Pyrite, an iron sulfide, is also called ‘fool’s gold’ because it has often been mistaken for gold by inexperienced miners. It can be a similar colour, but is often more brassy or silvery. Colour is really the only characteristic that pyrite shares with gold. It is a much harder mineral than gold. If pyrite is hammered it will crumble, while gold is extremely malleable in its pure form and can be shaped and hammered easily without cracking or crumbling. Occasionally real gold can be found within pyrite, which may account for some of the confusion.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Dian Day, Susan Sellers, Rita Wilson

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