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Techniques for CollectorsPyrite Sun

30th Jan 2010 00:44 GMTDennis Tryon

I have a pyrite sun that is turning a light blue. is there a safe way of restoring it to the original pyrite color and preserving that color? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.



30th Jan 2010 22:56 GMTKeith Compton Manager


Sorry but I think your sun is setting !

30th Jan 2010 23:22 GMTAdam Kelly

I have heard that these always degrade.

Irreversible, and inevitable.

But worth experimenting.


31st Jan 2010 03:38 GMTJim Robison


Questions about pyrite weathering come up from time to time. If you use the Mindat search function under the drop down header "Messageboard" and type in "pyrite suns" you will find several threads on the subject. The best one for you is probably the second one that comes up on the search, which should refer to cleaning pyrite. There are several hints on weathering and cleaning up discoloration, and Rock Currier has a good discussion including reference to the Cleaning and Preparation message board.

Usually, when these suns start to oxidize it is an irreversible process, although the thread mentioned may hold out some hope. One thing to keep in mind is that once decomposition begins, sulfuric acid is generated, and the vapors can play havoc with other specimens that are subject to acid attack. Very important, if the decomp process begins, to get the piece out and away from your other specimens.

Good luck, and hope you have one of the ones that takes a mild cleaning and stays stable. My kids have a couple that have been stable for over 20 years.

31st Jan 2010 06:24 GMTRock Currier Expert

The change of color of your pyrite dollar may be only a surface condition on the pyrite. If you have access to a sand blaster you may be able to remove the coloration easily. If you pyrite dollar has started to crack it will be cheaper to go out and buy another one than try and fix the problems in your current specimen.

31st Jan 2010 08:07 GMTMark Willoughby Expert

Howdy All,

I tend to think Rock might be onto something here, 'blue' tarnish is normally surface alteration/weathering etc. Organic breakdown or oxidization is usually grey-green and powdery.

I believe I may have a solution for preventing the breakdown of these specimens, however I cannot guarantee that this method will help retain luster. Maybe someone can experiment with this further and perfect it until it will retain luster!

I recently received several small pyrite suns, several of which were broken. Simple breaks of two or three pieces for each specimen, although I had more than enough for my needs, I thought I would experiment with then some.

First I brushing them all clean of any powder or loose particles.

I then mixed a solution of Weldbond pva glue, five (5) parts glue to three (3) parts water.

Using a small paintbrush, applied it to both sides of each break, leaving it until it was touch dry, then applied another coat to one side and held the pieces together until they held. I used this on each piece until all were finished.

I left the specimens for several days to allow for full curing.

I further mixed a solution of one (1) part glue to five (5) parts water and again using a slam paintbrush applied it to one side of each specimen.

Again leaving then for several days to cure fully.

Then repeated this on the second side, making sure not to have any excess glue left anywhere.

These were all done sometime in October 2009, and have so far all remained in one piece and appear to be holding together well.

I have added a quick photo here of one that was in three (3) pieces and to my surprise it is also showing some luster!

Maybe it is just a time thing for the solution to settle?

I have been using these pieces as giveaways for kids, with notes on the labels as to the repairs done.

I hope this helps someone.

Cheers Mark.

31st Jan 2010 16:35 GMTDennis Tryon

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I don't have access to any sand-blasting equipment. Just gave it a scrub with Comet and a toothbrush and got a pretty good improvement. Have sprayed it with a light coat of a clear enamel to hopefully preserve it.

Thanks again,


24th Feb 2017 15:27 GMTRatnasekhar chatragadda

This is Ratnasekhar from India , From one Pvt mineral company person , We have been the talc (soapstone) business since many years. We have own soapstone mines and have ability to extract material.

while extracting talc material , we found that pyrite present on talc which is embed with talc rock.

Is it use full pyrite and it is in cubical form. if it is useful where we can adapt the pyrite .

Kindly advise if you have suggestion.

find the attached images

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