Rainbow Pyrite Druzy Gemstone
Rainbow Pyrite Druzy Gemstone
[For Information and Educational purposes only]
by Alice Koh
Rainbow Pyrite is of an iron sulphite chemical composition. Its crystal structure is (cubic) pentagonal dodecahedra, octahedral. It comes in brass-yellow, gray-yellow, iridescent colours. Rainbow pyrite has a hardness ranging from 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. It is extraordinary dense, with a specific gravity of 5.0 to 5.20 and it forms with an indistinct cleavage. Its transparency is opaque with a metallic shiny luster whose surface can be compared to a polished colourful metal.
Rainbow pyrite is the name given to the rainbow-like iridescent form of 'pyrite druzy'. Druzy (also called druse, drusy) is a layer of tiny quartz crystals that sometimes form on gemstones, giving them a striking sparkly appearance. Note, Pyrite crystals are relatively hard and durable, but any druzy will be more fragile than the crystal in pure form.
Rainbow pyrite is extremely rare, recently discovered and only found in one place Russia. Rainbow pyrite so far has only be found near Ulianovsk, Russia, on the Volga River. Top quality rainbow pyrite shimmers with rainbow colours including pink and gold.
Pyrite is also known as "fool's gold" and "iron pyrite" this is because it has the appearance of gold and also because it has a high iron content. Note, only the pyrite that displays iridescence is sold as rainbow pyrite. This metallic iridescent luster alone can identify rainbow pyrite.
Pyrite can be mistaken for gold. However, gold specific gravity is 19.3 when pure which is super dense or heavy as compared with pyrite. Nonetheless, gold's Mohs hardness ranges from 2.5 to 3 which makes it a soft metal as compared with pyrite which has a hardness ranging from 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.
Similar druzy gemstones include agate and amethyst druzy. Rare varieties include garnet druzy, rainbow hematite druzy, chrysocolla druzy, calcite druzy and azurite druzy.
Rainbow pyrite is usually cut into freeform shapes. But you can also find rounds, ovals, pear shapes and cushion shapes. Since it is a druzy stone it is normal to come with jagged and rough edges and unpolished and uneven lower parts.
Rainbow pyrite is not known to be treated or enhanced in any way.
Rainbow pyrite is also called the stone of manifestation. Pyrite was used as scrying mirrors by ancient peoples of Central Mexico and Peru. It was also used as a very powerful protective stone by ancient Egyptians and made into amulets and talismans. Rainbow pyrite due to its shimmering colourful metallic luster, is believed to help develop psychic powers.
Pyrite is hard and durable enough for most jewellery. However, due to its druzy formation, rainbow pyrite is somewhat delicate. Rainbow pyrite is best used as pendants and earrings and in rings it is recommended to come with a protective setting. Because of its formation, care has to be taken to prevent knocks and blows that can uproot the crystals from its matrix.
To clean your one-of-a-kind rainbow pyrite druzy gemstone, use plain water and a soft cloth or brush to dry it. Make sure not to use too much pressure when applying a toothbrush to dry clean the druzy crystals.