Rainbow Pyrite - About Rainbow Pyrite Crystals and Metaphysical History.
Shakespeare penned the line, 'All that glisters is not gold', in his play, 'The Merchant of Venice'. However, the roots of this famous line are said to lie centuries before Shakespeare and continue to be used in modern popular culture, such as in Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". A literal interpretation of this saying can be found in the mineral pyrite, or 'fool's gold'. Yet a more recent discovery suggests that there may be more than meets the eye to this often disregarded mineral. In fact, it may be more unique and interesting than gold in some cases. Although pyrite is widely known as fool's gold, this mineral deserves to be recognized for being beautiful in its own right.
The name pyrite comes from the Greek words meaning "in fire" derived from the root word for "fire" ("pyr"). This name may have stemmed from the fact that pyrite produces sparks when it is struck with steel. This quality caused pyrite to be used as ignition for early firearms and promoted a belief in the 'fire' energy of pyrite. Those interested in the mysterious powers of crystals, consider pyrite to possess vital energy, almost like the mineral equivalent of ginseng for the intellect. It is considered to be of particular use in the workplace, where some believe that it energizes, brings mental clarity and facilitates creativity. Pyrite and hematite are famed in the gem trade for the metallic luster- a metallic luster is the highest luster grade a gemstone can have.
In feng shui, the Chinese art of positioning things in relation to yin and yang and the flow of chi energy, pyrite is believed to create optimism and shield the user from negative energy. Additionally, feng shui practitioners use pyrite to generate mental clarity and physical stamina. A piece of pyrite may be used in a room decoration, such as a vase, or worn as a piece of jewellery in order to release its beneficial properties. North American native Indians believed that pyrite had magical powers, and used it in healing ceremonies. The Incas and Aztecs polished the surfaces of pyrite for use as mirrors that they looked into to predict the future, like an early form of crystal ball. The Victorians recognized the beauty of pyrite, and used it in marcasite jewellery, which, despite the name, was not marcasite, but pyrite. The pyrite was set in silver by art nouveau designers.
Whereas native gold is generally an irregular shape, pyrite is either in the form of cubes, or multifaceted crystals. One of the most beautiful and interesting varieties of pyrite is the rainbow pyrite. Rainbow pyrite is a relatively recently discovered gemstone. It was discovered in Russia, along the banks of the Volga River and, as its name suggests, has a multitude of coloured crystal facets (known as 'druse', 'drusy'or a 'druzy' blanket; a fine coating of crystals on the surface of a rock fracture), which shimmer and give a rainbow effect. In its rough form, it occurs as a crystal coating inside clay-like nodules. It is opaque and the crystal facets can be tiny, appearing almost like a dusting of coloured powder, or larger pinhead-sized facets. These shimmer in the light, to create a beautiful eye-catching multi-faceted rainbow of colour. A closer look at rainbow pyrite may cause us to imagine that each of the glittering crystal facets has been painstakingly set into the matrix, one by one, to achieve the final result. However, this is the natural appearance of rainbow pyrite; a natural and serendipitous occurrence.
Rainbow pyrite comes in a combination of colours, from vivid shimmering gold, yellow and blue to bright orange, pink and green. It also comes in glittering gold with a subtle hint of colour, or a whole rainbow of colours on a single piece. Its texture differs from fool's gold pyrite, in that it has a rough appearance. This makes an interesting contrast when paired with smooth jewellery settings. Pyrite can be cut into a variety of shapes, such as triangular or oval, pear-shaped, marquise and fancy cabochons. These make for unique and interesting shimmering pendants, which can be used for necklaces or even set into bracelets, rings or earrings. Whether rainbow pyrite is simply an attractive and unique piece of jewellery, or worn for its amazing healing properties, it is a gem that is worth getting to know. There may not be a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, but there is a whole spectrum of beautiful glittering colour, just waiting to be appreciated and admired.