No, not the awful Kate Hudson/ Matthew McConaughey film. Do you seriously think that little of me? Ugh. I am also not talking about The Stone Roses song, the manga or the very expensive sandwich popularized by Elvis Presley ("The Fool's Gold Loaf", consisting of a single loaf of hollowed out, warmed bread filled with one jar of creamy peanut butter, one jar of grape jelly, and a pound of bacon. The name of the sandwich is derived from its price of $49.95. In later years, it was priced closer to $100 for the sandwich and a bottle of Dom Pérignon.) (Recipe and pics)
Okay, let me just give you a second to swallow back the inevitable vomit.
So, no, by Fool's Gold aka Pyrite, I meant the lovely "fake" gold that for some reason, every little kid in my elementary school was obsessed with when I was young. I've noticed, as I've written this blog over the past months, that pyrite has been used more and more frequently to create really interesting jewelry. And, dude, it's totally got that American Museum of Natural History gem room cache.
Victorian Pyrite and 10 K Rose Gold Ring, $145
Gusterman Santa Fe Polished Pyrite and Sterling Ring, $195
The word Pyrite is derived from the Greek word puritēs meaning "of fire" or "on fire", which seems to have originated from the resultant sparks that occur when pyrite is struck against steel or flint. The spark made pyrite a very popular mineral in weapons early on. (Early firearms such as the wheel-lock. You'll have to click on the link to find out what a wheel-lock is. Sorry.)
Rafia Pyrite and 14K Necklace, $74
Barse Oval Polished Pyrite Necklace, $150
Interestingly, marcastite and pyrite are often confused due to their similar appearances and names (the word marcasite is actually Arabic for pyrite), but Wikipedia has informed me that one cannot use Marcasite in whole stone form as it tends to crumble into a powder. Fool's Gold is generally formed as a grouping of overlapping cubes, which, in my opinion, makes it more interesting in jewelry use. Almost sculptural.
Kit's Jewelry Pyrite Dangle Earrings, $200
Pyrite also was one of the leading sources of sulfur in the world, so obviously, don't get a pyrite ring if you're allergic to sulfur. As far as I can recall though, the mineral doesn't have the rotten egg smell often associated with sulfur. To read more about it's composition and structure, go here.
Kris Nations "Rough Cut" Pyrite Ring, $50
Of course, what kind of "Learning About..." would this be if we didn't review the spiritual properties of pyrite? It's apparently an excellent protection stone that is useful against many different negative energies. Angel's Esoterica notes, "When worn or carried, it provides a shield around you. It helps keep out the negative vibrations of physical pollutants because of the auric shield it sets up and is very good for people who do dangerous work. Pyrite's energy keeps your physical, intellect, and emotional bodies in a state of well being; functioning at their best. It enhances memory and recall. It allows you to see the motives, etc. behind the actions of others. "
Sounds quite useful.
Linked Pyrite Bracelet, $180
Illinois Pyrite Necklace, $15 each (Money goes to Animal Rescue Site)
What else? Pyrite was also polished and used as mirrors by the Native Americans. It's a very common mineral most often found in Spain, Italy and the US Midwest. It comes in a variety of forms: Cubes, dollars (resembling sand dollars), Masses, cubic twins, etc. which all depend on the place it was found. (Source) More fragile pyrite specimens may decompose if left in humid conditions. So, basically, it's very sensitive mineral. (Source)
And here's a close up of the sandwich again, just for good measure:
A mere 42,000 calories! (Source)