The Hidden Land – Earth In Miniature

Aileen David

Hawthorn, Australia

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Artist's Description

We’ve added more to our personal collection of rocks and minerals.
We bought this new batch from a Rocks, Minerals and Lapidary festival held in Goulburn, NSW at the end of 2009. They also appear in my book The Hidden Land along with the rest of the collection published here and some that are yet unpublished (in RB).

This specimen (less than 1.5 cm in diameter)cracked, but it wasn’t a regretable thing because it revealed the interior of the Pyrite sphere. It uncannily resembles the crust, mantle and core of the earth.

Best viewed larger…really

Pyrite Spheres in Shale
The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is an iron sulfide with the formula FeS2. This mineral’s metallic luster and pale-to-normal, brass-yellow hue have earned it the nickname fool’s gold due to its resemblance to gold. The color has also led to the nicknames brass, brazzle and brazil, primarily used to refer to pyrite found in coal.Pyrite is the most common of the sulfide minerals. The name pyrite is derived from the Greek πυρίτης (puritēs), “of fire” or "in fire”, from πύρ (pur), “fire”. In ancient Roman times, this name was applied to several types of stone that would create sparks when struck against steel; Pliny the Elder described one of them as being brassy, almost certainly a reference to what we now call pyrite.By Georgius Agricola’s time, the term had become a generic term for all of the sulfide minerals.Pyrite is usually found associated with other sulfides or oxides in quartz veins, sedimentary rock, and metamorphic rock, as well as in coal beds, and as a replacement mineral in fossils. Despite being nicknamed fool’s gold, small quantities of gold are sometimes found associated with pyrite. Gold and arsenic occur as a coupled substitution in the pyrite structure. In the Carlin, Nevada, gold deposit, arsenian pyrite contains up to 0.37 wt% gold. Auriferous pyrite is a valuable ore of gold.

from: Wikipedia

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