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Pyrite - Mexico to Turkey

Posted by Rock Currier  
Rock Currier July 08, 2010 09:47AM
Click this link to view Pyrite from Angola to Luxembourg and here for Pyrite from the United Kingdom to Zimbabwe. and here Best Minerals P. Click here to view Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation list of all minerals.

PyriteMexicoChihuahua, Mun. de Aquiles Serdán, Santa Eulalia District

Pyrite & Calcite ~7cm wide
Pyrite after Pyrrhotite? 5.9cm wide

Pyrite & Calcite ~16cm wide
Pyrite after pyrrhotite ~7cm wide

Pyrite ~7cm wide
Pyrite & Calcite 15.8cm wide

This underground base metal mine is better know for good specimens of other menials but does produce some good pyrite specimens.

PyriteMexicoChihuahua, Mun. de Batopilas, La Bufa, Bufa Mine

Pyrite on Quartz ~11cm wide

PyriteMexicoChihuahua, Mun. de Saucillo, Naica

Pyrite on Calcite 14cm wide
Pyrite, Quartz & Sphalerite 6.5cm wide

Pyrite & Calcite 8cm tall

PyriteMexicoChihuahua, Santo Domingo, La Condesa Mine

Pyrite after Pyrrhotite 10.9cm wide

PyriteMexicoGuanajuato, Mun. de Guanajuato, Guanajuato, La Sirena Mine

Pyrite, 9.2cm tall

PyriteMexicoGuerrero, Mun. de Taxco, axco de Alarcón (Taxco; Tasco), Remedios Mine

Pyrite on Calcite 5cm wide

PyriteMexicoSonora, Mun. de Cananea, Cananea

Pyrite on Quartz 5.4cm wide
Pyrite 7.2cm wide

I've seen single sharp Pyrite cubes to at least 25 cm from Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, but every one was damaged. I think only one family was mining them and I couldn't convince them to produce nice specimens, this was about 10-15 years ago.
Dave Garskie <2014>

PyriteMexicoZacatecas, Mun. de Concepción del Oro

Pyrite on Andradite with Chalcopyrite ~12cm wide
Pyrite 3.5cm tall

Pyrite on Quartz 11cm wide
Pyrite 4.1cm tall

Pyrite 6.3cm tall
Pyrite on Quartz, 10.9cn tall

Pyrite, Hematite & Grossular 7.4cm wide
Pyrite 3.7cm wide

PyriteMexicoZacatecas, Mun. de Concepción del Oro, Concepción del Oro, Cobre Mine

Pyrite & Garnet 5.2cm tall

PyriteMexicoZacatecas, Mun. de Mazapil, Noche Buena, Noche Buena Mine

Pyrite & Sphalerite 4cm wide
Pyrite & Calcite 7cm wide

Pyrite 10cm wide

An underground base metal mine. The mine is quite hot and has a big circular ramp descending to its operational levels and the ore is driven out with diesel trucks. On occasion it produces abundant pyrite specimens but usually not of high quality. Some vugs contain small arsenopyrite crystals and abundant hairy Jamesonite some of which is used to make fake Jamesonite specimens. A little glue is painted on a rock and then Jamesonite hairs are sprinkled on and when the glue dries, the excess Jamesonite is shaken off.

PyriteMexicoZacatecas, Mun. de Zacatecas, Zacatecas

Pyrite 5.1cm tall

PyriteMongoliaDornogovi Aimag, Hövsgöl, Lugeengol (Lugin Gol; Lugin Gel) REE deposit

1.5cm Pyrite xl in calcite

PyriteMoroccoMarrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Marrakech Prefecture, Guemassa Massif, Hajar Mine

Pyrite 7.3cm wide

PyriteMoroccoMeknès-Tafilalet Region, Er Rachidia Province, Tarhbalt, Alnif, Oumjrane Mine

Twinned Pyrite crystal 1.5cm wide
Twinned Pyrite crystal 1.8cm wide

Iron cross Pyrite twins were at one time considered very rare, but they have now been found at a number of localities. I have never seen a perfect one larger than about 1.5cm.

PyriteMoroccoMeknès-Tafilalet Region, Meknès Prefecture, Meknès, Mount Hammam, El Hammam Mine (El Hamman Mine)

Pyrite on Fluorite & Calcite 12cm wide
Drusy Pyrite on Fluorite 13.9 cm wide

This mine, which has seen perhaps more than its share of labor disputes has been intermittently been producing specimens for years and is perhaps better known for its fluorite specimens that sometimes have glistening little quartz crystals scattered on the quartz that are so shiny that they look almost like drops of water. The sign on the road at the entrance to the mine looks like it says del Hammam., but it is French and should read d'el hammam. The rust on the sign mostly obliterates the '.

PyriteMoroccoSouss-Massa-Draâ Region, Tiznit Province, Akka, Tafraout, Iouriren Mine (AGM Mine)

Pyrite on Quartz 4.2cm tall

PyriteNamibiaErongo Region, Karibib District, Krantzberg

Pyrite altering to Goethite 2.6cm wide

PyriteNamibiaOtjikoto (Oshikoto) Region, Tsumeb

Pyrite 1.5cm wide
Pyrite 4.5cm wide

Tsumeb is a base metal mine, much better know for fine specimens of many mineral species, so one would almost expect that it would produce some specimens of pyrite even if they were not outstanding.

PyriteNepalMahakali Zone
Micro Pyrite xls on ammonite fossil 6cm wide

PyriteNetherlandsGelderland, Winterswijk, Vosseveld, Ratum quarry

Pyrite in marl 4.5cm wide
Pyrite 2.5cm wide

Pyrite 4cm tall
Pyrite in marl 9cm tall

Pyrite 7cm wide
Pyrite in marl 6.5cm wide

Pyrite in marl 7.5cm wide
Pyrite 4.5cm wide

Pyrite in marl 6cm wide

PyriteNetherlandsLimburg, Landgraaf-Eygelshoven, Laura-Julia mines

Pyrite 15cm wide
Pyrite & Calcite 9.6cm wide

Pyrite 5.5cm wide

PyriteNew ZealandSouth Island, Canterbury, Lyttelton, Lyttelton Harbour Board Quarry

Pyrite on Phillipsite-Ca FOV 1mm

PyriteNorwayAust-Agder, Risør, Søndeled, Ravneberget quarry

Pyrite crystal 7mm wide
Pyrite 1.3cm wide

PyriteNorwayTelemark, Porsgrunn, Brevik, Kjørholt, Dalen-Kjørholt Mine

Pyrite 2.2cm wide

PyritePeruHuancavelica Department, Angaraes Province, Julcani District

Pyrite 8.8cm wide
Pyrite 2.6cm wide

Pyrite & Quartz 6cm tall
Pyrite & Quartz 3cm wide

Julcani has produced some decent pyrite specimens and others as well, but of the many specimen producing mines in Peru, specimens from this district are not plentiful.

PyritePeruHuancavelica Department, Castrovirreyna Province, Castrovirreyna District

Pyrite 5cm tall
Pyrite & Quartz 4cm tall

PyritePeruHuánuco Department, Dos de Mayo Province, Huallanca District

Pyrite 13.6cm wide

PyritePeruHuánuco Department, Dos de Mayo Province, Huallanca District, Huanzala Mine

Pyrite, 4.5cm wide
Pyrite, 2.9cm wide

Pyrite & Quartz 10cm wide
Pyrite, 7.5cm wide

Pyrite, 4.7cm tall
Pyrite, 6.4cm tall

Pyrite, 5cm tall
Pyrite, 7.5cm tall

Pyrite, 4cm tall
Pyrite & Quartz 6cm wide
Pyrite, 14.4cm wide

Pyrite, 8.2cm tall
Pyrite, 14.5cm tall

Pyrite, 6.8cm wide
Pyrite, 13cm tall

Pyrite, 8cm wide
Pyrite, 11.5cm wide

Huanzala is probably the premiere producer of pyrite mineral specimens in the world. Huanzala is a copper, lead, zinc and silver mine that has for years produced literally tons of pyrite specimens. Certainly more than a thousand tons of them. This mine could if the management wished be mined for many more ton of specimens. It produces both cubic and octahedral crystals of pyrite as well as a variety of other crystals forms as well. The size of the specimens is limited mostly to the size of the mine tunnels and the equipment that mines and transports them. I have seen many specimens in excess of 100 pounds and at one time fifty pound plus specimens with predominately octahedral pyrite crystals 20 cm on edge were common and could be bought for less than $10 per kg. When the mine was producing specimens prolifically back in the 70s, 80s and 90s you could buy as many tons of specimens as you wanted for less than $5 per kg. The really good ones would generally cost between $10 & $15 per kg. The mine also produced a variety of pyrite specimens that the local dealers called "chispas" or sparks that consisted of a mass of somewhat intergrown small pyrite specimens and this was the most abundant and cheapest material and could sometimes be had for less than $1 per kg, but was rarely more than $2 per kg. Another variety where the crystals were a little larger and more well defined were called "cocos" and sold for as much as $4 per kg for the best grades. The mine also produced nice big well formed crystal fragments, tons of which were shipped off to Thailand for the manufacture of "Marcasite" jewelry. Some specimens from this mine have in recent years been sold at auction for thousands of dollars. One went for a reported $60,000. Almost all of the specimens were cleaned by local dealers commonly by soaking them for a period of time in hydrochloric acid and then washing the acid away with water. For many years specimen sellers would spread pyrite and other specimen out on news papers on the sidewalks near the center of Lima near the Plaza San Martin and countless tons of pyrite and other specimens were sold to locals, tourists and specimen dealers in this way. The specimens would get dirty and the sellers would use little brushes to polish their pyrite specimens very much like fruit sellers would polish their apples. When I first went to Lima, I would ask the pyritaros on the Colmena (street dealers) where they were from and the answer was usually Cerro de Pasco which was one of the better known mines in Peru. Of course the specimens were almost always from some other mine, but that was the common answer.

PyritePeruJunín Department, Carhuacayan Province, Carhuacayan District, Carhuacayan Mine

Pyrite 4.2cm tall
Pyrite ~13cm wide

For short periods of time this mine produced tons of pyrite specimens, but few of outstanding quality. Most often the crystals are sort of "rounded" like the one on the right above. Many of them were commonly associated with a white earthy clay? that the minders and dealers in Lima would remove with brushes and other cleaning methods. The one on the right is an example of one of the very good pyrites from the deposit looked like. Like so many of the pyrites from Peru, most of the pyrites from this mine were sold by the pound and it is common for the locality they are from are not sold along with labels identifying the locality.

PyritePyriteJunín Department, Yauli Province, Morococha District

Pyrite on Gypsum ~9cm tall
Pyrite 5.3cm wide
Pyrite & a little Quartz 13.9cm wide

Pyrite on Quartz 10.4cm wide
Pyrite & Quartz ~6cm tall

The base metal mine of Morococha is "just over the hill" from Casapalca and one of the mines near Lima.
It it has produced tons of pyrite specimens but still only a small fraction of the great pyrites specimen producer, Huanzala. The specimen on the bottom right is typical of most of the production. The one in the upper left associate with gypsum is rare. Every trip I made to Lima, I was hoping that it would produce more with this association, but it was not to be. Morococha is an old underground mine and the water is drained from the lower portions of the mine by a tunnel nearly 20 kilometers long called the Kingsmill tunnel. Kingsmill was one of the managers of Cerro Corporation before Peru nationalized all the mines owned by foreigners in the 50s and consolidated them under the state mining cooperation called Centromin.

PyritePeruLa Libertad Department, Santiago de Chuco Province, Quiruvilca District, Quiruvilca Mine (La Libertad Mine; ASARCO Mine)

Pyrite & Quartz 6.2cm wide
Pyrite 16cm wide

Pyrite 6.3cm tall
Pyrite 17.3cm tall

Pyrite on Enargite ~5cm tall
Pyrite & Enargite ~6cm tall

Pyrite & Quartz ~5cm wide
Pyrite ~8cm wide

Pyrite & Enargite ~5cm wide
Pyrite 7.1cm tall

Pyrite 5.3cm wide
Pyrite ~10cm wide

The base metal underground mine at Quiruvilca has produce tons of Pyrite specimens and may be the second most prolific produced or pyrite specimens after Huanzala, but still probably an order of magnitude or two less than the mine at Huanzala. It has produced some exception specimens of Octahedral pyrite. Huanzala is also know for its fine specimens of Enargite and Orpiment. Its ore-body contained an immense body of Enargite, perhaps a kilometer long with crystals commonly a cm or two but reaching lengths of 20 cm. Most of this material went early on into the crushers and through the mill. By the time I got down there in the early 70s much of the Enargite zone had been mined out.

PyritePeruLima Department, Huarochiri Province, Casapalca

Pyrite & Quartz ~7cm wide
Pyrite & Quartz ~6cm wide

Pyrite on Quartz 5.2cm tall
Pyrite on Quartz ~10cm wide

The underground base metal mine is one of the big mines close to Lima. It is better know for its fine specimens of Tetrahedrite than for its Pyrite specimen, but as you can see from the examples above it has produced some worthy specimens.

PyritePeruPasco Department, Daniel Alcides Carrión Province, Cerro de Pasco, Atacocha District, Milpo Mine

Pyrite 5.4cm wide

PyritePeruPasco Department, Daniel Alcides Carrión Province, Cerro de Pasco, San Jose de Huayllay District, Huaron Mining District

Pyrite & Quartz 5.4cm wide
Pyrite & Quartz 4.2cm wide

Pyrite on Quartz 7.5cm wide

Over the years, this mine has been a steady producer of specimens. Typically they are quartz and pyrite combinations and for years in the 70s, 80s and 90s were commonly sold by the kg in cardboard cracker boxes which seemed to be one of the favorite containers that the runners used to transport them from the mine to Lima. Once in a while, these combination specimens were stunningly beautiful. Most of them however were not well cared for and just placer in cardboard boxes in layers separated from each other by only a little newspaper. Many mines in Peru are rather remote and there is not all that much available to pack specimens in and very little wrap them up in. Sometimes in these mining camps I would offer a dollar for every cardboard box that anyone could supply me with, and at that time in those camps, that was a lot of money, but often only a few or no boxes were available.

PyritePeruPasco Department, Daniel Alcides Carrión Province, Cerro de Pasco, San Jose de Huayllay District, Huaron Mining District, Alimon Mine (Animon Mine)

Pyrite & Quartz 6cm tall
Pyrite & Quartz 5.2cm wide

Pyrite & Quartz 5cm wide
Pyrite 10.7cm wide

PyritePolandMałopolskie, Olkusz District, Olkusz, Pomorzany Mine

Pyrite on Calcite 4cm wide

PyritePolandŚwiętokrzyskie, Świętokrzyskie Mts (Holy Cross Mts), Kielce District, Kowala

Pyrite in marl ~9cm wide
Pyrite 5cm wide

Pyrite 5cm wide
Pyrite 1cm wide

PyritePortugalCastelo Branco District, Covilhã, Panasqueira, Panasqueira Mines

Pyrite & Calcite 4.5cm tall
Pyrite & Marcasite 8.7cm tall

Pyrite 6.5cm wide
Pyrite & Calcite 7.2cm wide

Pyrite 8.8cm tall
Pyrite & Calcite 4.6cm tall

Pyrite on Calcite 7cm wide
Pyrite 4.5cm wide

The mine at Panasqueira is much better known for its specimens of Ferberite, Apatite and Arsenopyrite than its pyrite specimens, but it did produce a few good ones.

PyritePortugalLeiria District, Óbidos, Avarela

Pyrite, iron cross twin 8mm wide
Pyrite, iron cross twin 1cm wide

Pyrite iron cross twins up to 7mm

PyritePortugalLeiria District, Óbidos, Senhora da Luz

Pyrite iron cross twin 1.2cm wide
Pyrite FOV 1.5cm

PyritePortugalLisboa District, Sintra, Magoito, Samarra beach

Pyrite 2.5cm wide
Pyrite 2cm tall

PyritePortugalViseu District, Sátão, Ferreira de Aves, Aldeia Nova, Assunção Mine

Pyrite 4cm wide

PyriteRomaniaCluj Co., Masca Băişoara, Iara (Alsójára), Iara Mine

Pyrite 4.2cm wide

PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Baia Borsa, Toroioaga Mine

Pyrite, Chalcopyrite & Calcite 11.4cm

PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Baia Mare (Nagybánya), Chiuzbaia (Kisbánya), Herja Mine

Pyrite & Sphalerite 8cm wide
Pyrite & Zinkenite 5cm wide

Pyrite & Calcite, ~4.5cm wide
Pyrite, Stibnite & Sphalerite 7cm wide

PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Baia Sprie (Felsöbánya), Baia Sprie mine (Felsöbánya mine)

Pyrite on Quartz 17cm wide

PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Baia Sprie (Felsöbánya), No. 5 Mine

Pyrite on Calcite 16cm wide

PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Baiut

Pyrite 11cm wide

PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Cavnic (Kapnic; Kapnik), Cavnic Mine (Kapnikbánya)

Pyrite & a little Quartz 6cm wide
Pyrite & Quartz, 20cm wide

Pyrite, Dolomite & Quartz 8cm wide
Pyrite, Dolomite & Quartz 4.5cm wide

Pyrite & Calcite 6.6cm wide
Pyrite & Dolomite 4cm wide

Pyrite, Dolomite & Quartz 5cm wide
Pyrite 7cm wide

Pyrite on Quartz 7cm wide

PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Satu Mare, Turt, Turt Mine (Ghezuri Mine)

Pyrite & Siderite 9cm tall
Pyrite & Siderite 7cm wide
Pyrite 15cm wide

Pyrite, Aragonite & Quartz 8cm wide

PyriteRomaniaMaramures Co., Tibles Mts

Pyrite 6.4cm tall

PyriteRussiaFar-Eastern Region, Primorskiy Kray, Dal'negorsk (Dalnegorsk; Tetyukhe; Tjetjuche; Tetjuche)

Pyrite & Sphalerite 2.7cm wide
Pyrite covering Calcite 3.5cm wide

PyriteRussiaFar-Eastern Region, Primorskiy Kray, Dal'negorsk (Dalnegorsk; Tetyukhe; Tjetjuche; Tetjuche), Dal'negorsk B deposit, Bor Pit (Boron Pit; Bor Quarry)

Pyrite on Calcite 16.7cm wide
Pyrite on Calcite 6.2cm tall

PyriteRussiaNorth-Western Region, Ryazanskaya Oblast'

Pyrite 14.4cm tall

PyriteRussiaNorth-Western Region, Ryazanskaya Oblast', Mikhailov, Gravel Quarry

Pyrite after ammonite ~3.5cm
Pyrite after ammonite 5cm wide

PyriteRussiaPovolzhsky Region, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Ulyanovsk

Pyrite after ammonite, each ~2.7cm wide
Pyrite after ammonite, largest 2.8cm wide

Pyrite & Siderite 19cm wide

PyriteRussiaUrals Region, Middle Urals, Ekaterinburgskaya (Sverdlovskaya) Oblast', Ekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk), Berezovskii (Berezovskii Zavod), Berezovskoe Au Deposit (Berezovsk Mines)

Pyrite 5cm wide

PyriteRussiaUrals Region, Southern Urals, Chelyabinsk Oblast', Ilmen Mts, Miass (Miask)

Pyrite 2.7cm wide

PyriteSlovakiaBanská Bystrica Region, Štiavnica Mts, Banská Štiavnica Mining District, Banská Štiavnica (Selmecbánya; Schemnitz)

Pyrite & Galena ~12cm tall

PyriteSlovakiaKošice Region, Eastern Slovenské Rudohorie Mts, Nižná Slaná

Pyrite 10cm wide

PyriteSloveniaLemberg pri Šmarju


PyriteSloveniaLjubljana, Golovec Tunnel

Pyrite, largest is 3.6cm tall

PyriteSloveniaLjubljana, Katarina Mt., St. Jakob

Pyrite, iron cross twin 4mm wide
Pyrite crystals 3 to 5mm each

PyriteSouth AfricaNorthern Cape Province, Kalahari manganese fields, Gloria Mine

Pyrite on Calcite, 9.7cm wide

PyriteSouth AfricaNorthern Cape Province, Kalahari manganese fields, Hotazel, Wessels Mine (Wessel's Mine)

Pyrite on Calcite 4.8cm wide

PyriteSouth AfricaNorthern Cape Province, Kalahari manganese fields, Kuruman, N'Chwaning Mines, N'Chwaning II Mine

Pyrite & Calcite 5.1cm tall
Pyrite 4.1cm wide
Pyrite on Calcite 5.1cm wide

Pyrite 2.6cm wide

PyriteSpainAndalusia, Huelva, Cala, Cala Mines, Manuel-Mercedes Mine

Pyrite 2cm wide
Pyrite 1.2cm wide

Pyrite 3cm wide

PyriteSpainAndalusia, Huelva, Minas de Riotinto, Rio Tinto Mines

Pyrite 1cm wide

PyriteSpainAragón, Teruel, Cañada de Verich, Clay quarries

Pyrite 8cm tall

PyriteSpainExtremadura, Badajoz, Monesterio, Aguablanca Mine (Agua Blanca Mine)

Pyrite 1.5cm wide

PyriteSpainLa Rioja, Muro de Aguas, Ambasaguas (Ambas Aguas; Ambas-Aguas)

Pyrite 2.2cm tall
Pyrite 2cm wide

Pyrite 2cm wide
Pyrite 3.4cm wide

Pyrite, largest ~3cm?
Pyrite 3.7cm wide
Pyrite 5cm wide

Pyrite in limestone 13cm tall
Pyrite 5.6cm wide
Pyrite 5.7cm wide

PyriteSpainLa Rioja, Navajún

Pyrite, 5.5cm tall
Pyrite, 5.5cm wide
Pyrite, 16.5cm wide

Pyrite, 6.9cm tall
Pyrite, 9.8cm tall

Pyrite 16cm tall
Pyrite, 9cm tall

Pyrite, ~7.5cm wide
Pyrite 16.8cm wide

Spain has been producing these wonderful specimens of pyrite for at least 40 years and they are still going strong. They are favorites with collectors and most people can't believe these crystals form naturally. Once I stopped in Spain on my last stop in a trip around the world and bought a suitcase full of them. When I got to the USA I declared them as natural mineral specimens, but the customs inspector didn't believe me and thought they were manufactured items and impounded the suitcase and it took me a week or so go get it through customs. Certainly one of our Spanish or European members can give us much more information about these crystals and the deposit that they come from. Frequently clusters of these crystals are glued back to gather very much like the Herkimer diamond quartz specimens from New York, USA.

PyriteSpainLa Rioja, Navajún, Fuente del Moro

Pyrite, largest ~3cm wide?
Pyrite 9cm tall

Pyrite 5.8cm tall
Pyrite 5cm tall

PyriteSpainValencian Community, Castellón, Segorbe, Algezares quarry

3cm Pyrite aggregate in matrix
Pyrite, largest crystal ~2cm

Pyrite specimen 6cm wide

PyriteSwedenLappland, Gällivare, Malmberget

Pyrite on drusy Quartz 6cm wide
Pyrite on Hematite size??

PyriteSwitzerlandTicino (Tessin), Leventina, Central St Gotthard Massif, St Gotthard pass area

Pyrite & Adularia ~6cm tall

PyriteSwitzerlandWallis (Valais), Binn Valley, Im Feld (Imfeld; Feld; Fäld), Lengenbach Quarry

A 4mm pyrite crystal with Realgar
Pyrite crystal is 3.1mm tall

A 1mm pyrite crystal on Relagar

PyriteSwitzerlandWallis (Valais), Goms, Grafschaft, Reckingen, Blinnen Valley

Pyrite altering to limonite 11cm tall

PyriteTanzaniaManyara Region, Simanjiro District, Lelatema Mts, Merelani Hills (Mererani)

Pyrite & grossular 4.6 cm wide
Pyrite & diopside 3.5cm tall
Pyrite 12.5cm tall
Pyrite on prehnite?
Pyrite 5.5cm wide
Pyrite 5cm wide

Pyrite & Calcite 4.1cm wide

The quantity of pyrite produced at this locality is quite limited and though the crystals are very shiny and sharp, most of them are damaged. Rarely the pyrite from this locality is associated with prehnite, green grossular garnet, prehnite, tanzanite and diopside. Good specimens with these associations are highly prized by collectors but are about as rare as hens teeth.

PyriteTurkeyBlack Sea Region, Artvin Province, Murgul

Pyrite octahedron 2cm wide

PyriteTurkeyBlack Sea Region, Artvin Province, Murgul, Murgul Cu-Zn-Pb deposit, Cakmakkaya Mine

Pyrite 2.9cm wide
Pyrite 4cm wide

PyriteTurkeyBlack Sea Region, Trabzon Province,

Pyrite octahedron 2.4cm wide
Pyrite octahedron 2.9cm wide

Pyrite octahedron 1.7cm wide
Pyrite octahedrons, largest 1.5cm

Click this link to view Pyrite from Angola to Luxembourg and here for Pyrite from the United Kingdom to Zimbabwe. and here Best Minerals P. Click here to view Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation list of all minerals.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.

Edited 46 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/2014 07:54PM by Rock Currier.
Debbie Woolf July 09, 2010 12:44AM
Hi Rock

Thanks for choosing my Pyrite from Krantzberg? Namibia, into this project, I noticed a note on the photo about misidentified or questionable locality, I am a little confused myself, a few years ago I showed this in person to Peter Tandy, NHM London, he identified it as Pyrite/Goethite from Krantzberg Mine & I loaded to the database on that info then last year I showed this to Herbert Nägele & Ernst Schnaitmann & was told the Krantzberg area & not the Krantzberg Mine that's SW of Omaruru, so we have one expert who has never stepped outside of the UK but can identify by sight almost any mineral & locality mine from around the world against experts closer to the region, I changed it to the latter not wanting to appear to ignore their advice !

Rock Currier July 09, 2010 07:00AM
Unless we dug the specimen ourselves or were there when the specimen was found, there can always be some doubt where the specimen is from. In some cases the specimens from a particular locality are so distinctive as to make it obvious where they are from, but in most cases this is not the case. When I am confronted with trying to decide what is correct, providing I am not fairly certain of the locality myself, I often look at the individual who has made the label to help me decide if the locality is correct or not. Often if there is a question in my mind I will go to that individual and ask why they put that locality on the specimen as opposed to another. Sometimes their answerers are very educational. If the individual is a real specialist from a particular locality, there is a much higher likely hood of the species and locality are correct than if it is just a dealer passing on an existing label. Some dealers are more reliable than others and have much more experience with a particular locality and in that case the locality can be rather certain. Just keep asking questions, sometimes you can trace the specimen right back to the guy who dug it. In the end, we just do the best we can. If we can just avoid being lazy and accepting automatically what the label says, and rather look at it with a critical eye, we can avoid most mistakes. But the great thing about a format like this is that we can change things as more and better knowledge comes to our attention.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Tony L. Potucek July 20, 2010 08:49PM
Hi, Rock,
I went through some of the pyrites and have a few constructive comments, so use what you find of value:

It would be nice to track down some specimen photos of two localities that produced significant crystallized specimens--Nacozari, Sonora, and Mina Maria near Cananea, Sonora.

The porphyry copper system at Nacozari produced beautiful large octahedral-appearing pyrites modified with striations on the edges. I need to go home and hold my miniature floater. It could be that they are cubic crystals highly modified by octahedral faces. The dominant face is mirror-like and the modifications are heavily striated. The U of AZ mineral museum may still have it, but at one time, they had a touchy-feely crystal that kids could grope that was around 30 cm on an edge, if my memory hasn't failed me.

The second locality is Mina Maria, which the esteemed Stanley Esbenshade and I each plunked down a c-note one Christmas holiday night and bought our way into the mine unsuccessfully searching for a number of fine minerals. And one of these minerals is pyrite, occurring in simple cubes over 25 cm on an edge and mirror bright. Edges are razor sharp. Unfortunately, the great ones are as rare as scruples in a politician, since many of them were collected very carelessly. Top Gem Minerals handled a bunch of pyrites, quartz, scheelite, and chalcopyrites back in the 90s, when this breccia pipe was being mined. Many will have fuzzy schorl associated with them--"byssolite", and the quartz includes pyrite and some of the fuzzy schorl. Other associated minerals did include molybdenite, ferrimolybdite, some fairly coarse sericite, and sphalerite. Stan and I attempted to enter the caved 5th level of the spiral decline, where the well crystalllized chalcopyrites occurred. This area had caved one night with no loss of life a year or so earlier than our visit. Unfortunately, after duck walking/crawling through hot, oxygen-starved conditions for a couple of hundred yards, we finally bailed on our stupid venture, and gasped our way back out to the decline, feeling like the pair of dumb asses we were.

Other side notes:

Noche Buena, Mexico pyrites frequently have hairy jamesonite (or is it boulangerite) associated with them,,and occasionally bournonite, but an old salt like yourself probably already knew that.

Mr. Pickering's Mistress Mine, near Ubina, Bolivia, also usually had dull reddish brown sphalerites up to about 5 mm on them. In speaking with Les Presmyk, he remembered that Mrs. Mark Bandy said that Mark did not know the real name of the mine, but always referred to it as Mr. Pickering's Mistress Mine. Alfredo's earlier comment is actually on the money!

regards, tlp
Jean Sendero August 08, 2010 02:47AM

I believe the pyrite above from Cananea ( is actually from Mina Maria. Cubes or elongated rectangular cubes with razor sharp edges (when not damaged which is rare) with highly lustrous very smooth faces are characteristic of these pyrite which differ from the ones from Cananea which, based on my experience, are generally not forming such cubes. I have a few Mina Maria pyrite collected during a mine visit in the mid 1990's and a large one given to me by the mine geologist. The allocation of Cananea to Mina Maria pyrite is not unusual as they are both near each other. Mina Maria is 10 km west of Cananea.

Rock Currier August 08, 2010 10:56PM
Jean, It would appear that Mina Maria is not listed in the mindat database. I have given you a level one status on mindat and you should now be able to upload pictures and enter localities into the database. Since you have more knowledge about this locality than I do (that means hardly any), could I impose on you to enter the locality into the database? That will be the first step in changing the locality in the image that you pointed out in your thread posting. Equally important to entering the locality is to enter what else you may know about it, namely the minerals that come from there, a bit about the geology, the kind of mine it is, perhaps a little history of the place and what kind of specimens the place produces. Thanks.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Erik Vercammen February 16, 2014 08:59PM
I've just uploaded a picture of an "iron cross" twin from Huanzala: There was no other in the 200+ pictures from pyrite from there, so I suppose it is a rare form in that mine.
David Garske November 13, 2014 05:33AM
I've seen single sharp Pyrite cubes to at least 25 cm from Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, but every one was damaged. I think only one family was mining them and I couldn't convince them to produce nice specimens, this was about 10-15 years ago.
Rock Currier November 15, 2014 06:08AM
Dave, that's interesting. I have added your comment to the best minerals articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Ronnie Van Dommelen November 15, 2014 04:05PM
The Merelani, Tanzania pyrites should be added to this article. They are awesome!

Happy Collecting!
Ronnie Van Dommelen
Nova Scotia, Canada
David Von Bargen November 16, 2014 11:40AM
Why are they awesome? Size, habit?
Ronnie Van Dommelen November 16, 2014 01:06PM

My understanding is that the primary goal of these articles is to highlight a few good specimens from all reasonable localities. The Merelani locality is missing, but there are a lot of these on the market right now so for that reason I think it needs to be included. That they are awesome is just a bonus. They also received attention in the most recent Min Rec issue.

Back to your question: these pyrites, at their best, are awesome for many reasons. Large size (some exceed 10 cm), sharp well defined shapes (many have 5 different forms present), luster. Almost everything you could ask for.
Rock Currier November 17, 2014 01:38AM
You are right, they need to be in the article and will shortly be. Too bad there are not more of these. Many have substantial damage.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Rock Currier November 21, 2014 11:41AM
The above best minerals article has been updated with a selection of Pyrite specimens from Tanzania.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
John Montgomery November 21, 2014 05:15PM
What about the nice pyrite from Canada...Nanisivik???
Olav Revheim November 21, 2014 05:39PM

Please see

John Montgomery November 21, 2014 06:57PM
Oops, I missed that Olav... I was thinking Canada got forgotten :-)
Thanks very much for the heads up
Dennis Tryon November 21, 2014 07:27PM
Very interesting, I enjoyed seeing the beautiful pyrites. Did see one small error, however. There is one pyrite from New Zealand, not New Zeland.

Rock Currier November 21, 2014 08:02PM
Right you are. I have fixed it.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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