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Rainbow (iridescent) pyrite is a relatively new gemstone recently discovered in Russia. This material comes in the form of druzy - a fine layer of miniature crystals coating a matrix. It offers a shimmering rainbow of colors, including shades of gold, green, pink and blue. This unique stone is found not far from Ulianovsk, on Volga River.

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Pyrite itself is named for the Greek word for fire - Pyr, as it produces sparks when it is struck with steel. Pyrite has an opaque, shiny, metallic luster and it can be iridescent. It was polished by the Native Americans in early times and used as mirrors. The typical color of pyrite is bright pale yellow to brass-yellow, gray-yellow often tarnished with a brown film of iron oxide.

Pyrite is also known as Fool's Gold because it is often mistaken for gold, however the two are quite different and it is not that difficult to distinguish one from the other. Pyrite grains are lighter and tougher than gold, and has broken faces, properties that are not normally found in gold.Pyrite is composed of iron sulfide (FeS2). It has a hardness of 6 - 6.5 on the Moh's Scale with a Refractive Index of 5.1.

Occurrences of Pyrite have been reported worldwide. Some of its major deposits are: USA, Peru, Germany, Russia, Spain, and South Africa, however the rainbow pyrite is found only in Russia. Industrially, although Pyrite is common and contains a high percentage of iron, it has never been used as a significant source of iron such as hematite and magnetite.

Metaphysical properties of pyrite include its ability to promote psychic development, improve memory, practicality, optimism, and strength of will. It is also said to open the channels between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This would allow us to unfold and use our unique talents.