Definition of fool's gold
: pyrite; broadly : any of various pyritic minerals resembling gold
First Known Use of fool's gold
Financial Definition of FOOL'S GOLD
What It Is
Fool's gold is a shiny mineral called pyrite which bears great resemblance to, and is often confused with, real gold.
How It Works
Actually an iron-based mineral, pyrite is known for being yellow and shiny and appearing no different from real gold. But unlike real gold, fool's gold bears little, if any, intrinsic, social, or market value. Fool's gold has historically been found in mass quantities and mistaken for gold ore. Its name refers to those it "fools" into believing they have discovered a gold mine.
Why It Matters
Though it's no longer a term specific to mining, the term fool's gold is still often used to describe an investment that appears promising to the uninformed, but whose underlying value is actually nothing.
FOOL'S GOLD Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of fool's gold for English Language Learners
: a mineral that looks like gold
Seen and Heard
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