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Five sided crystal faces

August 13, 2012

Unusual pyrite crystals from Moore County, North Carolina. Length of the specimen is about 3 inches. Photo by Chris Tacker, 2011.

In my last blog post, I mentioned how a crystal with regular five-sided crystal faces caught my attention.  In a comment on the blog, the word “pyritohedrons” was mentioned. Most pyrite crystals are cubes. This picture is a pyrite that is on display on the second floor of the Museum of Natural Sciences, showing the five-sided crystal faces. This sample comes from a pyrophyllite mine in Moore County, North Carolina, and it is unusual enough to be, well, in a museum.  When I got my new camera, this is one of the first shots I took.

If you look closely (hint: click on the picture), you can see how the pentagonal faces of the pyrite crystal are somewhat distorted, not quite a true pentagon. The quasicrystals showed faces that did not look distorted, hence my fascination.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Gail permalink
    October 25, 2014 1:50 pm

    I have recently bought a piece of Foitite Tourmaline found in the Erongo Region, Namibia, from a mineral seller in South Africa and after accidentally breaking a piece off it a crystal was revealed which looks exactly like the ones in the above picture. I found this article when doing a search to find out what the crystal was as I thought it was pyrite, but not the usual cube formation. Very interesting! Thank you for the article.

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