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Pyrite vs. Chalcopyrite: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 6, 2024
Pyrite is iron sulfide with gold-like appearance; Chalcopyrite is copper iron sulfide, resembling brass.

Key Differences

Pyrite, commonly known as fool's gold, is an iron sulfide mineral with a metallic luster and a pale brass-yellow hue. Chalcopyrite is a copper iron sulfide mineral, often found with a more golden-yellow hue, resembling brass.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024
Pyrite forms in various geological environments and is known for its cubic crystal structure. Chalcopyrite typically forms in hydrothermal veins, characterized by a tetragonal crystal system.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024
The composition of pyrite is FeS2, indicating a higher iron content and lower density compared to chalcopyrite, which has a chemical formula of CuFeS2, containing copper.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 06, 2024
In terms of hardness, pyrite scores around 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale, whereas chalcopyrite is softer, with a hardness of about 3.5-4.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 06, 2024
Pyrite is famous for its resemblance to gold, leading to its nickname, while chalcopyrite is a major ore of copper, widely used in various industrial applications.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 06, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Appearance

Gold-like, pale brass-yellow
Brass-like, golden-yellow
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Crystal Structure

Cubic
Tetragonal
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 06, 2024

Chemical Composition

Iron sulfide (FeS2)
Copper iron sulfide (CuFeS2)
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Hardness (Mohs Scale)

6-6.5
3.5-4
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Primary Use

Collectors' mineral, limited industrial use
Major ore of copper
Harlon Moss
Jan 06, 2024
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Pyrite and Chalcopyrite Definitions

Pyrite

A naturally occurring mineral known as fool's gold.
Pyrite cubes are popular among mineral collectors.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Chalcopyrite

Mineral with lower hardness than pyrite.
Chalcopyrite can be scratched more easily than pyrite.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Pyrite

Iron sulfide mineral with a gold-like appearance.
Pyrite is often mistaken for gold due to its metallic luster.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Chalcopyrite

A copper iron sulfide mineral resembling brass.
Chalcopyrite is the most important ore of copper.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Pyrite

A pale brass-yellow mineral with a high iron content.
Pyrite can form in well-defined crystals or amorphous masses.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Chalcopyrite

Golden-yellow mineral with a tetragonal crystal system.
Chalcopyrite crystals are commonly found in hydrothermal veins.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Pyrite

Mineral with metallic luster and cubic crystal form.
Pyrite is often found in sedimentary rocks.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Chalcopyrite

CuFeS2 mineral used extensively in copper mining.
Chalcopyrite is a key mineral in the copper extraction process.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 18, 2023

Pyrite

FeS2 mineral used in some industrial processes.
Pyrite was historically used to produce sulfuric acid.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Chalcopyrite

Brass-like mineral, important for industrial copper use.
Chalcopyrite is often associated with other sulfide minerals.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Pyrite

A brass-colored mineral, FeS2, occurring widely and used as an iron ore and in producing sulfur dioxide for sulfuric acid. Also called fool's gold, iron pyrites.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Chalcopyrite

A yellow mineral, essentially CuFeS2, that is an important ore of copper. Also called copper pyrites.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Pyrite

(mineral) The common mineral iron disulfide (FeS2), of a pale brass-yellow color and brilliant metallic luster, crystallizing in the isometric system.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Chalcopyrite

(mineral) A yellow mineral that is a mixed sulfide of copper and iron, with the chemical formula CuFeS2.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Pyrite

(usually as a plural: pyrites) Any metallic-looking sulphide, such as the above, which is the most common.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Chalcopyrite

Copper pyrites, or yellow copper ore; a common ore of copper, containing copper, iron, and sulphur. It occurs massive and in tetragonal crystals of a bright brass yellow color.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Pyrite

(usually as a plural: pyrites) Any metal dichalcogenide that is isostructural to the common mineral.
Copper diselenide can occur both as a marcasite and a pyrite.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Chalcopyrite

A yellow copper ore (CuFeS2) made up of copper-iron sulfide
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Pyrite

A common mineral of a pale brass-yellow color and brilliant metallic luster, crystallizing in the isometric system; iron pyrites; iron disulphide.
Hence sable coal his massy couch extends,And stars of gold the sparkling pyrite blends.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Pyrite

A common mineral (iron disulfide) that has a pale yellow color
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

FAQs

Is chalcopyrite used in jewelry?

Rarely, as it tarnishes easily and is softer than ideal for jewelry.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

What is chalcopyrite?

A copper iron sulfide mineral and a major source of copper.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 06, 2024

What is pyrite?

An iron sulfide mineral known as fool's gold.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

What industrial uses does chalcopyrite have?

Primarily in copper production and extraction.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 06, 2024

Can pyrite be used to make sulfuric acid?

Historically, it was used for this purpose.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Where is pyrite commonly found?

In sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

How can you distinguish pyrite from gold?

Pyrite is harder and more brittle than gold.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Is chalcopyrite magnetic?

No, it is not magnetic.
Harlon Moss
Jan 06, 2024

Can chalcopyrite form large crystals?

Yes, though they are less common than smaller crystals.
Harlon Moss
Jan 06, 2024

Does pyrite have any crystal healing properties?

While not scientifically proven, some believe in its protective qualities.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 06, 2024

What colors can chalcopyrite display?

Primarily brass-yellow, but it can also show iridescent colors.
Janet White
Jan 06, 2024

Are there health risks associated with pyrite?

Inhaling pyrite dust can cause lung issues; it's also acidic when wet.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

How is chalcopyrite processed for copper extraction?

Through crushing, grinding, and flotation processes.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 06, 2024

Is pyrite used in any modern industrial applications?

It's used in small amounts in lithium batteries and solar panels.
Harlon Moss
Jan 06, 2024

What is the streak color of pyrite?

Greenish-black or brownish-black.
Harlon Moss
Jan 06, 2024

Is pyrite found in quartz veins?

Yes, it's often found in quartz veins and other hydrothermal deposits.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Can pyrite be found in coal?

Yes, it's a common mineral in coal beds.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 06, 2024

How does weathering affect chalcopyrite?

It can tarnish, turning a greenish or black color.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 06, 2024

Is chalcopyrite a rare mineral?

No, it's relatively abundant and the most important source of copper.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024

Does chalcopyrite have any gemstone uses?

It's not commonly used as a gemstone due to its softness and tarnishing.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 06, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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