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Isi pyrite magnetic

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asked Jan 30, 2016 by Dave Swanson (120 points)

1 Answer

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"Iron Pyrite has so often been mistaken for gold that its better-known name is "fool's gold." It has a warm yellow color, it's metallic, and it glitters and sparkles just like the real thing. So how can you tell if you've found gold, or simply fool's gold?

  1. Try using a straight pin to stab the specimen. Gold is a very soft metal and will bend or break when you do this; iron pyrite is much harder and won't budge.
  2. If you have a 10x magnifier (or loupe), examine your find closely. Pyrite has a cubic structure; gold does not.
  3. Take a magnet with you. Iron pyrite will stick to the magnet because of its high iron content; gold will not.
  4. You can also use a drop of nitric acid to test your specimen. (Caution is advised.) Nitric acid will turn iron pyrite black, but gold will remain the same color."
answered Mar 5, 2016 by Mourning_Star (720 points)

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