, Modena Province, Frassinoro, Ca' Vanni

Pyrite 30cm tall

PyriteItalyEmilia-Romagna, Piacenza Province

Pyrite 6cm wide
Pyrite 2.8cm wide

Pyrite in/on limestone 5cm wide

PyriteItalyPiedmont, Torino Province, Canavese District, Chiusella Valley, Traversella

Pyrite 9.4cm wide
Pyrite 5cm wide

Pyrite crystals, 2mm on calcite

PyriteItalyPiedmont, Torino Province, Canavese District, Léssolo, Cálea, Brosso Mine

Pyrite, Siderite & Quartz 6cm tall
Pyrite & Siderite 5.9cm wide
Pyrite 25cm wide

Pyrite 14.3cm wide

PyriteItalyTrentino-Alto Adige, Bolzano Province (South Tyrol), Vizze Valley (Pfitsch Valley), Grabspitz Mt.

Pyrite & Albite 2.2cm wide
Pyrite & Calcite 1.8mm wide

PyriteItalyTuscany, Grosseto Province, Gavorrano, Gavorrano Mine

Pyrite 9cm tall
Pyrite ~4cm wide

Pyrite 14cm wide

PyriteItalyTuscany, Grosseto Province, Massa Marittima, Niccioleta Mine

Pyrite ~9cm wide
Pyrite 16cm wide

Pyrite 7cm wide
Pyrite & Quartz ~6cm tall

Pyrite ~5cm tall
Pyrite & Anhydrite 4.5cm wide

PyriteItalyTuscany, Livorno Province, Elba Island, Rio Marina

Pyrite & Hematite 11cm tall
Pyrite & Hematite 5.2cm tall

Pyrite 1.5cm wide
Pyrite 2.2cm wide

Pyrite on Hematite ~4cm wide
Pyrite on Hematite 4.5cm wide

Pyrite on Hematite 10cm wide
Pyrite 8cm wide

Pyrite on Adularia ~6cm wide
Pyrite on Hematite 4.5cm wide

Pyrite, largest ~2.5cm wide
Pyrite 6cm wide

Pyrite & Hematite 16cm tall
Pyrite 3.5cm wide

For many years Elba was considered by collectors at the premiere locality for pyrite. Then the mines in Peru started producing tons of specimens for the mineral market and more recently China and the fine specimen of pyrite from Elba now don't look as good at they used to. But good specimen of pyrite, especially if it has nice bladed hematite with it are still eagerly sought by collectors.

PyriteItalyTuscany, Livorno Province, Elba Island, Rio Marina, Rio Mine (Rio Marina Mine), Falcacci stope (Le Cavacce)

Pyrite 7cm wide
Pyrite 12cm wide

PyriteItalyVeneto, Vicenza Province, Magrè Mt.

Pyrite .8mm
Pyrite 1.7mm wide

Pyrite ~1.8mm wide

PyriteItalyVeneto, Vicenza province, Schio-Valdagno tunnel

Pyrite in shale 13cm wide
Pyrite in shale ~10cm wide

Pyrite 4cm wide
Pyrite in shale 12cm wide

Pyrite in shale ~10cm wide

PyriteJapanHonshu Island, Chubu Region, Ishikawa Prefecture, Komatsu city, Ogoya mine

Pyrite, 3.5cm

PyriteJapanHonshu Island, Kanto region, Tochigi Prefecture, Ashio, Ashio mine

Pyrite 1.3cm wide

PyriteJapanHonshu Island, Tohoku Region, Aomori Prefecture, Naka-Tsugaru-gun, Nishimeya-mura, Oppu mine

Pyrite 10cm wide
Pyrite 6.4cm wide

Pyrite on Rhodochrosite 10.2cm wide

Mining in Japan is now almost non existent so the production of mineral specimens from Japan are not offered for sale in the USA and when they are, they are almost always earmarked by the dealer who has them for sale directly in Japan or are bought directly by Japanese collectors. After the Second World war there was still some mining going on in Japan, and specimens sometimes made their way to the west because rich American collectors would pay more money for them than the few Japanese collectors. Today the tide has turned and the Japanese are repatriating their national treasures as fast as they can and they will usually pay more for them than will American or European collectors. As you can see from some of the above images of Japanese pyrite specimens, Japan has produced some very good specimen indeed.

PyriteKazakhstanQostaney Oblysy (Kostanai Oblast'), Qostaney (Kustany), Karzamkul deposit

Pyrite on Epidote ~4cm
Pyrite ~3cm wide
Pyrite ~3cm wide

PyriteKazakhstanQostaney Oblysy (Kostanai Oblast'), Sarbaiskoe deposit (Sarbai; Sarbay Mine)

Pyrite & Calcite 6.2cm wide

PyriteKosovoKosovska Mitrovica, Trepča valley, Trepča complex

Pyrite, Rhodochrosite, Quartz 6cm wide
Pyrite & Quartz 9.3cm wide

PyriteLuxembourgPutscheid commune, Stolzembourg, Stolzembourg Copper Mine

Pyrite and Ankerite 11.8cm wide

Click this link to view Pyrite from Mexico to Turkey and here for Pyrite from the United Kingdom to Zimbabwe. and here for Best Minerals P and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of all Best Minerals articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.

Edited 88 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2010 02:21PM by Rock Currier.
Alfredo Petrov July 16, 2010 03:09AM
One of the pyrite photos under Llallagua, Bolivia, is actually from the Kami mine. I edited the photo locality, but it is now in the wrong part of the article.
Rock Currier July 16, 2010 06:56AM
Thanks Alfredo, its fixed now. But take a look at this locality

Potosí Department, Antonio Quijarro Province, Tolopampa, Cerro Ubina, Mr. Pickering's mistress' mine

Can this be right? Would it not at least be in Spanish? Have you ever heard of mine name in Bolivia like that?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Alfredo Petrov July 16, 2010 01:23PM
Yes, I'd heard of "Mr Pickering's mistress' mine" before, but I'd assumed it was not the actual mine name but rather "the (unnamed) mine owned by Mr Pickering's mistress", so no need to translate it. Don't know who Mr Pickering was.... probably one of those randy British mine engineers who came to Bolivia hunting for tin between the 1880s and 1940s and had mistresses in every mining camp between La Paz and Atocha, and an extra one in Chile for good luck :)
Rock Currier July 16, 2010 07:50PM

would you have time to go through the Bolivian entries we have in this article and make some comments about the mines in general that they come from and something about the relative quality and abundance of the specimens that come from these mines?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Tony L. Potucek July 16, 2010 09:37PM
I had a specimen of pyrite from Mr. Pickering's Mistress Mine that I acquired from Mark Bandy with his label. Les Presmyk also had a couple of them. While I have long since traded or sold it away, Mr. Bandy thought enough of the locality to actually attribute specimens from there. Being younger and still quite randy when I owned the piece, the mine name conjured up some great day dreams for me as I went about banging on outcrops and wondering what Mr. Pickering's mistress looked like, and how much it must have cost the old boy to sample her wares.
Rock Currier July 16, 2010 11:10PM
That is good enough for me. If Mark Bandy gave it as a locality it is undoubtedly a valid one. I am going to use much of what you said in the article under Pyrite from that locality. If you have time, go through the pyrite localities and tell us what you know about them and the specimens that come from the localities. I have made you a level one member here on Mindat and you can now upload images to our database and add localities, but as far as localities are concerned you might want to run any proposed changes by us here on the message board till you get the hang of it. If you have more than just a few things to add to the Best Minerals pyrite articles or other Best Min minerals articles, Ill make you a helper and that will enable you to enter your comments directly into the articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Tony L. Potucek July 16, 2010 11:24PM
Thanks, Will do!

Rob Woodside July 17, 2010 12:02AM
Rock, You and I are editing Nanisivik at the same time. You wrote a nice Blurb that is gone now. I wanted to put Nanisivik mine first with your blurb and then Area 29 with a blurb. Can you ressurrect your Blurb?
Edit: Found it!!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2010 12:54AM by Rob Woodside.
cheese567 November 13, 2014 03:26AM
Wow! Amazing, its my first time seeing this kind of stone.
I didn't really expect that there more stone like these.
I really enjoy seeing it, this is very unique stone I've ever seen. (tu):)-D;-)
I'd like to peer more post on this. Very interesting.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/13/2014 06:38AM by Olav Revheim.
safari22 November 18, 2014 03:14AM
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wallens August 28, 2015 06:01AM
Thanks for the blog loaded with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/28/2015 06:03AM by Olav Revheim.
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