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Fools Gold & Uses for Pyrite from Mines in Kazakhstan
Is It Gold or Is It Pyrite?
When pioneers were heading west in wagon trains in what would later become the United States of America, men on horseback or even afoot scouted the land as they proceeded. Obviously they required some type of shelter as well as a source of water when determining whether to settle on a particular piece of land or continue moving on to better locations.
Even when planning to go further, water was always a precious and necessary commodity to locate in order to live. When finding water, it provided life giving hydration for them and their animals. It was a source in which to bathe, wash clothes and other items.
Panning for gold was sometimes done in the creeks and waterways along the trail. Some bits of gold may have been washed downstream from its major source due to the weathering forces of erosion.
Sometimes with a good amount of luck gold mines were located. Their locations were carefully guarded. Caches of gold could be exchanged for needed staples to make a settler's life easier.
Many people panning for gold might have easily been mistaken in thinking that they had gathered a small fortune only to be disappointed when finding out that it was pyrite. They would soon learn that real gold is more dull in appearance and is not as shiny and glittery.
Anyone wishing to get a flavor of what it was like during pioneer days should read some books by Louis L'Amour. I am currently working though a collection of books by that author which I inherited from my brother. I am really enjoying each and every one of them!
In some of the Louis L'Amour books the stories revolve around finding gold.
"All that Glitters is Not Gold."
There are many references to this saying which means that all is not necessarily what it seems.
From a portion of The Merchant of Venice in a Shakespeare play to a poem by J. R. R. Tolkien or even a Gilbert and Sullivan song, this meaning has been utilized over and over again.
Industrial Uses of Pyrite
Iron pyrite or pyrite also called fools gold has a chemical formula of FeS2. It is an iron sulfide and can be located in a number of differing types of rocks and even coal. Sometimes over time it has even replaced the minerals in bones or shells of fossils.
Pyrite has many commercial uses. Listed below are a few examples.
- In reading about pyrite I learned that the paper industry relies upon it for part of the process in manufacturing paper.
- People who use rechargeable batteries are benefiting from the use of this mineral.
- Those who wear marcasite jewelry are actually wearing pyrite. There are many more uses which is why it is actively mined.
I acquired a small box of minerals from a neighbor lady who was moving. A small card identified the pretty piece shown in the photo at the top as pyrite. Its origin was the Sarbaiskiy mine near Rudniy in Kazakhstan.
Rudniy (also spelled Rudny) is a town which was created when lots of iron ore was discovered there back in the 1950s. Primarily iron is extracted at the open pit of the nearby Sarbaiskiy Mine.
Location of the mine from which my piece of pyrite was unearthed.
Kazakhstan is a huge country! It is the ninth largest one in the entire world. Within Kazakhstan there are many mineral resources.
Much geological exploration has been going on there for many years attracting much in the way of foreign investments.
They declared independence from the Soviet Union on December 16, 1991.
From a nomadic past the people living in that country today are some of the most literate in the entire world.
If you wish to learn much more about this vast and beautiful country from which my piece of pyrite originated, be sure to watch the video below.
Watching this next video will enable viewers to see many different types of pyrite from a collector who loves to show off the various ways in which it is formed.
Everything about Pyrite
Did you learn some things about pyrite aka fools gold after reading this?
© 2017 Peggy Woods