Pyrite Suns are composed of the mineral pyrite — “fool’s gold.” Though there has been speculation that they originated as fossils, the current consensus is that they are mineral concretions. Miners remove them from the bottom 6 – 8 inches of the marine shale roof. To date, the only place in the world where pyrite suns have been found are in four underground coal mines in the vicinity of Randolph Co., Illinois. Sandblasting and an acid bath removes the matrix from the pyrite suns. Tarnished suns are dipped in solution to speed up the natural oxidation process, creating the beautiful, multi-colored suns.