all about pyrite

all about pyrite

  • Solar plexus chakra

  • 6-6.5 hardness level 

  • Luck, abundance & wealth 

  • Power & confidence 


Pyrite, also known as fool’s gold,  is an iron sulfide mineral, the most common sulfide mineral (FeS2). Pyrite is an extremely common mineral found in all kinds of rocks- igneous, sedimentary & metamorphic. It is easily identifiable by its golden, metallic shine and noticeably heavy weight.

Pyrite is commonly formed in iron-rich sedimentary environments, where decaying organic matter releases sulfur. This is how you get interesting fossils that have been pyritized, such as ammonites where the original material has been replaced with pyrite. 

Pyritized ammonite fossil (source)

Pyrite is very commonly found alongside and intermixed with many other minerals, for example you’ll almost always see pyrite in lapis lazuli. It is also common to see pyrite growing on or within quartz. 

Pyrite is a polymorph with the mineral marcasite, this means they have the same chemical composition but different crystal structures. 

Marcasite (source)

Pyrite is isometric, and marcasite is orthorhombic. An isometric crystal system is also known as cubic, with cubes being one of the crystal forms these minerals can take. Crystal systems describe the way the atoms within the crystal are arranged, which translates to the shape of the crystal that you can see externally.


Pyrite is found all across the world, in all kinds of different rocks, it’s everywhere. Pyrite on the market is mined in the United States, Italy, Spain, Peru, Mexico, Canada and more. 

Safety & care 

Is pyrite water safe?

Pyrite is not water safe, I would avoid rinsing it or getting it into contact with water at all or leaving it in humid areas. Pyrite can actually rust if it comes into contact with water, and once pyrite starts to rust the chemical reaction may create harmful gasses and spread to other crystals. Personally I’ve never experienced a piece of pyrite rusting, so this isn’t a common thing that you need to be on the lookout for. Pyrite is actually not very water soluble, which means that it isn’t going to break down and release its iron and sulfur in the water very easily. While I always say that you should never make crystal elixirs where you drink water that has had crystals soaking in it, you should really never drink pyrite water. While pyrite doesn’t readily release its iron and sulfur into the water, trace elements may be present such as arsenic that you obviously do not want to be consuming.

It also isn't recommended to include pyrite within crystal candles, as heat can potentially cause a chemical reaction. Placing pyrite crystals on top to be removed before burning is okay. 

Pyrite is perfectly fine to leave in the sun to charge. 

Is pyrite safe to wear as jewelry? 

Because of its hardness of 6-6.5, it has decent durability for jewelry and contact with other stones. There’s a lot of questions about if pyrite is even safe to wear, due to its iron, sulfur, and potential traces of arsenic. Pyrite is actually safe to wear! Even minerals with potentially toxic elements can be perfectly safe to own and even wear! These elements are bonded together, and usually don’t just rub off because the mineral is being handled. Usually it takes some sort of chemical reaction to cause these elements to be removed from the mineral, so just handling or wearing the stone in normal conditions won’t cause you any harm. Plus with most of these dangerous elements, you’d need to ingest them in large quantities to be harmed by them. So as long as you aren't eating the crystals, you'll be okay. 

Limit contact with water while wearing the piece, and maybe just wash your hands after handling if you’re concerned. You could also choose a piece of jewelry that is mounted onto a backing, so the stone isn’t directly touching your skin. While it does contain concerning elements, the iron/sulfur/arsenic aren’t just readily flying off the crystal to be absorbed into your skin. Pyrite may also tarnish if held for a long time, but it can be repolished. 

How to cleanse pyrite crystals?

The best way to cleanse pyrite energetically would be with selenite, sunlight, or smoke cleansing. I wouldn’t recommend salt for pyrite, as it can potentially damage the stone. 

Fakes & mislabeling 

Fake pyrite included quartz spheres

While pyrite can naturally form in and on quartz, there are some fake pyrite in quartz spheres on the market! While these fakes may contain real pyrite, they have been glued together with either glass or smelted quartz to mimic a natural quartz crystal sphere. The biggest indication of the fake is that there is a perfect flat surface covered in pyrite cubes, topped with a perfect layer of clear quartz. In the natural pieces, the pyrite is randomly spaced throughout and there’s natural texture and imperfections in the crystal. If one half of the sphere is completely solid, and the other half is completely clear, it’s artificial. These man-made varieties seem to always look exactly the same, whereas the natural ones are unique. While the fakes can get kind of pricey, on average the natural ones are much more expensive.


Man-made pyrite in quartz sphere from the front & side vs. a natural pyrite in quartz sphere 

A similar mineral to pyrite is chalcopyrite, also known as peacock ore, which is a copper iron sulfide. Chalcopyrite has a metallic, brassy color similar to pyrite but it does have some distinguishing characteristics. Chalcopyrite is often multicolored,  but can be found in just metallic gold color as well. Chalcopyrite is significantly softer than pyrite with a hardness of only 3.5-4. This material is also abundant and cheap like pyrite is. While pyrite does look similar to other metals out there, it doesn’t really get confused for other stones on the market except occasionally for chalcopyrite.


Natural vs. enhanced chalcopyrite

While pyrite is called “fool’s gold” because of its resemblance to gold, there probably won’t ever be a time where you need to figure out if a piece is pyrite or gold. In fact, there’s a lot of differences between pyrite and gold and they don’t really look that similar! Gold is much softer than pyrite, with a hardness of only 2.5! Gold also has a much more vibrant yellow color, and is significantly more dense than pyrite. Of course, the biggest difference between pyrite and gold is the price. The price alone should confirm which mineral you’re looking at.


Pyrite vs. real gold (source)


Metaphysical properties

Pyrite is associated with the solar plexus chakra and is one of the best crystals for money and wealth. It helps manifestation by increasing your willpower, confidence, and promotes taking action. It improves energy and vitality so you can accomplish your goals and get things done, even if it’s challenging. It is one of the best stones to activate the solar plexus chakra and bring back your energy & passion for life. 

Pyrite’s energy provides protection and stability, helping you to feel more secure in yourself and your environment. It’s a great stone for business owners, as it increases wealth, provides security in your business, and boosts confidence and power so you can be the best/ most successful version of yourself. 

When going through a difficult time, pyrite can help provide you the stamina and  strength to continue while protecting your energy. Pyrite helps you work through fear, and allows you to take action & risks while feeling protected & empowered. Working with pyrite can help you in leadership roles, allowing you to lead with confidence and authenticity. Pyrite can help you feel more passionate and inspired to live life, and may inspire you to pick up old projects that you lost the motivation to complete. It will also help with creativity and problem solving. Pyrite is a great stone to wear as a good luck charm, or place in your home in an area where you work or run your business to attract wealth.


Crystals to pair with 

Are you wondering which crystals to pair pyrite with to increase its energetic properties? Here are some great crystals that pair well energetically with pyrite. 
  • Pyrite + citrine: the best combination for money! 
  • Pyrite + smoky quartz: security & protection 

  • Pyrite + tiger’s eye: power, courage & leadership 

  • Pyrite + malachite: taking action, facilitating change

  • Pyrite + jade/ green aventurine: good luck charm 

  • Pyrite + fluorite: focus & getting things done 

Pairing pyrite with any crystal you’re working with for a specific intention will draw success to that area of your life! 

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