Chalcopyrite is a Copper iron sulfide mineral that was first found in 1725 by J.F Henckel. It was named from the Greek word for copper ( chalkos) and pyrites, which means striking fire and can most notably be seen as shades of yellow, green and grey. Chalcopyrite. was historically referred to as “yellow copper.
When Chalcopyrite is exposed to acid, its colour palette changes to deep purple, blues, violets, and yellows. This treated Chalcopyrite is what you will find at most shows and crystal shops and is commonly referred to as “Peacock Ore”. Technically “ Peacock Ore” is another mineral called Bornite, which naturally tarnishes to these colours so be careful what your buying! Tarnished Bornite is very rare, that is why you should always check the authenticity when trying to purchase it.
Chalcopyrite is often confused with pyrite and gold since all three of these minerals have a yellowish colour and a metallic lustre. Chalcopyrite is much softer than pyrite and can be scratched with a knife, whereas pyrite cannot be scratched by a knife. However, chalcopyrite is harder than gold, which, if pure, can be scratched by copper. Chalcopyrite has a distinctive black streak with green flecks in it. Pyrite has a black streak and gold has a yellow streak.
Some cultures believed chalcopyrite was cure for hair loss whilst others thought it could help cure issues with the brain.