Mineral Monday: Pyrite

This stunning mineral is very common and is better known by it's nickname.

Pyrite can be found all over the world including on the beaches of the nearby Lake Tahoe.


3/12/2018 | By: Jennifer Sande |

The College of Science weekly video series, Mineral Monday, explores the many minerals, fossils and historical objects on display at the W.M. Keck Earth Science and Mineral Engineering Museum, as told by curator Garrett Barmore.This week's specimen may be familiar to you. Pyrite is very common, but it is better known by another name. Before watching the video, see if you can guess what pyrite's nickname is.

Pyrite up close

Iron pyrite comes in a few very unique crystal formations, such as this multi-cube shape. The almost perfect angles make it appear as if it has been carved or formed by human hands, but this is how the mineral forms naturally.

iron pyrite from a distance

These pyrite specimens can be found on the ground floor of the main gallery in case 84.

Pyrite button

Located in the Mackay School of Mines building at the University of Nevada, Reno, the W.M. Keck Earth Science and Mineral Engineering Museum is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the first Saturday of the month from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.

The Keck Museum houses an outstanding collection of minerals, ores, fossil specimens, and photographs, in addition to mining related relics. The museum is also home to some of the spectacular Mackay Silver Collection, created by Tiffany & Co., for John Mackay and completed in 1878.

The first 10 visitors to mention this episode will receive a Mineral Monday: Pyrite button! For directions and museum details, visit unr.edu/keck

Mineral Monday is produced by the College of Science. To receive Mineral Monday in your inbox each week, sign up here.

See you next MIneral Monday!


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