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Sir Martin Frobisher. Our first fooled person is Sir Martin Frobisher, an intrepid English privateer legal pirate, arrgh who did the first mining in Canada. He got really excited by a sparkly black rock he found on Kodlunarn Island during his first voyage to the New World. He got other people excited, too, and they gave him money for another voyage.

He returned to Canada in and basically opened the first Canadian mine operated by a European, shipping back two hundred tons of ore. His sparkly rocks got the Queen's attention, and she sent him back in with lots of her money so he could get even more ore. He shipped back 1, tonnes of it that July and August.

Shipwrecks claimed some of his cargo, but the rest made it to the smelters in Dartford. Alas, it turned out that his lovely "black ore" was just amphibolite and pyroxenite , with biotite, pyrite, and mica making it all sparkly. In his defense, samples of his ore discovered and tested did have some gold in them: parts per billion.

And the rocks did make very nice road gravel. Captains John Smith and Christopher Newport. Imagine having to trade nice stuff for a bunch of sparkly sand because your captain is convinced there's gold in it. Captain John Smith pretty this "gold" was no such thing, but Captain Christopher Newport was all fired up about it, just certain there was gold to be found, and the colonists at Jamestown were all gold-mad, so there he was, rowing up the Potamac, going to Aquila Creek, and buying a bunch of sand from the Patawomeke tribe.

They called the stuff matchqueon , and were probably overjoyed that they were getting quality goods in exchange for it. Smith described it as "a clay sand so mingled with yellow spangles as if it had been half pindust.

I doubt Smith was feeling super-enchanted as he hauled a bunch of it back down the river, but Captain Newport was probably full of sparkly happiness until the 1, tons of it he brought back to England turned out to be sediment filled with pyrite. Jacques Cartier was a Breton explorer of the New World.

While nosing round the harbor of St. Croix on the St. Lawrence River in Canada then New France , he discovered what he believed were some lovely gold and diamonds. He happily brought his baubles back to France, where he discovered they were merely common quartz and pyrite. Then there's that poor bugger who appeared in a Scientific American article from August I will reproduce it here, as the scan is extremely hard to read:.

Beautiful pyrite

The following story is going the rounds of the papers, and would be decidedly rich if it were only true:. A verdant looking Vermonter appeared at the office of a chemist with a large bundle in a yellow bandana, and opening it exclaimed: "There, doctor, look at that.

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Pyrite and pyrrhotite

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pyrite - Wiktionary

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"pyrite" in English

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