Fools Gold (Fool's Gold)
"Fool's Gold" is a naturally occurring mineral, Iron Sulphide (FeS2), A.K.A. Iron Pyrites, which has a brassy gold colour, hence its name. There are other things which could also be called fool's gold.
The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is an iron sulfide with the formula FeS2. This mineral's metallic luster and pale-to-normal, brass-yellow hue have earned it the nickname fool's gold due to its resemblance to gold. Pyrite is the most common of the sulfide minerals. The name pyrite is derived from the Greek, "of fire" or "in fire", from. This name is likely due to the sparks that result when pyrite is struck against steel or flint. This property made pyrite popular for use in early firearms such as the wheellock.
So-called "Nordic Gold" is a modern alloy used for the middle euro coin denominations, and a term ripe for exploitation by crooks and scammers.
Almost Anything on eBay Described as "Gold"
It's perhaps rather sweeping of us to say this, but we see so many things, including coins, offered for sale, particularly on peer-to-peer auction sites such as eBay, which are not gold. If in doubt, avoid!
See our various pages about eBay.
Fools Gold Two Pound Coins on eBay
We get many telephone calls from people who believe they have a modern proof gold two pound coin, usually from between 1986 and 1996. Most of the time, these turn out to be one of the five different nickel brass base metal versions which were issued in four of those years, 1986, 1994, 1995, and 1996.
There were also two different base metal two pounds issued in 1989, but as these were not also issued as gold proofs, then nobody ever seems to find fools' gold versions of these.
Human nature being what it is, most people on finding a yellowish coin, if they do not know whether it is gold or brass, optimistically assume it id gold. Alchemy rules, O.K.?
Our usual question when we receive telephone calls about gold two pounds of the relevant dates, is to ask whether the coins are complete with their boxes and certificates. If the answer is no, then it is a racing certainty, that their coin is brass rather than gold. Our next question is what makes them think coin is gold, and the commonest answer is because it is yellow. So is custard.
When we see "gold" two pounds on eBay which we suspect are brass, it is difficult to know whether the seller is simply an optimistic idiot or a crook. The ones we notice tend to be listings where eBay members have used our high quality copyright photographs without our permission, and in breach of our copyright. Because this in itself is usually dishonest, we usually conclude that the sellers knows or suspects their coin is brass, but are trying to deceive and defraud innocent and naive buyers into parting with good money.
Fool's Gold - Iron Pyrites