Fool’s gold is in fact a mineral known as iron pyrite. It is a yellow-coloured mineral with a brilliant shine and was often mistaken for flecks of native gold in rock. Native gold is often found in quartz veins and pyrites. This also caused people to mistake the fool’s gold for the real thing. Water and wind wear away the pyrites and quartz, freeing the lumps of gold which is nearly pure. Sea water too contains gold but it is negligible.