Common gold questions

What is Fool's Gold made of?

Fool's Gold is another name for Iron Pyrite, or more accurately, Iron Disulfide.

Iron PyriteIt is comprised of one Iron molecule and two Sulphur molecules. It has often been called Fool's Gold because the minerals metallic appearance and the fact that it invariably appears under the same conditions as gold has often caused it to be mistaken for the precious metal, gold.

One of the first experiences most of us will ever have with fool's gold is seeing the glimmer of a bright, shiny substance with a golden yellow sheen at our favorite prospecting location. Whether it has been planted there by a more seasoned prospector who is just testing your humor or it is a natural find, Fool's Gold can definitely build the excitement of a new gold prospector and, well it should, for Fool's Gold can sometimes be found in close proximity to real gold.

Simple field tests can reveal whether you have encountered real gold or Fool's Gold. Fool's Gold will scratch glass whereas real gold cannot. Additionally, being composed with Iron as a basic ingredient, Fool's Gold will be attracted by magnets while gold and other precious metals are not affected by magnetic fields.

Fool's Gold can be tricky to say the least but once you know the simple field tests involved, you can keep yourself from being duped.

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