Pyrite is a covalent chemical compound. Both of these minerals have their unique commercial uses in many ways. Nevertheless, Pyrite reacts with many of the chemical reagents. Gold has a golden to yellow color. Pyrite is also used as a gemstone. There are distinct differences between gold and pyrite that are discernable with the human eye. It is a transition metal (electronic structure: [Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s1) in the periodic table. So anyway, I wanted to kind of touch base with you. There is also a big difference in the specific gravity between gold and pyrite. It is very valuable due to its lustrous yellow appearance and many other properties such as malleability. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. These two compounds are entirely different though they are slightly similar in color. Pyrite has the advantage here; it's a bit harder and comes in at 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs' scale. However, when you closely monitor the color of these two materials, gold and pyrite, the difference between gold and pyrite can be understood easily. This article analyses the difference between gold and pyrite, the two minerals that some find difficult to distinguish due to their color. The color is also a good indicator between the two. In other words, gold is denser than Pyrite (Gold- 19.30 g•cm−3; at 0 °C, 101.325 kPa, Pyrite- 4.8–5.0 g/cm3). Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, Information about the device's operating system, Information about other identifiers assigned to the device, The IP address from which the device accesses a client's website or mobile application, Information about the user's activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used, Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application. A vein of gold is seen here in a hydrothermal sample of quartz taken from an unspecified mine at or near Grass Valley in northeast-central California. Even individuals without any past experience will likely see a noticeable difference between the two minerals when they're placed side-by-side. • Gold is a pure metal. Pyrite, on the other hand, is a mineral. Pyrite and gold are two different naturally occurring minerals that have nearly similar colouration in appearance. So far no account has been taken of the loss of gold which is contained in pyrites, as it has been assumed that these are saved by concentration if they are valuable, and this subject is dealt with in earlier. There is a notable difference in their shine too. • When you rub a piece of gold and a piece of pyrite against white porcelain, gold leaves a pure yellow residue and pyrite leaves a greenish-black powdery residue on the porcelain surface. The main difference between gold and pyrite is that gold is a chemical element having the symbol Au whereas pyrite is a mineral having the chemical formula FeS2. As elements go, it's rather soft so a gold nugget can easily be scratched with a pocket knife. Most of the people used to confuse pyrite as gold due to this reason. Holding a piece of gold under the light will reveal a brigh… It is one of the most expensive metals in the world. The most distinct difference between gold and pyrite is in their hardness. The word Pyrite is a Greek word; the word pyr means fire. Pyrite and gold are two different naturally occurring minerals that have nearly similar colouration in appearance. Gold is made of gold atoms whereas Pyrite consists of Ferrous and Sulfur molecules. Nevertheless, closer observation reveals that they do not have similar colours. It has a yellowish colour when in mass, but black, ruby or purple in colour when is divided into fine particles. After you've gained some experience with gold panning and prospecting, you should easily be able to tell the difference between pyrite and real gold simply by looking at its color. With a little practice, there are many easy tests that anyone can use to quickly tell the difference between pyrite and gold. C) Shape: Pyrite is usually found as angular pieces, and many of them exhibit the faces of a cube, octahedron or pyritohedron. If you move your gold pan in a circular motion in the sunlight, gold will maintain a consistent color, while pyrite will flash in the sunlight. Gold is not present in every part of the world; its abundance is very low. Pyrite is harder than gold. You can see how different the gold vein is from the pyrite above. Gold only ranks at 2.5 to 3. B) Color: Pyrite has a brassy color. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Gold possesses shiny gold colour while Pyrite possesses a brass like yellowish colour. Most native gold is alloyed with silver, and if the silver content is high enough, the specimen will have a whitish yellow color.