Marcasite - knowledge base, jewelry
Properties of marcasite, physiological effects, zodiac signs and marcasite jewelry.
A modification of the naturally occurring iron (II) sulphide, marcasite.
A dimorphic member of the more common pyrite. The name marcasite probably originated in the ancient Arab world (after the province of Markhashut). While pyrite crystallizes in a regular system, marcasite crystallizes in a rhombic system. It grows in rhombic tabular, columnar or pyramidal crystals, often forming twins. It is mostly found in spherical, vesicular, stalactitic, clustered and fibrous-radiate clusters. It is a common mineral as an after-formation in nests and fissures, very common in lignite, peat, clay and other sedimentary rocks, often in the form of concretions or stalactites. Metallic lustre, yellowish in colour, often with a green tinge.
Chemical and physical properties of marcasite:
Formula: FeS2, iron-sulphide
Crystal system: orthorhombic
Color: bronze yellow, greenish yellow, brownish and greyish
Streak: yellowish black
Mohs scale hardeness: 6,0 – 6,5
Specific gravity: 4,85 – 4,92 g/cm³
Major metaphysical healing properties attributed to marcasite:
Helps to combat leg ulcers, gingivitis, prevents inflammation of the oral mucosa and gums, improves appetite, strengthens intuition.
Use of marcasite
In the jewellery industry, it is used in polished form, usually to decorate silver jewellery. Its dark greyish, metallic shimmering colour gives the jewellery a unique effect. It is most often used in jewellery with an antique effect.
Marcasite is highly sensitive to heating
(it oxidizes or burns in a matter of moments under the effect of high heat), so it is in no way recommended to perform any shaping on such jewellery that requires heating!
Occurrence of the marcasite
The Selmec Markazit is very famous, while the most notable foreign producers are Clausthal, Freiberg, Schneeberg and Cornwall.