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To all of my readers, I decided to skip March on account of a lack of interesting gemstones. I have thus decided to go into the wide world of goat appraisals.

megoatYes, this goat looks quite satisfactory…If with a touch of ennui.

I know, this is a poorly-concealed April Fool’s joke to make up for forgetting to do a gemstone post in March. However, my ever-inspirational husband came up with the perfect stone for today: fool’s gold.

I myself used to be mesmerized by pyrite, and spent a significant number of hours as a kid combing gravel parking lots for golden cubes in the dust.  In addition to simple geometric forms, pyrite can take on the shapes of disks, globes, and can even seep into fossils, creating amazing results.

 pyriteammonitePyrite ammonite fossil. Item for sale at AmmoniteFossil on Etsy

Called fool’s gold for its obvious similarities and tendency to be near gold deposits, pyrite is quite beautiful in its own right. The name comes from Greek “pyrites lithos,” or “the stone which strikes fire,” because when iron is struck by pyrite, it creates a spark.

Pyrite has the same chemical formula as marcasite (FeS2), and as such, they are sometimes confused for one another, despite having different crystal structures. Pyrite is common worldwide, though there are famous deposits in Spain, the US, and Germany. At around 6 on the Mohs hardness scale (harder than gold), pyrite is actually a fair choice in jewelry pieces, and from what I have seen, it is currently in vogue.

As for other uses, Native Americans purportedly polished pieces of pyrite into mirrors, and pyrite was mined during WWII as a source of sulfur for sulfuric acid. Pyrite is thought to be a protective stone, shielding its wearer from harm or difficulty.

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled dollhouse and jewelry posts.  (Sorry, I’m out of pictures of cute goats.)