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Pyrite is a mineral composed of iron and sulfur (FES2), iron disulfide. Rich deposits are known in which pyrite forms an ore. Pyrite forms often gold cubic crystals. Because of the gold sheen is also called fake gold.

Pyrite can take the place of a fossil due to the process of diagenesis. This is very annoying to
a fossil collector, because pyrite is often not stable. Under the influence of moisture it can react with the oxygen in the air. After some years, the fossil has changed into a heap of sulfur dust. There are various methods to preserve pyrite fossils by exclusion of oxygen.

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