Pyrite: Meanings, Properties, Uses, Benefits & More

Pyrite is most commonly known as ‘Fool’s gold’ for its shiny, nugget-like exterior, but while it’s not the precious commodity that people initially thought it was, it’s still quite useful for other things and has an interesting history that goes with it. Today we’re going to take a deep-dive into ‘all things Pyrite’ so that you can get to know this famous stone a little bit better.

We’ll start off with a few basics before getting into Chakra and Runic use, the history of the stone, Numerological analysis, and more!

What we will tell you about the stone is based on ancient traditions and also on popular word-of-mouth throughout the ages. This is NOT intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions and should not be considered as a replacement for such.

That said, let’s get started with our informative guide on Pyrite and what everyone is saying about the properties of this famous stone!

Getting Started With Pyrite – A Quick Profile

Now that we are getting starting, let’s take a look at a quick ‘Pyrite profile’ so that you can get a few facts on Fool’s gold so that you have a good, foundation base on which to build on. In this section we’ll tell you where Pyrite comes from, how rare or common it is, what it looks like from a geological perspective, and more! Without further ado, we present Pyrite – in brief!

Pyrite – aka Fool’s Gold and Iron Sulfide

Color: Pale to brassy, tin to golden-yellow

Rarity: Very common

Found in: Pyrite is found in too many places to list, with over 10,000 sources of it available worldwide. That said, most of the fine and larger specimens are mined from Kazakhstan, Spain, and the United States.

Most commonly used for: Protection, creative inspiration, wealth accumulation, and bolstering the self-esteem.

Description: Pyrite, also known as Iron Sulfide, has a specific chemical signature of FeS2, so it’s basically 1 part Iron and 2 parts Sulfur. This mineral has a brassy, golden hue to it, giving it the well-known moniker of ‘Fool’s Gold’, and it just so happens to be the most abundant sulfide mineral in the world. If you doubt the Sulfur content, just strike it against anything harder and give it a whiff – you’ll smell those telltale ‘rotten eggs’ right away!

Pyrite Properties

Pyrite is said to be a stone of protection, especially with negative energies and thoughts that might come your way, though carrying it is also supposed to help keep one away from physical harm.

It is also said to inspire creativity, which certainly fits well with Pyrite being used throughout the ages for striking sparks to create fire! Not only does it keep the bad thoughts at bay, but it also said to boost the self-esteem to of the person who carries it.

Pyrite Meaning

Pyrite shines, giving it associations with fire (which the ‘Pyr’ in its name means literally), and this is also a stone associated with alchemical mysteries. While it is called ‘Fool’s gold’, it is definitely not worthless, and its high use and shiny luster are also seen as symbolic reminder to keep one’s self esteem high – just because something is different from what you thought, doesn’t mean that it is useless!

The heaviest symbolic uses with Pyrite come from the Mesoamerica era, where mirrors of it were used to symbolize water, fire, and the ‘cracks’ from such mirrors were also associated with spiders or more specifically – their intricate webs.

With fire, of course, comes associations with the ultimate fire source, the Sun, making Pyrite not such of a ‘Fool’s anything’ when you really think about it!

Pyrite as a Birthstone

While Pyrite is not considered to be a birthstone, it could be worn and effectively used by the fire signs of the Zodiac because of its solar alignment. This makes it an excellent option for Leo, Aries, and Sagittarius.

Numerology of Pyrite

In this section, we’re going to take a peek at what really lies behind a name by assessing its numbers. Numerology has been around a long time – with its origins believed to have begun as early as 500 B.C., when the Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras began exploring how numbers related to musical notes and to the world around us. Say what you will, but there definitely seems to be something to it.

Let’s take a look at what today’s form of Numerology says about Pyrite and you can see if you agree.

To do this, we’ll calculate the following:

  • Personality number – Overall count of consonants in the name
  • Heart’s desire number – Overall count of vowels in the name
  • Destiny number – overall count from all letters of the name

Personality Number

The ‘Personality number’ is the general energy that this stone sends into the world and we calculate it by adding up the consonants of the name and reducing it to its core number.

  • Pyrite
    • P+R+T
    • 7+9+2=18
    • 8+1=9

Major Influence Number: 9

9 is the number of the old soul, which confidently makes decisions drawing upon a pool of awareness, rather than simply always on what seems ‘logical’. Some think of it as gut instinct, while others view it as applying a matrix of past-life experience towards whatever life throws at us. This number seems to come up with a lot of stones that display an orderly structure, and the cube-heavy Pyrite certainly seems to be no exception to this rule.

Minor Influence Number: None

With no minor number present, 9 is on it’s own as the energy that this stone sends out into the world.

Heart’s Desire Number

The ‘Heart’s Desire’ is the motivation and goals to which this stone is most aligned. This is determined by the count of the vowels in the name, broken down to their essential number.

  • Pyrite
    • Y+I+E
    • 7+9+5=21
    • 2+1=3 (21)

Major Influence Number: 3(21)

3 is a number of creativity and communication, though from the communication aspect it is not limited to speech. Rather, it is considered to be the joining together of 2 energies to produce something new and evocative. This means that the goal which Pyrite is most aligned to is creative, artistic expression, though the 21 influence also seems to reflect the protective aspects of the stone, as it is the beginning of a new cycle – Tarot students will notice that 21 relates to the Major Arcana card known as ‘The World’.

Minor Influence Number: None

With no minor influence, we can safely state that Pyrite aligns most with a new beginning, especially with a strong emphasis on creative express which was once suppressed.

Destiny Number

The ‘Destiny number indicates how the stone effects are expressed towards one’s goals and it is determined by calculating the total of all of the letters on the name and reducing them to their core number.

  • Pyrite
    • P+Y+R+I+T+E
    • 7+7+9+2+5=30
    • 3+0=3

Major Influence Number: 3

As far as the energies that is exudes towards our goals, we have 3 yet again, although this time without the support of 21. This energy signature is strictly creative expression, be it through speech, performance, painting, or any other medium of the bearer’s choosing.

Minor Influence Number: 7

The number 7 is an odd mix of the spiritual and the analytical, which takes and explores intuition to learn more about the self in this manner. This gives Pyrite a tendency to give its bearer a quick and solid assessment of situations that they become involved in, which might not come across as logical when based on experience, but which are nonetheless quite accurate and correct. This requires a ‘leap of faith’ to use, as such wisdom is easy to question when it just seems to ‘hop into view’.

If you feel this when you are carrying Pyrite, it is best to go with your gut – you’re seeing these patterns for a reason and you won’t gain from them if you ignore this.

Feng Shui Advantages of Pyrite

With Feng Shui, we can help to take control of our lives by surrounding ourselves with the types of energies which we which to encourage and cultivate. This is done by creating a sort of ‘empowerment matrix’ within our very home based on a tradition that is over 3000 years old. The name itself, ‘Feng Shui’, gives you an idea of how it works in an almost poetic, succinct description – ‘Feng means ‘wind’, and ‘Shui’ means water’.

Evocative, peaceful, and rather to the point. So, how may Pyrite be used to incorporate this stone’s energies into the Feng Shui of your home? Let’s take a look, starting with Bagua placement, and then we’ll give you some tips and suggestions for various rooms in the home.

Bagua placement: Li, Kun, Xun

Li is known as the ‘Fame Bagua’, as it represents how we are seen and wish to be seen by the outside world. It is considered to be a fire energy and the glitter and polished shine of Pyrite are perfect for this area. If you feel that you are often being overlooked in your work and social circles, then start with this Bagua placement to empower yourself and to be seen.

Placed in Kun, your life and career path, Pyrite can help to encourage wealth and making decisions with more confidence. This is especially the case with trusting your intuition, if you have missed growth opportunities by being ‘your own worst critic’.

Finally, placing Pyrite in Xun, your wealth corner, can help to encourage feelings of self-worth and put you in the right mindset towards money and the abundance it can bring into your life. Remember, material things aren’t good or bad, simply energies to be focused and used for achieving a more harmonious existence. It is only when one leans towards hoarding and obsessive focus on the material that they lose their way.


Placed in the bathroom, when you shower to invigorate yourself and prepare for the day, Pyrite can help to remind you that work isn’t meaningless – it’s a means to an end and it’s meant to empower you. This will help you to leave the home with exactly the right attitude towards the ‘daily grind’.


Shyness in the bedroom may be well-countered with the self-esteem boost of Pyrite, which also helps to protect its owner, making this a propitious choice for those with a tendency to come across as cold as a means of self-preservation. Simply put, Pyrite can help you to ‘loosen up’ a bit and be yourself.


Placed at the entrance, Pyrite can help you to focus on any home business ideas which you are implementing already or developing, to help to keep you from procrastinating.


Pyrite in the kitchen is not just pretty, but it also encourages a little creativity so that your dishes prepared there can have a little zing. Trust your intuition on this and you’ll actually taste the influence firsthand – and it’s a good one.

Living Room

In the living room, Pyrite can help you to stop focusing so much on the TV and to ‘get down’ with your creative side. This can be a big challenge after a hard day’s work, but Pyrite can help push you towards getting your ‘second wind’ and putting it to some good, creative uses.

Chakras and Pyrite

Manipura, the Solar Plexus Chakra, can benefit the most from the energies of Pyrite. Manipura is a Chakra associated with your center of personal power, so the fire and sun associations of Pyrite are an excellent fit.

Elder Futhark Runes and the Suitability of Pyrite

The Elder Futhark system is excellent for divinatory and for energy works and it really doesn’t get enough attention in these types of articles. Luckily, we’re changing that, and we like to include a section specific to this powerful system so that Rune practitioners everywhere can take advantage.

As many of you know, there are definite pluses to creating entire Rune sets from specific materials, and even more to be had by singling out specific Runes and hosting them on stones which reflect or enhance their natural energies. Let’s take a look at what an entire set of Rune on Pyrite might help one to achieve and then we’ll go on to tell you our picks for Pyrite for those who are making a custom set of many stones.

Pyrite Stones as a Complete Set

Pyrite is noted more for it’s protection and self-esteem boosting aspects, but it also has a way of boosting creativity – specifically funneling 2 source energies into one creative whole. As such, an entire set of Pyrite Runes is rather like ‘Rune on batteries’, which can help one to learn more quickly the function and applications of each. That said, it’s really a better fit for specific Runes in our opinion, and we’ve listed those below.

Benefits of Pyrite for Specific Runes

Personalizing a Rune set takes a lot of time, but it is definitely worth the effort. When done properly, you can make a harmonious match of both the Rune and the stone energies that are hosting it and the result can be quite powerful. Without further ado, here are some of the best Runes to host with Pyrite.


Fehu is a Rune that represents wealth, but in the aspect that it must be both saved and invested if it is to serve us properly. The literal meaning is ‘cattle’, which is one of the earliest forms of money around. Pyrite’s firey energy and its physical resemblance to gold make it an excellent fit for the Fehu Rune in both form and function.


Pyrite is a stone of protection, which makes it well-aligned with the energies of Thurisaz, the ‘thorn’. Thurisaz protects the rose, cutting anyone who tries to grab and take it, and also has strong ties to creative energy, especially of a sexual nature. Pyrite can empower and protect, so it’s a good choice for this Rune.


Kenaz is a combination of creation and fire. Its name literally means ‘torch’ and it represents harnessing dangerous fire and put it to safe and effect use, to guide us on our way. Pyrite has strong associations with both fire and creativity, so it’s a natural choice for Kenaz and should harmonize with its energies quite nicely.


Nauthiz is ‘need fire’, that inner drive to survive, and even its shape is like that of two sticks being rubbed together to spark the flame that will keep us from freezing. Pyrite is perfect for this, as the stone itself will spark when struck against a hard enough surface.


Sowilo is the Sun, which chases away the dark and fills us with warmth and well-being. The shiny-surface of Pyrite is an obvious choice for this Rune, and in Mesoamerica it was often used to represent the forces of fire and sunlight. Pyrite has thus filled this function for quite some time and hosting Sowilo on one definitely feels like a smart choice.


Proper defense and protection require a very specific mindset, which is embodied in Elhaz – the sword. The lesson of this Rune is that one must not wield the sword, but rather they should BECOME it. People can be disarmed, after all, but you cannot disarm something that is 100% weaponized. Pyrite can serve as a shiny reminder of this and empower Elhaz well in your custom Rune set.


Dagaz is daylight, which shows us things in a new, clear, and warm light. Pyrite, often mistaken for gold, gives out a feel of fire and light and it’s Nature’s way of telling us that she’s got a perfect fit for this Rune ready and waiting for those who’ll simply pay attention.

Creative Ways to Use Pyrite

Pyrite beads, adding into a wrist-guard, can help to protect their owner and put them in a very good place to help do so. This can be especially good for practitioners of martial arts. If you are doing research for writing a book or building a business, then Pyrite at your desk can help to stoke those creative fires and also to help you catch the occasional research-tidbits that you might have missed.

Worn as a necklace with the Raido Rune inscribed on it, Pyrite offers protection in the form of helping you to know exactly what it is you are getting in return for what you are giving. This Rune is the relationship between the horse and the ride, and inscribing it on Pyrite helps you to redirect its protective energies into this specific outcome.

It’s also just an example – with the right Runes, you can achieve similar redirections and focuses, and this is definitely something that we recommend you play with!

Pyrite as a Meditation Tool

We like to include a nice meditation in each of these articles and we have a nice one for you today. If you have a home business and you are tired of second-guessing yourself when it comes to making bold decisions to move forward, then you might just find this Pyrite mediation to your liking.

You’ll want to sit the floor comfortably with your Pyrite set in front of you. A large piece is best for this mediation, but if you have a smaller one then just hold it in your hand for easy view. Start off with your breathing and relaxation routine to get yourself into the right mindset.

If you don’t have a preferred breathing method, then just set yourself an easy pattern by breathing in for 3 seconds, holding it for 3 seconds, and then exhaling for 3 seconds until you’ve gotten the pattern down and it just comes naturally.

Look at the Pyrite and take notice of the cubic pattens. Don’t let the shine distract you, but rather focus on the structure. Hold the image of the Pyrite in your mind and close your eyes. Keep the image in your mind for a minute or so and then look again, to see what patterns that you missed in creating your image – especially those that you left out from uncertainty.

Say aloud, ‘I will see the patterns that I need to see and I will trust in what I saw before.’.

Adjust the Pyrite, turning it in your hand to see the detail from all of its sides. Look carefully and when you can see it in your mind, then close your eyes and continue the inspection. See how it shines and the patterns of the cubes in their simple beauty.

Say aloud ‘I will see the shape and not be distracted by the shine’.

Settle on a image in your mind of exactly how you believe the stone to look and then open your eyes to see if you were correct. Practice this meditation from time to time to help sharpen your focus and to start learning to trust those little details that you’ve ‘picked up but didn’t bother to label’.

You can carry this same Pyrite with you when you want to be more alert and trusting of your intuition or you can place it in an area where you do research for your home business or creative projects.

Is Pyrite Expensive to Obtain?

Actually, no, Pyrite is not that expensive, though researchers have recently discovered that there are micro amounts of actual gold in it, making the whole ‘Fool’s Gold’ description not quite as valid as it used to be.

That said, Pyrite costs depend on the form of it, so here is a comprehensive breakdown to give you an idea of what to expect (or to haggle for):

  • Rough/Raw – about .03 to .05 cents per carat
  • Gemstone cut – $5 to $8 per carat
  • Cabochon – approximately $5 per carat
  • ‘Fool’s gold’ nuggets – ½ pound for around $10

Look around and you can some real bargains, though. We’ve found unpolished Pyrite for as little as $10 per pound just hunting on Amazon, so if you want to get some Pyrite for yourself then you are definitely in luck – it’s beautiful and quite affordable, even on a shoestring budget.

How Can You Tell if Pyrite Is Genuine?

Capitalism is a powerful thing and so if someone wants to buy anything, then there is always another someone out there who is willing to fake it and cash-in. So, how can you tell if Pyrite is genuine? Let’s take a look at some strategies that can help.

The Streak Test

This is something that you might have to do at home, since it’s going to raise some vendor eyebrows if you try it at a Gem and Mineral show. To do this you are going to need an unglazed, white ceramic tile, which sounds a bit makeshift yet it isn’t — in Gemology circles this is called a ‘Streak Plate’.

Despite its hardness, Pyrite is a brittle structure in certain scenarios, and running your Pyrite over the streak plate is definitely one of them. It should leave a blackish-green streak across the tile and we should note, USE AN EXTRA PIECE THAT YOU DON’T LIKE. This test is destructive, so don’t do it with a favorite piece o’ pyrite.

That said, if you get a white streak then you aren’t looking at ‘Fool’s Gold’, you’re looking as a fake.

If you get a gray streak, then you are looking at Marcasite, which is a ‘Fool’s Gold substitute’ that was quite popular for jewelry in the Victorian era – but it’s still not real Pyrite.


If you were looking at a gold nugget, held up next to a piece of Pyrite, you’d notice that despite the similar shine, you’ve got rounded bits on the gold and little cubic ones on the Pyrite. Gold tends to form rounded bits and to flake, while Pyrite forms isometric crystal matrixes that are rather like a metallic Rubik’s cubes that Picasso spent a little ‘quality time’ with when no one was looking.

If it’s Marcasite, that sneaky-substitute for Pyrite, then your nuggets won’t have cubes, but they WILL often have little spearheads that are much like a rooster’s comb.

Greenish-black Tarnish

The greenish black tarnish mark that you see from streaking is sometimes present in older pieces without needing the plate to find it. Marcasite tends to have more of a whitish-tin cast to it that will darken as it tarnishes, but you don’t get the green.

Mohs Hardness Scale

Pyrite scores a 6 to 6.5 on Mohs hardness scale. This doesn’t help with Marcasite, as it too has a 6 to 6.5, but you can certainly test it with some household items such as a copper penny (a 3 on Mohs) or a knife blade (a 5.5) to see if you can scratch it. If you can, it’s not Pyrite.

Now, while there are a number of household items to test, we should mention that you can really bring the science by testing more accurately with ‘Mohs Hardness picks’ that you can buy and these are a handy little thing to carry in your personal testing kit.

That’s because if you know the exact hardness range of the stone, like we do with Pyrite, then you can select a pick that shouldn’t be able to scratch the specimen right away and quickly see if it’s likely a fake. Just something to consider adding to your collection – if your vendor knows their stones and objects, then that might be something to consider with a little suspicion.

Ask for the Density From the Jeweler

If you are buying a piece of Pyrite set in jewelry, ask them to give you the density of the stone. They might not like the extra work, but jewelers are equipped to weigh the density of the stone much more easily than most of us, and Pyrite should be a 5 to 5.03. If it’s scoring around an 8 in density and they try to tell you that it’s just ‘really good Pyrite’, it isn’t – density around a level of 8.9 means that it’s probably copper, which gets marketed as Pyrite more often than you’d think.,

Buy an Extra Piece to Do a Scent Test

One final test is to see if your Pyrite is a little stinky – because it should be. Pyrite has a little sulfuric acid in it, so if you take an extra piece from the same batch to use as a ‘guinea pig’ and rub it abrasively enough against a harder surface, then it’s going to smell like rotten eggs. If it doesn’t, then you’ve been hornswoggled – that’s not Pyrite, but it might be Marcasite.

How to Clean Your Pyrite

Pyrite has a high iron content, so the old ‘soap and water special’ is not a good idea for Pyrite – it encourages rust. You can halt any current damage to Pyrite ‘rotting’ by soaking it in a mix of ammonia and water and you can shine it up by rinsing it and then soaking it in a mix of water and oxalic acid. You’ll need rubber gloves for this, and you should mix oxalic acid crystals at a ratio of ½ pound to 1 gallon of water in a plastic bucket. Soak your Pyrite in this until it gets bright and shiny, which can take a few hours or as little as half an hour – so keep an eye on it.

After that, you can neutralize it in a mix of baking soda and water, or ammonia and water, and then dry it thoroughly and it should be at it’s shiny best. This is a popular gemologist technique, so if you aren’t comfortable with our instructions, you can simply Google ‘Pyrite’ and ‘Oxalic cleaning’ and find different versions to get a better idea before you ‘take the plunge’ for cleaning your precious Pyrite.

After all, it never hurts to be thorough where our stones are concerned!

Preparing Your Pyrite Before Use

Sunlight isn’t going to hurt Pyrite, but if you want to charge it with sunlight or moonlight it’s not the light that you have to worry about, but rather the humidity outside – so if you want to purify it this way, vacuum-seal it with plastic or stow it in some Tupperware, maybe with a little salt in for extra purification.

Rainwater or seawater really aren’t recommended with the high iron content, but smudging or purifying with incense is still a viable option and it has the nice side effect of making your normally sulfurous Pyrite smell a little nicer for a brief time.

History on Pyrite Throughout the Ages

One very early interesting use of Pyrite occurs in Mesoamerica, where Pyrite Mirrors have been found. Here they were not so much used for vanity, as for communication with the other worlds, divination, and used to represent elemental forces such as fire and water. Although Onyx would later become more popular (likely due to Pyrite’s tendencies to tarnish), for a long period Pyrite was rather the popular option.

The ‘pyr’ of the name is a Greek word which means ‘fire’, giving Pyrite definite Promethean association, though the stone itself is quite well suited for that – strike it with iron and you will get very real (and rather sulfurous) sparks!

Though the Greeks got to name it, Sumerians from over 4000 years ago were well aware of Pyrite as a fire-striker and mention it in their texts, and Pyrite was considered to be an important component in the late Middle Ages in England, as chemically it could be used to help set dye colors in wool.

The Middle Ages also viewed its metallic composition as something of an alchemical mystery, though they were a little late to the game. In China, as early as 300 A.D. Pyrite was being used to make sulfur medicines for a number of skin ailments and conditions.

In the modern day, aside from its aesthetic uses, Pyrite is still a popular ingredient source for fertilizers. While we still call it ‘Fool’s God’, ultimately, it’s quite the beautiful and useful stone when you really get down to it!

Some Final Words on Using Pyrite

Today we’ve take a comprehensive journey through the lore associated with Pyrite and as you can see, there’s an awful lot to it that seems to go against the ‘Fool’s gold’ moniker that it’s been saddled with. Modern study has even show us that there are often actual trace amounts of gold in it’s composition and there are even ways of distracting it, but if that wasn’t enough then the properties which have been ascribed to it are still definitely nothing to sneeze at.

Pyrite can help in protection, artistic expression, in the boosting of your morale, and that’s just tapping the surface potential of this amazing and beautiful stone. We hope that you’ve found this article useful and wish you the best in discovering the properties of Pyrite on your own.

It’s definitely a stone that is well-worth a closer look!